Wyoming GOP votes to withdraw Cheney recognition

CASPER — Wyoming Republican leaders voted this weekend to no longer recognize Rep. Liz Cheney as a member of their party.

The resolution, which does not strip Cheney of any tangible power, passed the Wyoming GOP Central Committee by a vote of 31-29 during a Saturday meeting Buffalo.

The symbolic move came after roughly nine county Republican parties voted to no longer recognize Cheney, Joey Correnti, chairman of the Carbon County GOP and one of the officials spearheading the effort, estimated. A number of those county central committees passed the resolution with much wider margins than the state committee, with some passing the resolution unanimously.

“It seemed like there was fatigue on the issue, which was nice to see,” said Dr. Joseph McGinley, a Natrona County GOP state committeeman who attended the state GOP meeting this weekend.

The Cheney camp didn’t hold back.

“It’s laughable to suggest Liz is anything but a committed conservative Republican,” said Jeremy Adler, a Cheney spokesperson. “She is bound by her oath to the Constitution. Sadly, a portion of the Wyoming GOP leadership has abandoned that fundamental principle, and instead allowed themselves to be held hostage to the lies of a dangerous and irrational man.”

Cheney’s falling out with many in her party stems from her repeated criticism of former President Donald Trump and his role in the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot. The congresswoman says her vote to impeach Trump after the insurrection, and her criticisms of his attempts to undermine the 2020 presidential election, put principle — and the Constitution — above party.

But the state central committee sees it differently.

“Previously mentioned in the resolution of censure, Representative Liz Cheney ‘cast her vote in favor of impeachment without any quantifiable evidence of High Crimes or Misdemeanors,” the resolution stated. “As to date, no quantifiable and or undisputed evidence has been offered Representative Liz Cheney to defend her questionable decision.”

On Jan. 6, Cheney blamed Trump for the riot at the Capitol.

“The president incited the mob,” she said in an television interview that day. “The president addressed the mob. He lit the flame.”

In the resolution that censured Cheney, the state party without evidence blamed members of the anti-fascist movement (Antifa) and the Black Lives Matter movement for instigating the violence.

Despite the repeated rebukes at the federal and state level, Cheney has not shown any sign of backing down.

Cheney is now serving as vice chairwoman of the House select committee charged with investigating the deadly attack on the Capitol, a position that has spurred critics to call her a Nancy Pelosi ally.

“To further her own personal political agenda, Representative Liz Cheney has not only caused massive disruption, distraction and division within the House Republican Conference, but has also willingly, happily, and energetically joined forced with and proudly pledged allegiance to democrat Speaker of the House Pelosi, as a means of serving her own personal interests while ignoring the interests, needs and expectations of Wyoming Republicans,” the resolution passed stated.

Earlier this year, Correnti told the Star-Tribune that he hoped that the county-level resolutions would eventually be adopted by the Central Committee of the Wyoming Republican Party, which came to fruition this weekend. Cheney’s censure took a similar path: A few counties led the way before nearly all followed suit. Finally, the state party acted to censure her.

The sentiment that Cheney is not conservative or a Republican is statistically inaccurate — her voting record is staunchly conservative.

During Trump’s term, Cheney voted with him on policy 93 percent of the time. That’s a higher percentage than Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar, Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz and a number of other lawmakers who are seen as staunch Trump allies. Cheney has also received solid grades from prominent conservative groups, including the Susan B. Anthony List and the National Rifle Association.

The state party vote comes at a pivotal time for Cheney. She is currently running for reelection to U.S. House and faces a formidable challenge: Harriet Hageman, the Trump-endorsed candidate in the race and a Cheyenne lawyer who ran for governor in 2018.

“It’s fitting because Liz Cheney stopped recognizing what Wyomingites care about a long time ago. When she launched her war against President Trump, she completely broke with where we are as a state,” Hageman said in a statement.

The end of the resolution made an appeal to congressional Republicans by asking that the “House Republican Conference Leadership immediately remove Representative Liz Cheney from all committee assignments and the House Republican conference itself, to assist and expedite her seamless exodus from the Republican Party.”

Frank Eathorne, chairman of the state GOP, did not respond to request for comment.