Rep. Liz Cheney foreshadowed a lengthy struggle for control of the Republican Party in an interview Thursday, a battle that could include a primary challenge for her, an effort to keep former President Trump from winning back his old job, and possibly a criminal investigation of his conduct surrounding the attack on the Capitol. Asked by NBC's Savannah Guthrie if her criticism of Trump signals "a battle for the soul of the Republican Party," Cheney said, "This is the opening salvo in that battle, and it's a battle we have to win because it's not just about the Republican Party; it's about the country." Cheney, who was voted out of her House leadership post Wednesday, said she plans to keep talking about the danger Trump poses and work against him if he runs in 2024, the Hill reports. "I intend to be the leader—one of the leaders—" in that fight, she said.
Cheney said she doesn't understand why GOP leaders support Trump, who she said has only become more aggressive in "pushing the lie" that the presidential election was stolen from him. The Department of Justice investigation of the Capitol riot should include Trump, Cheney said. "Any president who did what we know this former president did has got to be investigated criminally," she said, per NBC. Cheney expressed concern about what Trump might do next, per CNN: "He's going to unravel the democracy to come back into power." Trump's counterattack includes putting up a candidate to face Cheney in her Wyoming primary next year. Asked how she felt about that, Cheney said, "Bring it on." Her campaign against Trump could include facing him herself in 2024 if he runs; asked about that, she wouldn't answer directly but left open the possibility, notes Axios. (Read more Liz Cheney stories.)