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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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Go deeper

Off the Rails

Episode 1: A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 1: Trump’s refusal to believe the election results was premeditated. He had heard about the “red mirage” — the likelihood that early vote counts would tip more Republican than the final tallies — and he decided to exploit it.

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”

Ina Fried, author of Login
1 hour ago - Technology

Scoop: Google is investigating the actions of another top AI ethicist

Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Photo by Mateusz Wlodarczyk/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Google is investigating recent actions by Margaret Mitchell, who helps lead the company's ethical AI team, Axios has confirmed.

Why it matters: The probe follows the forced exit of Timnit Gebru, a prominent researcher also on the AI ethics team at Google whose ouster ignited a firestorm among Google employees.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Joe Biden's COVID-19 bubble

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The incoming administration is planning extraordinary steps to protect its most prized commodity, Joe Biden, including requiring daily employee COVID tests and N95 masks at all times, according to new guidance sent to some incoming employees Tuesday.

Why it matters: The president-elect is 78 years old and therefore a high risk for the virus and its worst effects, despite having received the vaccine. While President Trump's team was nonchalant about COVID protocols — leading to several super-spreader episodes — the new rules will apply to all White House aides in "high proximity to principals."