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Rep. Liz Cheney criticized by Wyoming GOP for voting ‘yes’ on impeachment

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After Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the No. 3 House Republican, voted Wednesday in favor of impeaching President Donald Trump for “willful incitement of insurrection,” the Wyoming Republican Party criticized her for her vote in an ominous statement. This follows calls from other Republicans for her to be stripped of her leadership.

RELATED: House votes to impeach Trump, making him first president to be impeached twice

Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, in her Tuesday statement announcing she would vote for impeachment said of Trump’s speech in Washington, D.C. on January 6 that “there has never been a greater betrayal by a President” of his office. After Trump’s speech, a rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol to prevent the certification of the states’ Electoral College votes and President-elect Joe Biden‘s 2020 election victory.

Nine other House Republicans joined Cheney Wednesday in voting for impeachment.

“The wind in Wyoming has been horrendous today—with gusts up to 65 miles per hour. That is nothing compared to the whirlwind created by Representative Cheney’s announcement that she would be voting to impeach President Trump, and her subsequent follow-through of doing just that,” the Wyoming Republican Party said at the opening of their statement published Wednesday but after the vote.

“There has not been a time during our tenure when we have seen this type of an outcry from our fellow Republicans, with the anger and frustration being palpable in the comments we have received. Our telephone has not stopped ringing, our email is filling up, and our website has seen more traffic than at any previous time,” the statement continues. “The consensus is clear that those who are reaching out to the Party vehemently disagree with Representative Cheney’s decision and actions.”

The statement then presents a bullet-point list of reasons why the state party feels Cheney was wrong to vote “yay.” They mostly argue: that her vote doesn’t reflect how Wyoming feels about the president, 70% of whom voted for Trump; that she denied him due process and “judged the ‘evidence’ before it was presented”; and that he did not incite anyone to riot.

“We as a Party respect our elected officials and assume that they will respect and represent their constituents,” the statement concluded. “We are receiving the message loud and clear that what happened yesterday is a true travesty for Wyoming and the country.”

After her Tuesday announcement that she would vote “yay” and her vote the next day, some of her GOP colleagues have called for her to be stripped of her leadership.

Firing back, Cheney told the Capitol Hill press pool Tuesday, per The Hill, that “I’m not going anywhere. This is a vote of conscience. It’s one where there are different views in our conference.”

“But our nation is facing an unprecedented—since the Civil War—constitutional crisis,” she added. “That’s what we need to be focused on. That’s where our efforts and attention need to be.”

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), an ardent defender of Trump and a founder of the House Freedom Caucus, on Wednesday called for the removal of Cheney from her position as House Republican Conference chair, per The Hill.

“We ought to have a second vote,” Jordan told reporters. “The conference ought to vote on that.”

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), the House Freedom Caucus’s current chair, on Fox News said that he didn’t think the No. 3 House Republican “should be the chair of the Republican conference anymore” and that “she’s not representing the Republican ideals,” per The Hill.

Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.) said Cheney “ignored the preferences of Republican voters,” proving she’s “unfit to lead,” per the Associated Press.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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

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Joe Biden

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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