For her part, Ms. Cheney made it clear that she viewed her fall as a historical mistake and intended to continue to be vocal in her criticism. She invited David Hume Kennerly, a former White House official photographer under President Gerald R. Ford with close family ties Record the day behind the scenesand defended her stance in a long one TV interview with NBC less than an hour after the vote.
It was a remarkable bow for the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, a staunch Republican who became a despised figure among the left for making claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, a lie that drove the nation to war. On Wednesday, Democrats praised Ms. Cheney for her refusal to tell a lie. Spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi called her “a leader of great courage, patriotism and integrity” and pointed to her removal as a worrying sign for Republicans.
“For the sake of our democracy, sensible Republicans across the country must take back their party,” said Ms. Pelosi.
Behind closed doors in the congressional auditorium, a blue-carpeted, wood-paneled room in which Republicans sat on theater seats, Ms. Cheney took the stage Wednesday morning to petition and scoffed when she warned colleagues of the consequences of hers current course. It ended with a prayer from the Book of John – “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free” – and asked God to “help us remember that democratic systems can fray and suddenly disintegrate”.
“When they do,” she added, “they are gone forever.”
The Republicans made it clear that they were not interested in these memories.
“She, who believes she leads but has no followers, just takes a walk,” said North Carolina Republican Representative Virginia Foxx when she motioned to call Ms. Cheney back, according to a statement her office later released . “Liz, I’m afraid you are a woman who is just starting out for a walk. You have lost your followers.”
Republican leaders, who presented the removal of Ms. Cheney as a way of uniting the party, declined to allow members to register a position. When New York Representative Tom Reed, who had announced his resignation from Congress, stood up to ask if a recorded vote would be allowed, he was told no. Mr McCarthy had told colleagues that it was important to vote to show “unity” and that it was time to “go forward” and win the house back, according to someone familiar with the remarks.