Liz Cheney, the third-highest ranking Republican in the House of Representatives, will keep her leadership position after she was one of ten Republicans who voted to impeach President Donald Trump following the Capitol insurrection.
Republican members of the House voted Wednesday evening that the GOP conference chairwoman would keep her position in caucus leadership following a heated, closed-door meeting to discuss the fates of both Cheney and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, according to CNN.
The Wyoming representative faced a reckoning among her colleagues and constituents in past weeks following her decision to cross party lines and vote to impeach Trump. She announced her decision to do so in a scathing statement ahead of the vote and has refused to apologize for her decision. She was one of 10 Republicans to vote in favor of impeachment following the Capitol hill riot.
Some Republicans argued she should be removed from her leadership position following her impeachment vote.
At the beginning of the meeting Wednesday, Cheney reportedly gave a speech defending the Constitution, then told members that she wanted them to take a vote on her leadership status, CNN reported. While House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Minority Whip Steve Scalise both offered support for Cheney, she also faced questions and “fiery” comments from Trump loyalists, according to the outlet.
According to Politico reporter Melanie Zanona, 145 Republicans voted against the resolution calling for Cheney to step down, while 61 Republicans voted for it.
The divided vote highlights the continued conflict within the GOP, as the party struggles to rebuild following the Trump presidency.
The tension in the party following the impeachment vote has only been compounded in recent weeks by the ongoing turmoil surrounding Greene, a conspiracy theorist who supports QAnon.
House Democrats will vote on Thursday to strip Greene of her committee assignments following revelations of her past extremism online. Some Republicans responded to the news by suggesting that Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar be removed from her panels instead.
During the Wednesday meeting, Greene reportedly addressed her colleagues and apologized for embracing QAnon conspiracy theories in the past, according to The Hill.
Many of her colleagues responded to her apology by giving her a standing ovation. About half of the Republicans at the meeting reportedly rose and applauded Greene.
But division clearly remains within the caucus, even after the Cheney vote and Greene apology. Following the meeting, Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, who also voted to impeach Trump, retweeted a video of Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida. In the video, recorded before the Cheney vote, Gaetz said Republicans had the votes secured to remove Cheney from leadership.
“No we voted. You were just wrong by like, a huuuuuge margin,” Kinzinger tweeted.
Forbes reporter Andrew Sollender reported that GOP Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas said he wants more public statements from Greene denouncing her comments.
“I want to see her do it on Twitter,” Crenshaw told Solender.
Following the meeting, McCarthy defended Greene in a press conference. He told reporters Greene had denounced QAnon and the conspiracy theories and that she told her fellow members so during the meeting. He also said he thinks “everyone” should get to hear her apology.
“I think it would be helpful if you could hear what she told all of us,” he said during the conference. “Denouncing ‘Q-On,’ I don’t know if I’m saying it right, I don’t even know what it is.”