Liz Cheney Says No Conviction Needed to Remove Trump From State Primary Ballots

Liz Cheney Says No Conviction Needed to Remove Trump From State Primary Ballots


HANOVER, N.H.—Former Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming said she believes former President Donald Trump should be disqualified from being on presidential primary ballots across the country.

She added that there is no need to wait for a conviction or court ruling on the allegations that President Trump incited an insurrection to block President Joe Biden from taking office.

“There are provisions in the Constitution—requirements for office—and, you know, you have to be 35 years of age, you have to be a natural-born U.S. citizen, and you have to not have engaged in or provided aid and comfort to an insurrection,” said Ms. Cheney, who is also an attorney.

“There’s not a requirement that he be convicted either in the Senate or in a court of law. I believe in the plain language of the Constitution, and I don’t believe that that’s a requirement,” she said.

Ms. Cheney made the statement following a speech entitled “An Oath to Defend Democracy,” which she delivered at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, on Jan. 5.

She was responding to a question about her thoughts on state-level efforts to remove President Trump from primary ballots.

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In Maine, the secretary of state unilaterally removed President Trump from the state’s primary ballot, and in Colorado, the state Supreme Court ruled that he had engaged in an insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021, and should be disqualified.

The Colorado ruling has fueled similar efforts in other states, and the U.S. Supreme Court announced on Jan. 5 that it will hear arguments on the issue. The court set Feb. 8 as the date for the review, which falls more than two weeks after the Jan. 23 New Hampshire primary, with a possible decision coming at the height of primary season.

Super Tuesday, when 16 states will hold nominating contests, is scheduled for March 5.

Warning to Republicans

Ms. Cheney, who served as the vice chair of the House Jan. 6 committee that was formed to investigate the breach of the U.S. Capitol, was just wrapping up her speech as the Supreme Court announced its decision.

She predicted that President Trump, who leads by a large margin nationally over his rivals, will not leave office if he is reelected.

“Certainly, if he believes that he’s facing potential prosecution when he leaves office, he won’t leave office. He already tried not to leave office once,” said Ms. Cheney.

“It may well be the last real vote you ever get to cast,” she added. “It will be that bad.”

Ms. Cheney urged New Hampshire voters to cautiously wield their power as America’s first voters. She had previously indicated she might consider a bid for the White House, and some speculated she could mount a third-party run, which would have put her in competition with former Democrat-turned-independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. of the Kennedy dynasty.

Ms. Cheney is also from a political family as the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney.

Like his daughter, the 82-year-old former vice president, who served under President George W. Bush, has been critical of Republican leadership.

“I’m deeply disappointed we don’t have better leadership in the Republican Party to restore the Constitution,” Mr. Cheney told an ABC News reporter in 2022.

In her Dartmouth College speech, Ms. Cheney characterized many of President Biden’s policies as “bad,” but said “what President Trump did was an assault on the foundations of our constitutional republic.”

Ms. Cheney is expected to speak more about her views on President Trump during her upcoming appearance on the daytime television show The View. She is scheduled to appear on the all-women talk show on Jan. 10.

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