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Rep. Liz Cheney hints at potential criminal referral for Trump in lecture at Notre Dame

U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) said Friday at her lecture at Notre Dame she thinks “there’s no question about the answer” regarding whether or not former President Donald Trump broke the law during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol in 2021. Cheney, the vice chairwoman of the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack, referenced U.S. District Judge David O. Carter’s March opinion that stated it is likely that Trump and his lawyer John Eastman broke at least two federal statutes. 

Cheney, who lost her Wyoming GOP primary to Trump-backed Harriet Hageman, said she expects the committee to approach a potential criminal referral for Trump “in a unanimous way.”

During the committee’s ninth and potentially final public hearing Thursday, the members voted unanimously to subpoena testimony from Trump. Cheney said Thursday’s hearing was “not necessarily the last hearing” and the committee felt it was acting responsibly by collecting evidence from figures around Trump before subpoenaing him. 

Following more than a year of investigation by the committee, Cheney said Trump had a premeditated plan to declare victory regardless of the outcome of the election and in spite of evidence demonstrating an absence of voter fraud. 

“On election day and in the days after the election, there was no American who was better informed about the absence of fraud than Donald Trump,” she said. “In spite of this, he made a conscious decision to claim fraudulently that the election was stolen.”

She said Trump proceeded to pressure state officials to change election results and pressure both state and Republican Party officials to manufacture fake electoral slates that tried to correct the Department of Justice.

On the day of Jan. 6, Trump was the lone person with the ability to send the rioters home, Cheney said. Instead of calling for an end to the attack as staff members, family members and members of Congress were urging him to do, he sent a tweet at 2:24 p.m. criticizing former Vice President Mike Pence for not cooperating in his bid to overturn the election, which incited further violence, she argued, and sat quietly while watching the events unfold on television.

“I want you to think about what kind of human being does that,” she said. “That is not normal or acceptable or lawful in our republic.”

Cheney said a police officer told her that night he had never seen anything like the combat he witnessed Jan. 6. The officer was an Iraq War veteran.

Despite the prevalence of Republican candidates today who cast doubt on the election, Cheney said the courage of Republicans who resisted and continue to resist Trump’s efforts inspires her.

“But what gives me hope has been the individuals that both have testified in front of the committee and those who haven’t, but those who acted that day to save the republic. That is one of the most important stories of what happened on January 6,” she said. “The power and the courage and the dazzling honor of individual Americans to save this republic. And they’re mostly Republicans.”

Calling Donald Trump “an ongoing and real threat,” Cheney said the hearings are not partisan. Nearly every witness who has testified has been a Republican.

“This isn’t about politics,” she said.

Cheney said there are too many Republicans in elected office who ignore the threat posed by Trump. She called the ability to commit oneself to the Constitution regardless of an election outcome the “fundamental fabric” of American democracy that is currently at risk.

“Most people in most places in most periods of time on this earth have not been free. America is an exception. And we continue only because we bind ourselves to our founding principles and to our Constitution,” Cheney said.

Cheney called on Americans to refuse to act as bystanders.

“There is no power on this earth that is stronger than free citizens determined to stand together to defend the miracle and the blessing of our freedom,” she said.

As Cheney’s term concludes, she faces questions about her political career after Congress. She said a decision about whether she will run for president will come in the near future.

“I think 2024 is going to be really important. I think it’s going to be crucial that we elect people that will defend the Constitution,” she said. “I haven’t made a decision yet about what I’m going to do. We have a lot of excellent candidates, we have a lot of bad candidates too, so I’ll make a decision about that in the coming months.”

Contact Ryan at rpeters5@nd.edu

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Congresswoman Liz Cheney to deliver lecture at Notre Dame

U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney will visit Notre Dame on Oct. 14 to deliver a lecture on the future of democracy, according to a University press release.

Her speech, titled “Saving Democracy by Revering the Constitution,” will be held in Washington Hall at 2:30 p.m. and sponsored by the Center for Citizenship and Constitutional Government.

