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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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EXCLUSIVE: Former Trump appointee explains an ‘America First Strategy’ in the ME

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Photo: Israeli Government

The author interviewed Ellie Cohanim, one of the authors of the new book: “An America First Approach to US National Security.” Ellie is the former U.S. Deputy Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism under the Trump administration. She is currently a Senior Fellow with the Independent Women’s Forum focusing on Iran, Israel, and global antisemitism, and is a national security contributor for the Christian Broadcasting Network. In 2021, Ellie launched and hosted for Jewish News Syndicate 30 plus episodes of the show “Global Perspectives with Ellie Cohanim.” Ellie spent 15 years in media and NGO management before serving in the public sector. How would you define an “America First” strategy in the Middle East?

Cohanim: An America First strategy in the Middle East would seek to advance American national security interests in that region, while maintaining our status as THE global superpower. To do that, the US would ensure that our principal allies in the region, countries like Saudi Arabia and Israel, are economically and militarily strong, and that our adversaries in the region are deterred.

Postal: How has the United States’ standing in the Middle East differed between the Trump and Biden administrations?

Cohanim: Under President Trump, for four years we had peace, stability and prosperity in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region. Under President Biden, in just three tumultuous years there has been war in the region, which holds the potential for becoming a regional conflict and even a nuclear confrontation. Meanwhile, the US’ status in the region and the world has diminished due to Biden’s disastrous mishandling of the Afghanistan withdrawal, his emboldening of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and his weak response to Iranian attacks on our personnel and assets in the region. 

 

Postal: Do you think the United States and Israel are/were in a stronger position to deter Iran’s nuclear and territorial ambitions in Biden or Trump’s administration?

Cohanim: America’s position of strength has not changed under either administration vis-à-vis the Islamic Republic of Iran. What has changed is our Iran policy. Under President Trump’s administration, the US contained and constrained Tehran. Trump applied a “Maximum Pressure” sanctions campaign which left the Iranian Regime with only $4 billion in accessible foreign currency reserves by the end of his term, giving the Iranians less cash and less ability to fund their terror proxies and their nuclear program, and Trump eliminated Qassem Soleimani. While all President Biden needed to do was to continue implementing such successful policies, his administration instead did the exact opposite.  Under the Biden administration, Israel, our leading ally in the region, was attacked for the first time directly from Iranian soil. This was an unprecedented escalatory attack by the Iranian regime, and could only happen under the Biden administration.

Postal: In your chapter of the book, you discuss the weakening of US relations with Israel and Saudi Arabia under the Biden administration. How has the Biden administration affected the likelihood of future normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and deals between Israel and other Muslim countries (i.e., new Abraham Accords)?

Cohanim: The good news is that the Abraham Accords have withstood the test of multiple Hamas provocations against Israel, and now the current war. Despite numerous claims from the Biden administration regarding “successful” efforts to normalize ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel, I do not think that the Biden administration will be able to clinch such a deal. In the Middle East, people have a long memory. Saudi Arabia’s de-facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) has not forgotten President Biden’s snub when he first came into office, and Biden’s incredibly poorly advised behavior towards the Crown Prince when he made his first visit to the Kingdom as president. The last thing the Crown Prince wants is to hand Biden his first foreign policy success with a Rose Garden peace deal ceremony. So, I do not believe President Biden can broker Saudi/Israeli normalization.

However, I am also convinced that it is a matter of “when” and not “if” such a peace deal will happen between those two countries, as it serves both of their interests to make such a deal. The Saudis understand better than anyone that it is the Islamic Republic of Iran that threatens the Kingdom’s security and stability, not Israel.

Postal: What do you think of the Biden administration’s latest statements withholding arms to Israel?

Cohanim: President Biden will go down in history for his abject moral failure in not standing by Israel while she fights a five-front war. Biden has shown his despicable personality for trying to keep his anti-Israel arms embargo concealed until he could first deliver a speech on the Holocaust. Biden’s behavior is despicable on so many levels.

Ultimately, Biden is betraying the American people. He came into office presenting himself as a “centrist Democrat,” but has proven repeatedly to be beholden to the radical, extremist, pro-Hamas wing of his party.

Postal: How does the Biden administration’s support of a Palestinian state differ from the Trump administration’s support of a Palestinian state under its Peace to Prosperity framework?

Cohanim: The Biden administration stated that they will “unilaterally recognize” a Palestinian state. What the borders of that state are and who would lead it, nobody knows. 

The Trump administration’s “Peace to Prosperity” was a detailed plan that was premised on the realities on the ground in Israel. The plan required that the Palestinians reach benchmarks proving a real desire to live in peace with their Israeli neighbors. It included over $50 billion in investment in the region, which would have been a road to prosperity for all. Perhaps most significantly, the Palestinian state envisioned under the Trump plan would have been demilitarized, the wisdom of which could not be more clear following the October 7 massacre and attack.

The author would like to thank Ellie Cohanim for participating in this interview.

 

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