Former Rep. Liz Cheney, who voted to impeach Donald Trump after the Jan. 6 insurrection, has expressed fears that his stronghold on the GOP could threaten the future of democracy in the United States. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Former GOP Rep. Liz Cheney is weighing the possibility of running for president as a third-party candidate.

Cheney discussed her tentative plans with media outlets while promoting her new book, “Oath and Honor: A Memoir and a Warning.” The book, a firsthand account of the January 6th insurrection, includes the former Wyoming congresswoman’s thoughts on the threats our country faces. 

“Several years ago, I would not have contemplated a third-party run,” Cheney said in a Monday interview with The Washington Post. But, she said, “I happen to think democracy is at risk at home, obviously, as a result of Donald Trump’s continued grip on the Republican Party, and I think democracy is at risk internationally as well.”

A vocal opponent of Trump, Cheney played a crucial role as the vice chair of the Jan. 6 select committee, aiming to establish the former president’s accountability for the Capitol riots. His political machinery would eventually play a pivotal role in Cheney’s removal from Congress, as she was defeated during the 2022 primary by Trump-backed Harriet Hageman.

After her defeat, Trump took to his social media platform Truth Social to rub salt in the wound: “Liz Cheney should be ashamed of herself, the way she acted, and her spiteful, sanctimonious words and actions towards others. Now she can finally disappear into the depths of political oblivion where, I am sure, she will be much happier than she is right now.”

However, her recent announcement suggests otherwise. The daughter of former vice president Dick Cheney, she has deep-seated connections in the Republican party – including a robust national donor network that has helped her to accrue millions in funding. While she is mulling a bid as a third-party conservative candidate, she said she also hasn’t ruled out forming a cross-party alliance with a Democratic candidate to run on a bipartisan ticket. 

“I think that the situation that we’re in is so grave, and the politics of the moment require independents and Republicans and Democrats coming together in a way that can help form a new coalition,” she told USA Today.

Some of her fellow Trump critics have expressed concern that, due to Cheney’s appeal to independent voters, her bid would potentially attract votes away from Biden and ultimately work against her goal of defeating Trump. However, she has maintained that this possibility will be part of her calculation. She’s expected to make her final decision in the next few months. 

In the epilogue of her book, Cheney stresses the gravity of the 2024 election. “This is more important than partisan politics,” she writes. “Every one of us – Republican, Democrat, Independent – must work and vote together to ensure that Donald Trump and those who have appeased, enabled, and collaborated with him are defeated. This is the cause of our time.”