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“The presidential election of 2020 was not stolen”, Cheney wrote. “Anyone who claims this is the case is spreading THE BIG LIE, turning their back on the rule of law and poisoning our democratic system.”

Cheney was the highest-ranking Republican to join Democrats in voting to impeach Trump last January for the role lawmakers said they played in inciting the Jan.6 riots on Capitol Hill. She has since become the main target of Trump and his political allies and has previously attempted to remove her from the presidency of the House GOP conference.

The Wyoming Republican launched a new wave of Republican agitation last week when she said support for Trump-backed challenges to the 2020 Electoral College results should be disqualifying for any Republican seeking the party’s presidential nomination in 2024. Some high-profile Republicans – including Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy – would decline in their support for Cheney amid continued internal hostilities between her and the pro-Trump wing of the party.

Trump’s missive comes as Arizona Republicans-commissioned audit of election results in Maricopa County – which includes the Phoenix metropolitan area – is underway. The former president has attached himself to the effort as the last hope of proving there was widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election which he lost to President Joe Biden and released a series of statements trying to draw attention to the process.

Cindy McCain, widow of Senator John McCain, on Sunday ridiculed the audit as a “ridiculous” attempt to undermine Biden’s victory. McCain was one of Trump’s fiercest GOP critics and became a prominent GOP surrogate during Biden’s campaign.

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