Cheney: ‘No Evidence’ of Political Motivation Behind FBI Mar-a-Lago Raid
The Wyoming Republican, who lost in last Tuesday’s Republican primary contest, also criticized those in her party who attacked the FBI in the aftermath.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) contended on Sunday that she has seen “no evidence” that the FBI’s Mar-a-Lago raid was politically motivated.
“I was ashamed to hear Republicans immediately and reflexively attack the FBI agents who executed the search warrant,” she told ABC News’ This Week.
“I was disgusted when I learned that President Trump had released the names of the agents when he released the unredacted search warrant, and that has now caused violence,” she continued.
In recent days, Trump has called for the “immediate release” of the affidavit while leveling various attacks on the FBI and the Justice Department.
Meanwhile, the Justice Department has urged the judge, Bruce Reinhart, to keep the affidavit fully under seal, arguing that divulging such information to the public would “cause significant and irreparable damage” to the ongoing criminal investigation involving highly classified materials related to national security.
“I think that will provide us additional information. It sounds to me from watching the news reports that they're acting responsibly in terms of determining what has to be redacted and, and what can be released,” Cheney said. “But it also seems to be the case that there were clearly ongoing efforts to get back wherever this information was, and that it was not presented, you know, that the former president was unwilling to give back these materials. Now, we will see, we'll learn more.”
“It's a really serious thing and I just think that for us as a party to be in a position where we're reflexively attacking career law enforcement professionals in order to defend a former president who conducted himself the way this one did, is it's a really sad day for the party,” she added.
Cheney, who serves as vice chair of the January 6 Select Committee investigating the Capitol attack, also warned that Trump’s characterizations of U.S. elections as rigged disrupt the “fundamental function and principle at the center of our constitutional republic.”
However, she declined to say whether Trump would be called to testify.
“I don’t want to make any announcements about that this morning,” she said. “I think it’s very important. As I said in the first hearing and the second hearing, his interactions with our committee will be under oath.”
Cheney added that she would like to see former Vice President Mike Pence testify before the committee in the near future.
“We've been in discussions with his counsel,” Cheney said.
“Look, he played a critical role on January 6, if he had succumbed to the pressure that Donald Trump was putting on him, we would have had a much worse constitutional crisis,” she continued. “And I think that he has clearly, as he's expressed, concerns about executive privilege, which, you know, I have tremendous respect. I think it's…a hugely important constitutional issue in terms of separation of powers.”
“I believe in executive privilege. I think it matters. But I also think that when the country has been through something, as grave as this was, everyone who has information has an obligation to step forward. So, I would hope that he will do that,” she concluded.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Finance and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.