Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said on Monday that she doesn't think former President Donald Trump was the president during the Jan. 6 2021, attack on the Capitol, according to The Hill.
Cheney said she believes former Vice President Mike Pence "was essentially the president for most of" the day on Jan. 6, 2021, when a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol in a failed effort to stop the counting of electoral votes for the 2020 presidential election.
"If you watched our hearings closely, you know that Mike Pence was essentially the president for most of that day," Cheney, one of the two Republicans serving on the Jan. 6 House select committee, said in remarks delivered at the American Enterprise Institution.
"White House staff knew it, and so did every other Republican and Democratic leader in Washington," she added.
The Jan. 6 select committee documented Trump's inaction during the 187 minutes of the riot in their public hearing on July 21. Trump failed to contact senior law enforcement and military leaders, D.C. government officials, or Pence. This brought attention to the vice president's role in assembling the necessary resources to put down the riot.
The panel's goal was to show that Trump was the brains behind a plan to maintain his position of power. Pence contacted him two or three times during the violence, according to Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
"He was very animated and he issued very explicit, very direct, unambiguous orders. There was no question about that," Milley said in a clip of his deposition shown at the hearing. "And he was — and I can give you the exact quotes I guess from some of our record somewhere, but he was very animated, very direct, very firm," he added.
Months after calling Pence the "hero of Jan. 6, Cheney was asked if she believed Pence exceeded his duty on Jan. 6, Cheney said the then vice-president "was doing absolutely what you would expect anybody in that situation to do."
"I think that when you look at the other people who were involved that day and the actions they took, they all were acting in a way that you would expect them to. And I don't believe that at any point the vice president exceeded his constitutional duties and obligations by saying 'the Capitol is under attack and it needs to stop and we need to get help here,'" she added.