Republican Senate Chairman Mitch McConnell says Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol were “fed with lies”.
Republican Senate Chairman Mitch McConnell said the crowd of Trump supporters who attacked the US Congress on Jan. 6 were “violent criminals” “lied” and “provoked” by President Donald Trump.
Speaking to the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, McConnell’s remarks are his strongest condemnation of President Trump’s role in the January 6 attack by Trump’s supporters on the U.S. Congress.
“The last time the Senate met, we had just reclaimed the Capitol from violent criminals trying to prevent Congress from doing our duty,” said McConnell, the No. 1 Republican in the Senate.
“The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people. And they tried to use fear and violence to stop a certain procedure by the first branch of the federal government that they did not like, ”he said.
The Democrat-run US House of Representatives charged Trump with inciting a rebellion for gathering supporters and telling them to march on the Capitol.
A crowd of several thousand broke into the building where Congress held a special session to confirm Joe Biden’s election victory and forced members to vacate the Houses of the House and Senate.
Five people died in the incident, including a woman shot dead by police and an officer who later died of wounds sustained in an attack by the mob. A second police officer committed suicide after the events.
The FBI has arrested more than 100 people involved in breaching the Capitol Building, and more than 275 people are currently under investigation by the federal government.
Trump supporters marched into the U.S. Capitol as Congress prepared to confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory on Jan. 6. Thousands gathered to show their support for President Donald Trump and his allegations of election fraud [Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Photo]“We continued. We stood together and said an angry mob would not have any veto power over the rule of law in our nation, not even for one night. We have voted popularly for the 46th president, ”said McConnell.
McConnell’s remarks open a greater separation between Washington’s most powerful Republican officials and the outgoing president, whose four-year term ends at 12:00 noon on Wednesday.
Biden won the US Electoral College by 306 votes to 232 for Trump. Trump and his political allies sought to reverse the results in key battlefield states. Trump’s efforts failed after state and federal courts repeatedly denied the president’s legal claims.
Despite this, Trump continues to falsely claim that he actually won the election and was betrayed. He has refused to admit that Biden won fair and does not plan to attend the inauguration of President-elect Biden on Wednesday.
McConnell’s remarks suggest that Trump may have issues in an impeachment trial against the Senate that could result in Trump being expelled from his future office.
It would take 17 Republicans joining all 50 Democrats to condemn Trump. While McConnell hasn’t signaled which way to vote, other Republicans will be asking him for direction. Some have already said Trump should be charged.
As of now, the Senate has received formal notice of Trump’s impeachment by the House, but the impeachment article accusing Trump of incitement has not yet been forwarded to the Senate by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Behind the scenes, leaders are discussing when and how to go ahead with a Senate trial that will likely take several weeks to take place now after Trump leaves office.
Biden has urged Congressmen to prioritize his agenda to pass $ 1.9 trillion in additional COVID-19 relief and reaffirm his top cabinet secretaries before being stuck in an impeachment trial against his predecessor.