FACT CHECK: Has Liz Cheney Been Indicted For ‘Treason And Other High Crimes’?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims Republican Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney has been indicted for “treason and other high crimes against America and its citizenry.”

Verdict: False

There is no evidence Cheney has been indicted for “treason and other high crimes” by the Navy. A Department of Defense spokesperson denied such an indictment against the congresswoman had been filed.

Fact Check:

Cheney, who has criticized former President Donald Trump on multiple occasions, was recently removed from her leadership position among the House Republicans, according to CBS News. Upon her removal, the congresswoman told reporters she would do “everything” she can to “make sure the former president never again gets anywhere near the Oval Office,” the outlet reported.

Now, Facebook posts are claiming she has been indicted for “treason and other high crimes against America and its citizenry.” One May 13 post alleges the supposed indictment came after lawmakers gave evidence tying Cheney to “ballot harvesting in her home state.”

“After House Republicans voted to remove Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) from her House leadership post, and she pledged to make sure Donald J. Trump never gets ‘near the Oval Office again,’ the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps drafted a sealed indictment charging her with treason and other high crimes against America and its citizenry,” the May 13 Facebook post reads in part.

There is no evidence Cheney has actually been indicted for the charges described in the Facebook post. Neither the Department of Justice nor the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps has published an announcement of the supposed indictment on its website. An indictment of Cheney on crimes to that effect would likely prompt coverage from national media outlets.

When asked about the post’s claims, a spokesperson for the Department of Defense, under which the U.S. Navy falls, confirmed in an email: “This is false.” Check Your Fact also didn’t find any national media organizations reporting about Cheney engaging in ballot harvesting. (RELATED: There Have Been Lots Of Allegations Of Election Fraud, We Looked Into Them)

The post alleges the purported indictment came from the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps. However, the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment states, “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger.” While a military commission can, according to Constitution.Congress.gov, try citizens or “alien enemy belligerents” for “offenses against the laws of war” in some cases, there is no indication Cheney fits either category.

The Facebook post appears to lift from a May 13 article published by the website Real Raw News titled “Military Indicts Liz Cheney.” The website includes a disclaimer on its “About Us” page that says the site “contains humor, parody, and satire.” Though Real Raw News contains the disclaimer, the Facebook post does not mention that.

Check Your Fact has previously debunked viral false claims that originated on Real Raw News, including the allegation that members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were overthrown in a “coup” of the Pentagon and that Trump authored an indictment of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Reporter
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