Liz Cheney to ABC News on Pence testifying: 'I would hope that he will do that'

She spoke with ABC Chief Washington Correspondent Jonathan Karl for "This Week."

August 19, 2022, 4:40 PM

GOP Rep. Liz Cheney, once a rising star in the Republican Party and considered a potential speaker of the House, told ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent Jonathan Karl that she has no regrets about her political career, including her landslide primary election loss in Wyoming on Tuesday, saying she now is laser-focused on keeping Donald Trump out of the White House.

During an exclusive and wide-ranging interview set to air Sunday on ABC's "This Week," Cheney, who serves as vice chair of the Jan. 6 Select Committee investigating the Capitol attack, told Karl she still hopes former Vice President Mike Pence testifies in the near future and that conversations with his legal team are ongoing.

PHOTO: Rep. Liz Cheney speaks with ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent Jon Karl, Aug. 19, 2022, in Washington, D.C.
Rep. Liz Cheney speaks with ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent Jon Karl, Aug. 19, 2022, in Washington, D.C.
ABC News

Pence had indicated this week that he would consider testifying if he were asked to do so.

"We've been in discussions with his counsel," Cheney said, speaking with Karl in the Jan. 6 committee hearing room where millions of Americans have watched her during this summer's series of hearings.

PHOTO: Rep. Liz Cheney speaks with ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent Jon Karl, Aug. 19, 2022, in Washington, D.C.
Rep. Liz Cheney speaks with ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent Jon Karl, Aug. 19, 2022, in Washington, D.C.
Quinn Scanlan/ABC News

"Look, he played a critical role on January 6. If he had succumbed to the pressure that Donald Trump was putting on him, we would have had a much worse constitutional crisis. And I think that he has clearly, as he's expressed, concerns about executive privilege, which, you know, I have tremendous respect. I think it's, you know, hugely important constitutional issue in terms of separation of powers," Cheney said.

"I believe in executive privilege. I think it matters. But I also think that when the country has been through something, as grave as this was, everyone who has information has an obligation to step forward. So, I would hope that that he will do that," Cheney said.

PHOTO: Former Vice President Mike Pence speaks at "Politics & Eggs" at the New Hampshire Institute Politics at St. Anselm College on Aug. 17, 2022 in Manchester, N.H.
Former Vice President Mike Pence speaks at "Politics & Eggs" at the New Hampshire Institute Politics at St. Anselm College on Aug. 17, 2022 in Manchester, N.H.
Scott Eisen/Getty Images

"So, you think we'll see him here in September in this room before the committee?" Karl asked.

"I would hope that he will understand how important it is for the American people to know every aspect of the truth about what happened that day," Cheney said.

PHOTO: Rep. Liz Cheney speaks with ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent Jon Karl, Aug. 19, 2022, in Washington, D.C.
Rep. Liz Cheney speaks with ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent Jon Karl, Aug. 19, 2022, in Washington, D.C.
Quinn Scanlan/ABC News

Cheney was asked if Trump would be asked to testify and she indicated that it remains a possibility.

"I don't want to make any announcements about that this morning. So, let me just leave it there," she said.

"But it's possible you would ask him, before wrapping up, to testify?" Karl pressed.

"Yes. I mean, I don't -- again, I don't want to get in front of committee deliberations about that. I do think it's very important, as I said in the first hearing or the second hearing, you know, his interactions with our committee will be under oath," Cheney replied.

PHOTO: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, is followed by reporter as he walks to his office on Capitol Hill, Aug. 12, 2022.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, is followed by reporter as he walks to his office on Capitol Hill, Aug. 12, 2022.
Susan Walsh/AP

Cheney also had harsh words for House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, saying he has been "completely unfaithful" to the Constitution in supporting Trump and his election lies.

McCarthy, bucking tradition, endorsed Cheney's primary challenger Harriet Hageman in Tuesday's race.

Cheney and McCarthy have had a notably strained relationship since she was booted from House leadership in 2021 over her repeated criticisms of Trump. GOP Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York was her eventual replacement in leadership.

Karl asked Cheney, "Is the country better or worse off if Kevin McCarthy is the next speaker of the House?"

"Well, my views about Kevin McCarthy are very clear. The speaker of the House is the second in line for the presidency. It requires somebody who understands and recognizes their duty, their oath, their obligation and he's been completely unfaithful to the Constitution and demonstrated a total lack of understanding of the significance and importance of the role of speaker, so I don't believe he should be speaker of the House and I think that's been very clear," Cheney said.

"So, it sounds like that's a yes, the country would be worse off if he were speaker?" Karl asked.

"I don't believe he should be speaker of the House," Cheney said.

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