The best argument for convicting former President Donald Trump for inciting the Capitol attack on January 6th may have come from Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, mere minutes after he voted to acquit.
Trump was acquitted for a historic second time in a closer than expected vote of 57 to 43, with seven Republicans joining the entire Democratic caucus, which fell short of the two-thirds majority necessary to convict.
McConnell explained his “not guilty” vote on a very narrow constitutional procedural definition, but that explanation came after nearly ten minutes of brutal condemnation of Trump, in which the top Republican Senator laid the responsibility of the deadly Capitol insurgence at his feet.
McConnell’s speech went on for roughly 20 minutes, and the first half was dedicated to this brutal takedown of the actions of the former president.
“January 6th was a disgrace. American citizens attacked their own government,” he started. “They used terrorism to try to stop a specific piece of domestic business they did not like.”
“Fellow Americans beat and bloodied our own police. They stormed the senate floor. They tried to hunt down the Speaker of the House. They built a gallows and chanted about murdering the vice president,” he continued. “They did this because they had been fed wild falsehoods by the most powerful man on Earth. Because he was angry. He had lost an election.”
He then said Trump’s actions that “preceded the riot were a disgraceful, disgraceful dereliction of duty.”HurryTimer: Invalid campaign ID.
“There’s no question — none — that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day. No question about it.” he continued. “The people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president. And having that belief was a foreseeable consequence of the growing crescendo of false statements, conspiracy theories, and reckless hyperbole which the defeated president kept shouting into the largest megaphone on planet Earth.”
And so it continued like that in a stunning condemnation, making it somewhat shocking that he would hold these statements until after he and other Republican senators voted to acquit.
McConnell did suggest, however, that Trump may still face a criminal investigation into his role in the deadly insurrection.
“President Trump is still liable for everything he did while he’s in office. He didn’t get away with anything yet.”
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