Cheney closes Jan. 6 hearing: ‘We will see you all in September’

In her closing statement of Thursday’s hearing of the Jan. 6 House select committee, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., offered thanks to the witnesses who had given their testimony, citing their bravery in speaking truthfully despite possible retribution. Cheney also took aim at former President Donald Trump and those that would support further efforts to erode confidence in elections. The congresswoman ended the hearing by previewing actions and hearings that could take place in September.

Video transcript

LIZ CHENEY: We've seen bravery and honor in these hearings. And Ms. Matthews and Mr. Pottinger, both of you will be remembered for that, as will Cassidy Hutchinson. She sat here alone, took the oath, and testified before millions of Americans. She knew all along that she would be attacked by President Trump and by the 50, 60, and 70-year-old men who hide themselves behind executive privilege.

But like our witnesses today, she has courage. And she did it anyway. Cassidy, Sarah, and our other witnesses, including Officer Caroline Edwards, Shaye Moss, and her mother, Ruby Freeman, are an inspiration to American women and to American girls. We owe a debt to all of those who have and will appear here. And that brings me to another point. This committee has shown you the testimony of dozens of Republican witnesses, those who served President Trump loyally for years.

The case against Donald Trump in these hearings is not made by witnesses who were his political enemies. It is instead a series of confessions by Donald Trump's own appointees, his own friends, his own campaign officials, people who worked for him for years, and his own family. They have come forward. And they have told the American people the truth. And for those of you who seem to think the evidence would be different if Republican Leader McCarthy had not withdrawn his nominees from this committee, let me ask you this.

Do you really think Bill Barr is such a delicate flower that he would wilt under cross-examination? Pat Cipollone, Eric Herschmann, Jeff Rosen, Richard Donoghue? Of course they aren't. None of our witnesses are. At one point in 2016 when he was first running for office, Donald Trump said this. I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose any voters.

We must remember that we cannot abandon the truth and remain a free nation. In late November of 2020, while President Trump was still pursuing lawsuits, many of us were urging him to put any genuine evidence of fraud forward in the courts and to accept the outcome of those cases. As January 6 approached, I circulated a memo to my Republican colleagues explaining why our congressional proceedings to count electoral votes could not be used to change the outcome of the election.

But what I did not know at the time was that President Trump's own advisors, also Republicans, also conservatives, including his White House counsel, his Justice Department, his campaign officials, they were all telling him almost exactly the same thing I was telling my colleagues. There was no evidence of fraud or irregularities sufficient to change the election outcome. Our courts had ruled. It was over.

Now, we know that it didn't matter what any of us said because Donald Trump wasn't looking for the right answer legally or the right answer factually. He was looking for a way to remain in office. Let's put that aside for a moment and focus just on what we saw today. In our hearing tonight, you saw an American President faced with a stark and unmistakable choice between right and wrong.

There was no ambiguity. No nuance. Donald Trump made a purposeful choice to violate his oath of office, to ignore the ongoing violence against law enforcement, to threaten our constitutional order. There is no way to excuse that behavior. It was indefensible. And every American must consider this. Can a President who is willing to make the choices Donald Trump made during the violence of January 6 ever be trusted with any position of authority in our great nation again?

In this room in 1918, the Committee on Women's Suffrage convened to discuss and debate whether women should be granted the right to vote. This room is full of history. And we on this committee know we have a solemn obligation not to idly squander what so many Americans have fought and died for.

Ronald Reagan's great ally Margaret Thatcher said this. Let it never be said that the dedication of those who love freedom is less than the determination of those who would destroy it. Let me assure every one of you this. Our committee understands the gravity of this moment, the consequences for our nation. We have much work yet to do. And we will see you all in September.

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