Does Liz Cheney Really Believe Donald Trump Was Involved In The January 6 Riot?

Wyoming representative Liz Cheney is as Republican as it gets, and she has the record to prove that. She voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, she supports waterboarding (she doesn't see it as torture), and she even thinks the Democrats' policies are "dangerous," including those which have been embraced by President Joe Biden (via CBS). 

But there is one matter that has seen Cheney reach across the aisle, and that's on the need to get to the bottom of the January 6, 2021 riots which played out in the United States Capitol. And as part of fulfilling their fact-finding mandate, the January 6 committee subpoenaed a number of former Trump administration officials, including former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, and former advisor Steve Bannon. While Cheney's fellow committee member and Maryland representative Jamie Raskin says all those who were called to testify were either "either complying or acting in good faith," Bannon has done neither (via Associated Press). Instead, he has refused to cooperate, and Donald Trump has claimed executive privilege — which prevents the judicial and legislative branches of government from getting their hands on confidential papers which have circulated between a president and his aides (via The New York Times). 

Cheney sees meaning behind Bannon's refusal to cooperate. To her, "Mr. Bannon's and Mr. [Donald] Trump's privilege arguments do appear to reveal one thing, however: they suggest that President Trump was personally involved in the planning and execution of January 6th. And we will get to the bottom of that," she said (via CNN).

Cheney has linked Trump to the January 6 riots

This is not the first time Liz Cheney has tied Donald Trump directly to the January 6 riots. When the committee first met in late July 2021, her remarks called on fellow legislators to look at Trump's role, so they could find out "what happened every minute of that day in the White House. Every phone call, every conversation, every meeting leading up to, during and after the attack," she had said (via The New York Times). 

It's not difficult to see why Cheney feels this way. When they delivered their opening statements before the January 6 committee, Cheney heard members of the Capitol Police recount what had happened to them on the day of the riots, when they were verbally and physically assaulted. One of them, Aquilino A. Gonell, said, "All of them — all of them were telling us, 'Trump sent us'" (via The Columbian).

For his refusal to cooperate, the January 6 committee has voted unanimously to hold Steve Bannon in criminal contempt. Their decision will be sent to the full House before the end of this week, and once it is passed, the matter will be referred to the Justice Department. Contempt of Congress is a crime punishable by a fine and jail time of between a month to 12 months in prison (via CNN).