Former Republican congresswoman Liz Cheney said House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) is lying when he claimed in an interview on Sunday that she considered signing the amicus brief to challenge the 2020 election while she was in House leadership.
Johnson led the effort in Congress to get Republican lawmakers to sign on to an amicus brief, supporting a lawsuit from Texas aimed at overturning the results of the election in four key swing states that Joe Biden won in the 2020 presidential election. More than half of the Republican conference signed on to the brief including then-Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, then-Minority Whip Steve Scalise and Republican Policy Committee Chairman Gary Palmer.
Johnson told CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” Sunday that Cheney’s criticism of the brief surprised him because “at one point,” she “considered signing on to that bill. I’ll tell you that that is a fact.”
“We were, as Mike said, in constant contact throughout that period,” Cheney continued. “I actually know precisely when he sent me the brief and precisely when less than 30 minutes later, I told him my concerns with the brief. Mike knows that as well. The brief itself was- was legally and constitutionally infirm. I made that clear.”
“I made this clear to him the very first time we spoke after I reviewed the brief, that he was misrepresenting the brief to the members of conference,” Cheney added. “I also told him that I thought that signing on to this brief for anyone who was a member of a bar raised significant and serious ethical issues, because you were asserting to a court facts that not only were untrue, but which had already been rejected by other courts, and for which you had no basis, no knowledge.”
Johnson defended the brief on Sunday saying that changing the state laws without ratification by state legislatures is a violation of the Constitution.
Cheney pushed back, calling Johnson’s position “tyranny”.
“Mike’s position, which- which people really need to think about because it’s so chilling, is that somehow as a member of Congress, he has the right to ignore the rulings of those courts to assert–absent any fact finding–a fact that somehow he feels that something that happened was unconstitutional, and therefore, that he can throw out the votes of millions of Americans. That’s tyranny. It’s not the rule of law. It’s tyranny.”
“You can’t count on these elected Republicans to defend the Constitution,” Cheney added. “Every time they go out and give an interview. They demonstrate it themselves.”