• Rep. Liz Cheney said Republicans are "willing hostages" to a "dangerous" and "irrational" Trump.
  • Cheney called Trump a "domestic threat that we have never faced before" at the Reagan Library.
  • "Republicans cannot both be loyal to Donald Trump and loyal to the constitution," Cheney said

Rep. Liz Cheney slammed Republicans for making themselves "willing hostages" to the "irrational and dangerous" President Donald Trump in a blistering speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. 

Cheney, the vice-chair of the select committee investigating the January 6 Committee, delivered searing criticism of Trump and her Republican colleagues in her address at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California, on Wednesday evening. 

"At this moment, we are confronting a domestic threat that we have never faced before: and that is a former president who is attempting to unravel the foundations of our constitutional Republic," Cheney said. "And he is aided by Republican leaders and elected officials who have made themselves willing hostages to this dangerous and irrational man." 

Cheney's speech came a day after her January 6 Committee heard explosive and highly damning testimony from Cassidy Hutchinson. The former White House aide delivered multiple bombshells about Trump's desperate bid to stay in power and that White House officials were aware how January 6 could become violent. 

"Some in my party are embracing former President Trump, and even after all we've seen, they're enabling his lies," Cheney said, calling it "the easier path." 

"To argue that the threat posed by Donald Trump can be ignored is to cast aside the responsibility that every citizen, every one of us bears to perpetuate the Republic. We must not do that, and we cannot do that," Cheney said. 

Invoking Reagan's 1964 "Time for Choosing" speech that helped launch the actor and future president's political career, Cheney added that "no party and no people and no nation can defend and perpetuate a constitutional Republic if they accept a leader who's gone to war with the rule of law, with the Democratic process, or with the peaceful transition of power, with the constitution itself."      

Cheney said the January 6 committee's hearings show "it has become clear that the efforts Donald Trump oversaw and engaged in were more chilling and more threatening than we could have imagined." A Trump-backed Republican is mounting a serious primary challenge against Cheney in her bid next month to win reelection for a fourth term.

Cheney recounted the committee's findings about Trump's bid to stay in power and how he "summoned a mob to Washington," saying, "he knew they were armed on January 6, he knew they were angry, and he directed the violent mob to march on the Capitol in order to delay or prevent completely the counting of electoral votes." 

"The reality that we face today as Republicans, as we think about the choice in front of us, we have to choose. Because Republicans cannot both be loyal to Donald Trump and loyal to the constitution," Cheney said to resounding applause. 

Read the original article on Business Insider