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South Dakota's Rep. Dusty Johnson votes in support of Liz Cheney

U.S. Rep Johnson called Cheney, the formerly No. 3 ranking Republican in the House of Representatives, a "strong, conservative, independent voice."

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Rep. Dusty Johnson
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PIERRE, S.D. — Joining a small list of congressional Republicans, South Dakota's U.S. Rep. Dusty Johnson says he supported neighboring Wyoming congresswoman Liz Cheney in a voice vote on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, May 12, in which the outspoken critic of former president Donald Trump was removed from a GOP leadership position.

"I've had my disagreements with Liz, but she's a strong, conservative, independent voice," Johnson said in a statement. "We need those qualities in leadership, and I voted against her removal."

Cheney lost support from her Republican colleagues after strident criticism of Trump for his role in enflaming public sentiments behind erroneous stolen election claims in advance of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Following Wednesday's voice vote, Cheney sent a message to her Republican colleagues, saying, "We cannot both embrace the big lie and embrace the Constitution."

The "big lie" invoked refers to the false election fraud claims indulged by some sitting GOP members of Congress and party faithful .

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South Dakota's congressional delegation all voted to certify the electoral college results, following President Joe Biden's victory in the November election.

Spokespersons for the other members of South Dakota's federal delegation — Sens. John Thune and Mike Rounds — did not return requests for comment on Cheney's ouster from the conference chair role.

A day earlier, Thune told reporters in Washington, D.C., that he didn't believe "relitigating" the 2020 election was "a winning strategy."

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