WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump has chosen a favored candidate in his bid to unseat Rep. Liz Cheney, one of his most vocal Republican critics.
Trump is planning to endorse Wyoming attorney Harriet Hageman, who is preparing to launch a primary campaign against Cheney, the most prominent member of Congress to vote for Trump's second impeachment, according to a person familiar with his decision. The person spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of a formal announcement.
The move marks Trump's most significant endorsement to date as he works to maintain his status as GOP kingmaker and make good on his threat to exact revenge on those who voted to impeach him or blocked his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
Trump has already endorsed a number of Republican challengers including Kelly Tshibaka, who is running against Sen. Lisa Murkowski in Alaska; Michigan State Rep. Steve Carra, who is trying to unseat longtime Rep. Fred Upton; former White House aide Max Miller, who is running against Rep. Anthony Gonzalez in Ohio; and Joe Kent, who is challenging Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler in Washington.
All voted in favor of impeaching Trump for his role in inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol building.
Trump met with Hageman last month as he assessed the potential candidate pool, hoping an early endorsement would help clear the field and prevent a crowded primary that might be advantageous to Cheney's chances.
Hageman has previously run for statewide office and finished third in a six-way Republican gubernatorial primary in 2018, getting 21% of the vote. Former State Treasurer Mark Gordon won, followed by investor and Republican megadonor Foster Friess, whom had Trump endorsed.
Hageman grew up on a ranch near Fort Laramie in southeastern Wyoming. She holds undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Wyoming.
She's listed as a senior attorney with the New Civil Liberties Alliance, a Washington, D.C.-based law firm that aims to protect "constitutional freedoms from violations by the administrative state," according to its mission statement.
Her Cheyenne law firm touts its ties to Wyoming's ranching industry and Hageman's involvement in lawsuits over wolves reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park, grazing on U.S. Bureau of Land Management land and water rights, among other issues.
She recently expressed support on Facebook for a new Texas law banning most abortions.
Hageman didn't return phone and social media messages seeking comment.
News of Trump's decision was first reported by Politico.