Cheney, who has served as Wyoming’s sole member of the House of Representatives since 2016, lost Wyoming’s Republican primary in August to Harriet Hageman, whose campaign was endorsed by former president Donald Trump.

Currently, Cheney serves as the vice chair of the January 6 Committee and is a member of the House Armed Services Committee. Previously, she served as the third-ranking Republican in the House when she was Chair of the House Republican Conference, according to her Congressional profile.

The event is free but ticketed for any students, faculty, staff or alumni of the tri-campus. Students can pick up tickets ahead of the event at the LaFortune box office, and leftover tickets will be distributed at the Washington Hall box office at 1:30 p.m. Alumni can request tickets through a form online.

The event will also be livestreamed on the center’s YouTube channel.

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ND AAHD majors display “Ongoing Matter” exhibit on the Mueller Report

“Ongoing Matter: Democracy, Design and the Mueller Report” is a project created to educate and help people interact with the information presented in the “Report On The Investigation Into Russian Interference In The 2016 Presidential Election”, also known as the Mueller Report.

The exhibit is presented by the department of art, art history and design (AAHD) and was designed by co-creators Anne Berry and Sarah Martin. The project is on display in the AAHD Gallery in 214 Riley Hall until Sept. 29. 

The Mueller Report was published in 2019. The report documents the findings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian efforts to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election and allegations of Donald Trump’s campaign coordinating with Russia to undermine the election. 

Berry, an associate professor at Cleveland State University, said the goal of the exhibit is to make the Mueller Report more digestible for the general public.

“The objective [of the project] was to take sections of the Mueller report and make it easier to understand for a general audience through the medium that we are most familiar with, which is graphic design,” Berry said.

Another goal was for the exhibit to be collaborative. Berry said she and Martin, who is an assistant professor at the University, reached out to their design friends and had a group of designers come together to talk about the report. The group responded to the prompt by making posters, she said. 

Jessica Barness, one of the designers featured in the exhibit noted that the exhibit is a more effective form of communion.

“Through visual communication, designers can convey meaning in ways that words alone cannot,” she said in an email. “‘Ongoing Matter’ leverages the power of posters and draws upon histories of political and social issue posters.”

Another designer, Andre Murnieks remarked that he enjoyed their artists’ use of posters.

“Posters are a good medium to get a message out about something important and timely,” he said.

Berry, exhibit co-creator and an assistant professor at Cleveland State University, said the goal of the exhibit is to make the Mueller Report more digestible for the general public. Photo by Caroline Collins.

Murnieks said the biggest challenge he faced during the design process was encapsulating all of the information from the report into a few posters. Murnieks’ poster is based on a handwritten letter that was included in the Mueller Report.

“The letter is being decoded as you look at the poster,” he said.

According to Martin, the Mueller Report failed to communicate information effectively, and she hopes the art installation will help people engage with the material presented in the report in a more delightful way. 

“It’s tantalizing, it’s enticing, it’s visual, it’s the exact opposite of what the report was. The augmented reality is meant to delight a viewer, it’s meant to engage someone in a report that’s dry and dense,” Martin said. “The goal is to have people engage verbatim with the language of the report.”

Martin further explained that the report was a design failure because it was 448 pages long, 12 point Times New Roman font, contained legal jargon that would be unfamiliar to the general reader and the original report was later redacted. 

“A bad design can shape the future. It can change how people think about things and respond to things,” Martin said.

The exhibit is meant for everyone and it is a nonpartisan, grassroots design initiative aimed at encouraging people to engage with the government, Martin said. 

Berry explained that there was a public interest and media frenzy surrounding the report. She also stated the exhibit is an investigation of how information is presented and interpreted and serves as “an investigation about design and design solutions.”

“The content is political, but our approach has been an investigation of the imagery and the language of what’s buried in the report,” Berry said. “We are trying to emphasize that this is a case study about how important information is being communicated. The larger issue is how government entities communicate information.”