Liz Cheney: who is Republican daughter of Dick Cheney - and why has she been ousted over Trump comments?

Cheney condemned Donald Trump for betraying his oath to the US Constitution

Republican Liz Cheney addressed reporters after House Republicans voted to remove her as conference chair after she became a target for former President Donald Trump and his followers in the House (Picture: Getty Images)
Republican Liz Cheney addressed reporters after House Republicans voted to remove her as conference chair after she became a target for former President Donald Trump and his followers in the House (Picture: Getty Images)
Republican Liz Cheney addressed reporters after House Republicans voted to remove her as conference chair after she became a target for former President Donald Trump and his followers in the House (Picture: Getty Images)

A senior US Republican lawmaker has been cast out of her leadership role after she made comments criticising President Donald Trump.

Liz Cheney daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, has held several high-ranking positions within the party, including the third-ranking post in the House of Representatives since 2019.

On Wednesday 13 May, House Republicans voted to oust her from her position after she criticised Donald Trump for his false claims that he had won the 2020 election.

The former president released a statement calling her “a bitter, horrible human being".

So, who is Liz Cheney and what did she say about Trump? This is what you need to know.

Who is Liz Cheney?

Elizabeth Lynne Cheney is a 54-year-old US Republican who was a member of the House of Representatives for Wyoming from 2016 until she was ousted on 12 May 2021.

She is the eldest daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney and former Second Lady Lynne Cheney. She was born prior to her father taking up office.

Cheney grew up and attended school in Casper, Wyoming, while her father worked in the White House. She studied for her Bachelor of Arts degree from Colorado College and received her Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago Law School in 1996.

She married her husband, Philip Perry, in 1993 and they have five children.

What did Cheney say about Donald Trump?

During Trump’s presidency, Cheney voted in line with Trump’s views over 90 percent of the time - supporting his alliance with Israel and calling for investigations into the alleged attempts by China and Russia to intervene in US policy making.

However, Cheney was vocal in her condemnation of Trump’s behaviour during the 6 January Capitol Riots.

On 12 January, she said: “The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack.

“Everything that followed was his doing. None of this would have happened without the President. The President could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. He did not.

“There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”

She then joined nine other Republican members of the House of Representatives in voting to impeach President Trump. This is thought to have been the beginning of her party’s attempts to oust her.

In February, some Republicans voted to unseat Cheney from office, accusing her of disloyalty. However, her party's leader in the lower chamber, Kevin McCarthy, advised colleagues at the time against removing her.

Then, in a Washington Post op-ed published on 5 May, Cheney continued her anti-Trump rhetoric, much to the dismay of her Republican colleagues.

In the scathing op-ed, she wrote: “We must be brave enough to defend the basic principles that underpin and protect our freedom and our democratic process.

“I am committed to doing that, no matter what the short-term political consequences might be.”

After its publication, Mr McCarthy and his deputy, Republican whip Steve Scalise, began taking steps to oust Ms Cheney.

In a vote on the morning of 12 May, she told her peers: “We cannot let the former president drag us backward and make us complicit in his efforts to unravel our democracy."

She was ousted by an overwhelming majority of her peers. Following the announcement of unseating, she told reporters: “I will do everything I can to ensure that the former president never again gets anywhere near the Oval Office."

Her comments were met with opposition from Trump, who described her in a statement as "a bitter, horrible human being" and "a talking point for Democrats".

However she was met with unexpected warmth from the party’s opponents, as the Democratic leader of the House, Nancy Pelosi, called Cheney “a leader of great courage, patriotism and integrity".

On 13 May, she told Savannah Guthrie on NBC’s Today Show that she was not surprised she had been ousted, and that the attack on her position within the GOP had been initiated by Trump.

She said his grip on the party was “dangerous” and a “cult of personality”, before calling for a criminal investigation into Trump.

“I think the American people have to know”, “and certainly any president who did what we know this former president did has got to be investigated criminally,” she said.

Cheney is expected to be replaced later this month by Trump loyalist, Elise Stefanik, a four-term congresswoman from New York.

What is her career timeline?

In her early career, Cheney worked for Richard Armitage, who went on to become the Deputy Secretary of State.

She then worked as an international law attorney and consultant at the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, and served as Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of State for Assistance to the former Soviet Union as well as in US embassies in Warsaw and Budapest.

In 2002, she was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, before vacating her role to campaign for her father’s re-election as Vice President in 2004.

In 2005, she returned to the US State Department, as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State For Near Eastern Affairs and Coordinator for Broader Middle East and North Africa Initiatives.

By 2007, she had left her appointed role again to co-lead Fred Thompson’s presidential election campaign. Thompson described her as providing “wise counsel and invaluable experience to my campaign leadership team”.

When Thompson stepped down from his election bid, she supported Mitt Romney as a special advisor in his campaign.

Cheney announced in 2014 that she would follow in her father’s footsteps and stand in the Wyoming Senate elections. Mr Cheney was the representative for Wyoming from 1979 to 1989.

In the first speech of her campaign, she urged Republicans to "not be afraid of being called obstructionists,” adding “obstructing President Obama's policies and his agenda isn't actually obstruction; it's patriotism."

Cheney withdrew from the election after criticism over her opposition to same-sex marriage. Her sister Mary, who is gay and married to her partner, made public comments about Cheney’s stance. In 2016, she was elected to the House of Representatives and was reelected in 2018 and 2020. She was sworn into office in the same month that Donald Trump took up his role as President of the United States.

In 2019, she was sworn in as the chair of the House Republican Conference for the 116th Congress.