Before the hearing on Thursday, Ms. Cheney spent much of the day polishing her opening remarks, tapping away on her laptop in her suite in the Cannon House Office Building, a floor above the sprawling, chandelier-topped hearing room where she was to speak before a nationally-televised audience. The lawmaker wrote her own speech, aides said, in consultation with a small inner circle of advisers in her office and lawyers on the panel.
Her husband, Philip Perry, and one of her four children were to attend the evening hearing but former Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne, remained in their suburban Virginia home. Ms. Cheney, however, speaks to her father every day, on the phone or in person, and discussed her remarks with him in the hours before Thursday’s hearing.
Ms. Cheney, who had been one of the most powerful Republicans in the House, was ejected from her leadership post last year for bluntly and repeatedly condemning Mr. Trump’s false election claims and blaming him for the riot.
Her blunt words about her party’s complicity in the riot were reported earlier in the book “I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year” by Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker, and later confirmed by a congressional aide briefed on the exchange. Ms. Cheney’s earthy exhortation to impeach Mr. Trump was reported in the book “This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden and the Battle for America’s Future,” by Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns, two reporters for The New York Times.
Behind the scenes, Ms. Cheney is known to be one of the more engaged and aggressive questioners on the Jan. 6 panel. It was she who pressed to assemble a bipartisan team of former intelligence analysts and law enforcement specialists on the committee’s staff.
Ms. Cheney is one of just two Republicans to serve on the committee, alongside Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, who has also openly condemned Mr. Trump. Both were selected by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, after Republicans boycotted the committee in protest of her decision to bar two of their members from serving on it.