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Liz Cheney: The U.S. Is 'Sleepwalking Into Dictatorship'

Liz Cheney, the former Republican representative from Wyoming, expressed deep concern in an interview about American democracy’s ability to survive another four-year presidential term for Donald Trump.

In clips shared Friday from the interview that will air on “CBS News Sunday Morning,” Cheney told host John Dickerson that Americans can’t entirely rely on Congress and the judicial system to rein in Trump ― the clear front-runner at this point for the GOP presidential nomination despite facing 91 felony charges linked to his 2016 campaign, his 2020 reelection loss and his mishandling of classified documents.

“He’s told us what he will do. It’s very easy to see the steps that he will take,” Cheney said.

“People who say ‘Well, if he’s elected, it’s not that dangerous because we have all of these checks and balances’ don’t fully understand the extent to which the Republicans in Congress today have been co-opted. … One of the things that we see happening today is a sort of a sleepwalking into dictatorship in the United States.”

In a quote from the interview released by CBS News, Cheney slammed newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) as someone who “knows ... that what he’s doing and saying is wrong, but he’s willing to do it in an effort to please Donald Trump.”

Johnson was one of the biggest cheerleaders of Trump’s ill-fated attempt to claim victory in the 2020 election won by Joe Biden. Shortly after the election, Johnson led an amicus brief backing a Texas lawsuit asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the vote.

Cheney raised similar concerns about Johnson during a podcast appearance last month.

“Mike is somebody who says that he’s committed to defending the Constitution. But that’s not what he did when we were all tested in the aftermath of the 2020 election,” Cheney said on “Politics Is Everything,” a podcast by the University of Virginia, adding that she believes he is “dangerous.”

After serving three terms in Congress, Cheney lost her Wyoming primary last year, an outcome widely attributed to her going against the GOP and voting to impeach Trump for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol.

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