And as she wrapped up the first congressional hearings presenting the dramatic findings of the Jan. 6 Committee, she made it a point to hail all the women who have come forward — knowing firsthand that they will be dragged through the mud by mostly angry men.
The women who testified, the lifelong Republican said Thursday night, are “an inspiration to American women, American girls.”
Invoking the words of Margaret Thatcher, Cheney acknowledged witness and former White House official Sarah Matthews; Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards, who was injured during the riots; and Wandrea “Shaye” Moss and Ruby Freeman, Georgia election workers whose lives were turned upside down after they were harassed by former President Donald Trump and his allies to perpetuate lies that the election had been stolen.
She also noted the historical significance of the moment, noting that the 1918 Committee on Women’s Suffrage had convened to debate whether women had the right to vote in the same room she presented the committee’s findings.
But she saved her most admiring words for Cassidy Hutchinson, the 26-year-old aide to Trump’s former chief of staff, who has endured violent threats that forced her to go into hiding since she testified in June.
“She knew all along she would be attacked by President Trump, and by the 50-, 60- and 70-year-old men who hide themselves behind executive privilege,” Cheney said of Hutchinson Thursday night. “But like our witnesses today, she has courage, and she did it anyway.”
Witnesses who have testified, including Hutchinson, have credited Cheney with helping them muster the courage to step forward. “Liz made them feel comfortable and empowered to speak,” former White House official Alyssa Farah told the New York Times. “She has an innate ability to connect with people.”
Cheney has endured her own share of trolls. She has come under intense attack by Trump and his supporters as a “despicable human being” for her steadfast leadership during the hearings, as well as her refusal to participate in the conspiracy theories about the 2020 election — which still persist today.
But despite the possible threat to Cheney’s reelection to office this year, the congresswoman told the Times that she doesn’t view her role in the hearings as political.
“I look at it through the angle of, people need to understand how dangerous he is and how unfit for office he is,” she said.
The hearings will resume in September, Cheney said.