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Mitch McConnell says attack at Capitol was provoked by President Trump

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Mitch McConnell says attack at Capitol was provoked by President Trump


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Trump impeachment: is impeachment after term is over a possibility? What’s the precedent? Your impeachment questions, answered on States of America.

USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued his most striking condemnation of President Donald Trump yet after the attack at the U.S. Capitol, saying the mob of protesters were “provoked by the president.”

“The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people and they tried to use fear and violence,” McConnell said on the Senate floor, casting a clear shot not only at Trump but fellow Republicans who backed the president’s efforts to overturn election results in several swing states.

McConnell publicly split with Trump after the attack, which happened as the House and Senate were counting Electoral College votes earlier this month. The Kentucky Republican has also left open the possibility of convicting Trump at his second impeachment trial, a striking departure from McConnell’s role during Trump’s first impeachment in which he worked in concert with the White House to ensure the president was acquitted.  

His remarks came as the Senate continues preparing for Trump’s second impeachment trial. Trump’s term will officially end Wednesday when Joe Biden is sworn into office but congressional leaders have said a trial would continue regardless, leaving constitutional scholars debating whether a former president can be convicted once he has left office. 

The House passed one article of impeachment, charging Trump with inciting an insurrection at the Capitol, on Jan. 13. It passed with 10 Republicans supporting it.  

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The Senate has resumed debating the Republican challenge against Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential election victory, more than six hours after pro-Trump mobs attacked the Capitol and forced lawmakers to flee. (Jan. 6)

AP Domestic

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, the New York Democrat who will lead the chamber after Democrats take control Wednesday, said the Senate must move forward on a trial to hold a precedent that the “severest offense ever committed by a president would be met by the severest remedy provided by the Constitution.” 

“The Senate has the solemn responsibility to try and hold Donald Trump accountable for the most serious charge ever levied against a president: the incitement of an insurrection against the United States of America,” Schumer said. 

Schumer vowed that the chamber would also vote to bar Trump from holding office again, something allowed during an impeachment trial. 

But both leaders said Wednesday would usher in a new start in Washington. Schumer noted the chamber would take on COVID-19 relief and address immigration reform in the coming days. 

And McConnell highlighted the close margins in the House and Senate show the American people want their leaders to work together.

“There are serious challenges that our nation needs to continue confronting,” McConnell said. “Our marching orders from the American people are clear – we’re to have a robust discussion and seek common ground.”

He added: “We must always keep in mind that we’re all Americans. We all love this country. And we’re all in this together.”

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