Jan 5, 2021 - Politics & Policy

The Cheney power play

Mike Allen
Dick and Liz Cheney
Former Vice President Dick Cheney looks on as his daughter Rep. Liz Cheney takes the oath of office, Jan. 3, 2017. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Former Vice President Dick Cheney and House GOP Conference Chair Liz Cheney have pulled a power play against President Trump’s attempt to overthrow the election.

Driving the news: The elder Cheney helped pull together an op-ed from all 10 living former defense secretaries to warn against military intervention to thwart a transfer of power. Liz Cheney pounded out a 21-page argument against plans to try to stall certification of Biden's win.

Why it matters: Each has said little about President Trump over the past four years. But now that they're speaking out, they're making it count — with muscular, blunt cases against obstruction of the inevitable.

  • Liz Cheney has ambitions to run for the White House or House speaker. Her dad remains a formidable force in establishment Republican politics.

Between the lines: A source familiar with the Cheneys' thinking tells Axios that given their reverence for the power of the executive, they're offended by Trump's norm-busting behavior and the futile resistance to Biden's victory.

  • "They're reestablishing the traditional Republican channel so that in the post-Trump era, people will be comfortable running at that segment of the party, rather than just the populist channel that Trump exploited," the source said.
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