Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) may have voted to acquit former President Donald Trump, but he does not for a moment believe that Trump is innocent of any involvement in the events that led up to and included the January 6 Capitol riot.
In an impassioned speech on the Senate floor following the acquittal, McConnell made his viewpoint clear: “Former President Trump’s actions preceding the riot were a disgraceful dereliction of duty. … There is no question, none that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of that day. No question about it.”
McConnell said that Trump “cannot spend weeks thundering that shadowy forces are stealing our country and then feign surprise when people believe him and do reckless things.”
He continued, saying that Trump “did not act swiftly” during the riot to stop it. “He did not do his job. He didn’t take steps so federal law could be faithfully executed and order restored.”
McConnell only voted against convicting Trump, he said, because he didn’t think it was right for the Senate to put a former president on trial. McConnell is the most prominent and powerful Republican lawmaker to condemn and blame Trump in this way, and it remains to be seen whether he will pay a price for doing so.
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