In an article published by the conservative website The Bulwark on May 26, Paul Rosenzweig — who formerly served in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and now lectures at the George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C. — finds a parallel between three women: Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Susan Hennessey (who has joined the National Security Division of the U.S. Department of Justice) and Politico reporter Natasha Bertrand. All three of them, Rosenzweig notes, have infuriated Republican devotees of former President Donald Trump. And Rosenzweig emphasizes that in the minds of Trumpistas, the cardinal sin that they have committed is a pursuit of the truth.
"Three women have exposed the viciousness and nihilism guarding the official Republican version of history by daring to contradict it," Rosenzweig explains. "The abuse that Rep. Liz Cheney, Susan Hennessey and Natasha Bertrand have suffered says more about the Republican Party than it does about them. What could generate such animus? Though there is more than a hint of misogyny in the assaults on the integrity of the three women, the graver problem for the Republican Party is the intellectual threat they pose in reminding people of the truth."
House Republicans recently removed the arch-conservative Cheney from her position as House Republican Conference chair for openly criticizing Trump, acknowledging that President Joe Biden won the 2020 election fair and square, calling out Trump's voter fraud claims as total nonsense, and saying that Trump incited the January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol Building.
"Cheney's refusal to let this destruction of history stand unchallenged is what they fear," Rosenzweig writes. "Projection is a strategy born of weakness and the recognition that there is no defense for the Republican Party's actions. By refusing to be deterred, she exposes the Republican Party to scrutiny for inciting and defending the insurrection."
Far-right Trumpistas are claiming that Biden has politicized the DOJ by choosing Hennessey, who is known for her legal analysis for CNN and the Lawfare website. And Rosenzweig points out that these are the same Republicans who applauded former Attorney General William Barr.
"Hennessey's appointment, far from being a politicization of the Department of Justice, is a rejection of the politicization of the Department during Barr's 22-month tenure," Rosenzweig observes. "As a skilled lawyer and an assiduous observer of the Trump Administration and its Russian connections, she's well positioned to repair the damage done to the Department under Barr."
Trumpistas deeply resent Bertrand for all of the reporting she has done on Trump and former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.
Rosenzweig says of Bertrand, "She's been prolific in reporting on Trump's connections to Russia. For her efforts, as recounted in Washington Monthly, she was sued by Kash Patel, a Trump/(Devin) Nunes acolyte, for defamation. The case has little if any factual basis, to say nothing of its lack of legal merit."
Rosenzweig wraps up his piece by stressing that the attacks on Cheney, Bertrand and Hennessey by Trump devotees speak volumes about the state of the modern Republican Party.
"Trump's subservience to Russia, his corruption, and his attacks on constitutional democracy are political liabilities," Rosenzweig writes. "Forgetting, distracting from, or distorting them is political necessity. And for insisting on those truths, Cheney, Bertrand, and Hennessey have become the objects of Republican ire."