Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell said Trump supporters who stormed Capitol Hill were “ fed on lies. ”
Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell said the mob of Trump supporters who attacked the US Congress on January 6 were “violent criminals” who were “fed on lies” and “provoked” by President Donald Trump .
Addressing the US Senate on Tuesday, McConnell’s remarks constitute his strongest condemnation of President Trump’s role in the Jan.6 attack by Trump supporters on the US Congress.
“The last time the Senate met, we had just reclaimed the Capitol from violent criminals who were trying to stop Congress from doing our duty,” said McConnell, the No. 1 Republican in the Senate.
“The crowd was fed on lies. They were brought about by the president and other powerful people. And they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding from the first branch of the federal government that they didn’t like, ”he said.
The Democrat-led US House of Representatives impeached Trump on a charge of inciting insurgency for rallying his supporters and telling them to march on Capitol Hill.
A crowd of several thousand flooded the building where Congress met in special session to ratify Joe Biden’s electoral victory, forcing members to evacuate the House and Senate chambers.
Five people died in the incident, including a woman shot dead by police and an officer who later died of injuries sustained in a mob attack. A second policeman committed suicide after the events.
The FBI has made more than 100 arrests of people involved in the breach of the Capitol building and more than 275 people are under federal investigation, officials said.
“We continued. We got together and said that an angry mob would not get a rule of law veto in our country, not even overnight. We have certified the people’s choice of its 46th president, ”said McConnell.
McConnell’s remarks open a wider separation between Washington’s most powerful Republican official and the incumbent president whose four-year term ends at noon Wednesday.
Biden won the US Electoral College by 306 votes to 232 for Trump. Trump and his political allies have tried to overturn the results in key battlefield states. Trump’s efforts failed after state and federal courts repeatedly rejected the president’s legal demands.
Yet Trump continues to falsely claim that he actually won the election and was cheated. He refused to admit Biden won fairly and has no plans to attend President-elect Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday.
McConnell’s remarks herald potential problems ahead for Trump in a Senate impeachment trial that could result in Trump being barred from future office.
It would take 17 Republicans joining the 50 Democrats to condemn Trump. While McConnell has not indicated how he might vote, other Republicans will look to him for guidance. Several have already said that Trump should be impeached.
So far, the Senate has received an official notice of Trump’s impeachment from the House, but the impeachment article accusing Trump of inciting provocation has yet to be forwarded by the Speaker of the House. , Nancy Pelosi, in the Senate.
Behind the scenes, leaders discuss when and how to conduct a Senate trial that would likely last several weeks and now take place after Trump leaves.
Biden urged congressional leaders to prioritize his agenda of delivering an additional $ 1.9 trillion in COVID-19 relief and confirming his top cabinet secretaries before getting bogged down in an impeachment lawsuit predecessor.