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Rep. Gaetz joins demonstrators in Wyoming for anti-Liz Cheney rally

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Hundreds gathered at the Wyoming State Capitol this week to campaign for Republican Rep. Liz Cheney’s removal from office after she said she would join the effort to impeach former President Donald Trump.

Two weeks ago, Cheney declared she would support House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s impeachment articles against Trump.

Cheney was one of 10 House Republicans to vote to impeach Trump for “incitement of insurrection” following the Capitol riot on January 6.

In a statement earlier this month, Cheney blamed the violence — including the death of five people — on Trump, saying he “summoned,” “assembled” and “lit the flame of this attack.”

Cheney’s Republican colleagues began demanding her removal from House leadership, with support from more than 100 members of the caucus.

Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz joined the demonstrators in Wyoming Thursday to demand for Cheney’s removal.

“This is my first time in Wyoming. I’ve been here for about an hour and I feel like I already know the place a lot better than your misguided representative, Liz Cheney,” Gaetz said to the crowd.

Gaetz and other lawmakers have pushed for Cheney to step down from her position as conference chair of the House GOP.

“We are in a battle for the soul of the Republican party, and I intend to win it,” said Gaetz. “You can help me break a corrupt system. You can send a representative who actually represents you, and you can send Liz Cheney home — back home to Washington, DC.”

Throughout his presidency, Trump frequently expressed his contempt for Cheney.

During his Jan. 6 rally, Trump said, “We’ve got to get rid of the weak congresspeople, the ones that aren’t any good, the Liz Cheneys of the world.”

“I see every day the cost of the wars that Liz Cheney has advocated for,” Gaetz said Thursday. “I see it in the tearful goodbyes at airports, the marriages that are destroyed, the parenting that’s interrupted, the drug abuse, the veteran suicide, lost limbs, lost minds, lost lives, lost hope.”

Nearly 56,000 people have signed a Change.org petition asking for the “recall” of Cheney.

“Liz Cheney does not speak for the people of Wyoming we have had enough of these swamp people this petition might not do much but maybe it will tell her we will not sit by and take it anymore,” petition organizer Shelley Horn said.

All but five Senate Republicans voted in favor of an effort to dismiss Trump’s second impeachment trial on Tuesday.

The impeachment trial will begin the week of Feb. 8. Conviction would require the support of all Democrats and 17 Republicans, or two-thirds of the Senate.

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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Biden frees Venezuelan President Maduro’s drug dealing relatives in prisoner swap

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President Biden freed two of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s relatives Saturday in exchange for seven jailed Americans. The two nephews of Maduro’s wife Cilia Flores, had been convicted in the United States for drug dealing and sentenced to 18 years in prison, according to the BBC.

According to the report, the swap was in exchange for five American oil executives. Those Americans were “exchanged for two of Mr Maduro’s wife’s nephews, who were serving 18-year sentences in the US on drug charges,” the officials told the BBC. Maduro’s nephews were convicted under the Trump administration and the Venezuelan government claims that they were “unjustly” jailed in the United States.

In a statement from the White House Saturday, Biden said the American’s were  “wrongfully detained.”  He said the American’s  would soon be reunited with their relatives, according to reports.

“Today, we celebrate that seven families will be whole once more. To all the families who are still suffering and separated from their loved ones who are wrongfully detained – know that we remain dedicated to securing their release,” the Biden statement added.

Meanwhile, 13 Republican members of Congress sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, requesting more information on “the intelligence report” that alleges Maduro is emptying his prisons and allowing them to head to the United States in the caravans that crossing the porous border.

The letter states that the report warns Border Patrol agents to be on the look-out for “violent criminals from Venezuela among the migrant caravans heading towards the U.S.-Mexico border.”

“It has been widely reported that the Venezuelan regime, under the control of Nicolás Maduro Moros, is deliberately releasing violent prisoners early, including inmates convicted of ‘murder, rape, and extortion,’ and pushing them to join caravans heading to the United States,” the letter states.

You can follow Sara A. Carter on Twitter @SaraCarterDC.

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