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Republican Rep. Liz Cheney and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky are among the five people named Thursday as recipients of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for acting to protect democracy. 

Cheney was chosen for how she broke with her party to defend the constitution, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation said in its announcement. Zelensky was chosen for his leadership of the Ukrainian people during the Russian invasion. 

The other honorees are Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers and Fulton County, Georgia, elections worker Wandrea ‘Shaye’ Moss. 

The foundation said four U.S. officials were chosen for standing up for free and fair elections, as the system is challenged in ways it has never been before. 

Caroline Kennedy and her son, Jack Schlossberg, will present the awards May 22 at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston. The award was created by the family of the late president to honor public figures who risk their careers by embracing unpopular positions for the greater good, and is named after Kennedy´s 1957 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, ‘Profiles in Courage.’ 

John F Kennedy Library Foundation said Liz Cheney was being awarded because she 'broke with most in her party, urged fidelity to the Constitution, and stood her ground with honor and conviction,' and that she has remained a 'consistent and courageous voice in defense of democracy.'

John F Kennedy Library Foundation said Liz Cheney was being awarded because she 'broke with most in her party, urged fidelity to the Constitution, and stood her ground with honor and conviction,' and that she has remained a 'consistent and courageous voice in defense of democracy.'

John F Kennedy Library Foundation said Liz Cheney was being awarded because she ‘broke with most in her party, urged fidelity to the Constitution, and stood her ground with honor and conviction,’ and that she has remained a ‘consistent and courageous voice in defense of democracy.’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is being honored for his leadership of the Ukrainian people during the Russian invasion

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is being honored for his leadership of the Ukrainian people during the Russian invasion

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is being honored for his leadership of the Ukrainian people during the Russian invasion

Zelensky was chosen because of the way he has ‘marshaled the spirit, patriotism and untiring sacrifice of the Ukrainian people in a life-or-death fight for their country,’ as Russia pours in troops and assaults cities and towns, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation said. 

‘There is no more important issue facing our country, and the world, today than the fight for democracy,’ Kennedy said in a statement. ‘The war in Ukraine has shown the world that we can´t take freedom for granted, and the courage of our elected officials in the U.S. reminds us that as citizens we each have a responsibility to protect our democracy and exercise our fundamental right to vote.’

Cheney chaired the Republican House Conference before being ousted from her post last year because of her unrelenting criticism of former President Donald Trump and statements blaming him for the violence at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

The foundation said Cheney ‘broke with most in her party, urged fidelity to the Constitution, and stood her ground with honor and conviction,’ and that she has remained a ‘consistent and courageous voice in defense of democracy.’

Cheney was given the award on the same day audio surfaced of her asking House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy if Trump would resign from the presidency because of his actions on January 6th. 

McCarthy told fellow GOP lawmakers shortly after the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection that he would urge  Trump to resign, according to audio that aired on Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show.

In the recording of a Jan. 10 House Republican Leadership call, McCarthy is heard discussing the Democratic effort to remove Trump from office and saying he would tell Trump, ‘I think it will pass and it would be my recommendation he should resign.’

In the same conversation, McCarthy told his colleagues he doubted Trump would take the advice to step aside.

‘That would be my recommendation,’ McCarthy is heard saying in response to question from Cheney. 

Cheney’s office said the lawmaker did not leak the tapes, which became public after McCarthy denied saying he would urge Trump to resign. The audio showed that was what he said. 

Audio of a phone conversation shows House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had been planning to ask former President Donald Trump to resign in the wake off January 6 Capitol riot

Audio of a phone conversation shows House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had been planning to ask former President Donald Trump to resign in the wake off January 6 Capitol riot

Audio of a phone conversation shows House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had been planning to ask former President Donald Trump to resign in the wake off January 6 Capitol riot

Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers

Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson

Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers (left) and Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (right) also honored with the Profile in Courage Award

Fulton County, Georgia , elections worker Wandrea 'Shaye' Moss is being honored for her work in the 2020 election

Fulton County, Georgia , elections worker Wandrea 'Shaye' Moss is being honored for her work in the 2020 election

Fulton County, Georgia , elections worker Wandrea ‘Shaye’ Moss is being honored for her work in the 2020 election

Past winners of the Profile in Courage Award include Mitt Romney, Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, John McCain, John Lewis and Nelson Mandela.  

Michigan was one of the battleground states where Trump allies demanded further review of the 2020 election. Benson defended the certification of the results.

Protestors showed up at her home one evening in December 2020, angry about what they incorrectly said was voter fraud leading to Trump´s loss. The foundation said Benson defended the will of Michigan voters, repeatedly refused to back down from fulfilling the duties of her office and continues to speak out about the risks to free and fair elections.

Bowers, a Republican, broke ranks with many in his party in December 2020 when he rejected a request from Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani for the Arizona Legislature to step in and replace electors legally pledged for Joe Biden with others who would support Trump.

The foundation said Bowers made a ‘decision of conscience,’ for which he endured persistent harassment and intimidation tactics from Trump supporters, and he acted again to protect the integrity of Arizona elections by stopping a wide-ranging election bill that would eliminate nearly all forms of early voting and require ballots to be counted by hand, though Republicans are still trying to pass these changes.

Moss has worked for the Fulton County elections department since 2012 and supervised the absentee ballot operation during the 2020 election. 

Trump allies falsely claimed she engaged in ballot fraud. The foundation said ‘despite the onslaught of random, undeserved and malicious attacks,’ Moss continues to do the ‘hard and unseen work to run our democracy.’

January 10 exchange between Liz Cheney and Kevin McCarthy

CHENEY: I guess there’s a question. When we’re talking about the 25th Amendment resolution, and you asked if, you know, what happens if it gets there after he’s gone, is there any chance, are you hearing, that he might resign, is there any reason to think that might happen?

MCCARTHY: I’ve a few discussions. My gut tells me no, I’m seriously thinking of having that conversation with him tonight. I haven’t talked to him in a couple of days. From what I know of him, I mean you guys know him too, do you think he’d ever back away? But, what I think I’m going to do, is I’m going to call him. This is what I think, we know it’ll pass the House.

I think there’s a chance it’ll pass the Senate, even when he is gone. And I think there’s a lot of different ramifications for that. Now, I haven’t had a discussion with the DEMs, that if he did resign, with that happen? Now, this is one personal fear I have. I do not want to get into any conversation about Pence pardoning. Again, the only discussion I would have with him is that, I think this will pass. And it will be my recommendation you should resign. I mean, that would be my take. But I don’t think he would take it. But I don’t know.

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Source: Daily Mail

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