Republicans in the House of Representatives voted Wednesday to remove Liz Cheney from the party hierarchy, a harsh criticism of Donald Trump, in a step that cements the formation’s affinity with the former president.

Eighteen months before the midterm elections and with three years to go before the next presidential elections, the Republican Party punished one of its militants who refuses to square with the statement without proof of Trump that Democrats committed fraud in the 2020 election.

Cheney, a conservative from Wyoming and daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, lost his position as number three of the party in the House of Representatives.

“I am going to do what is in my power to make sure that the former president never comes close to (power) again,” said Cheney to journalists in Congress, after the decision.

Republicans argued that they are acting in favor of party unity and that criticism from Cheney toward Trump and what she considers a “dangerous and undemocratic personality cult” have done nothing to unite a fractured political formation after the last presidential elections.

Trump reacted swiftly stating that Cheney is a “bitter and horrible” human being.

“She is a warmonger whose family stupidly pushed us into the disastrous endless wars in the Middle East, weighing down our resources and depleting our armed forces,” said the former president, adding in a mocking tone that he hopes to see her soon as a commentator for networks like CNN.

Cheney delivered a defiant speech in the House of Representatives Tuesday night, warning his co-religionists of the possibility of a “breakdown” of democracy as the former president continues to mislead millions of Americans and cast doubt on the integrity of the elections.

“Remaining silent and ignoring the lie emboldens the liar,” said Cheney in an almost empty room.

“I will not sit in silence while others lead our party down a path that abandons the rule of law and joins the former president’s crusade to undermine our democracy,” she said.

House Republican Minority Speaker Kevin McCarthy and No. 2 Steve Scalise have endorsed a young Trump-supporting moderate Elise Stefanik as a replacement for Cheney.

But a vote for a new seat has not yet been scheduled, as some Republicans worry that Stefanik, while a fierce Trump supporter, is not conservative enough.

Regardless of the replacement of Cheney, “it’s clear that we need to make a change,” McCarthy told members Monday.

Cheney and some allies, such as House Republican Adam Kinzinger, warn of the danger of closing ranks with the former president, many in the Republican Party, including powerful Senator Lindsey Graham, believe that the formation cannot move forward without Trumpism, regardless wherever Trump is.

With Republican divisions at the fore, President Joe Biden will meet at the White House on Wednesday with the four leaders of Congress: Speaker of the House of Representatives, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck. Schumer, and Republican minority leaders McCarthy and Sen. Mitch McConnell.

The meeting can serve as a reminder that even amid the purge of a leader from Congress, Washington’s gears continue to tick.

“Hopefully they can talk about areas of agreement and things like infrastructure,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters.

However, Cheney is at the center of the crisis of a party that cannot resign its former president and reject its false claim of electoral fraud.

Democrats take advantage of the crisis on the Republican side to claim that their rivals support an autocratic model.

“When you perpetuate or tolerate lies about elections like this, you erode our democracy,” Schumer told senators on Tuesday, insisting that Republicans are repeating the lie that the elections were stolen.

“Unfortunately, the big lie is spreading like a cancer among Republicans,” he said.

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