Mitch votes to acquit on impeachment
but suggests Trump isn’t out of the woods
Republican leader Mitch McConnell saved Donald Trump a second time today 02-13-21 from impeachment. But not from the verdict of history. McConnell fell back on legal niceties to vote against impeachment — that thing about not impeaching a private citizen. He would not join fellow Republicans Richard Burr, Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse, or Pat Toomey to convict. (TRAITORS! RINOs! Get the nooses!) The Senate vote was 57 to 43 to hold Trump accountable for the attempted coup of 6 January 2021. Ten votes shy of the two-thirds required for conviction.
But the Republican leader’s condemnation of Donald Trump’s role in the assault on democracy is scathing. Sen. McConnell also warned that Trump remains liable for criminal charges and/or civil suits.
‘President Trump is still liable for everything he did while he was in office. … Didn’t get away with anything, yet. Yet. … We have a criminal justice system in this country; we have civil ligation and former presidents are not immune to be accountable to either one.’
Excerpting Mitch McConnell’s remarks:
They built a gallows and chatted about murdering the Vice President. They did this because they had been fed wild falsehoods by the most powerful man on earth because he was angry that he had lost an election. President Trump’s actions preceding the riot were a disgraceful, disgraceful dereliction of duty. …
There is no question — none — that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day … The people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their President. Having that belief was a foreseeable consequence of the growing crescendo of false statements, conspiracy theories and reckless hyperbole the departed President kept shouting into the largest megaphone on earth.
The issue is not only the President’s intemperate language on January 6 … [as Rudy Guiliani urged] ‘trial by combat’ .. it was the entire manufactured atmosphere of looming catastrophe, the myths about a reversed landslide election that was somehow being stolen … some secret coup by our now-President [Biden]. …
The legal system spoke, the Electoral College spoke … the election was settled, it was over … but that just opened a new chapter of even wilder and more unfounded claims.The leader of the free world cannot spend weeks going on that shadowy figures are stealing our country and then be surprised that people believe him and do reckless things. …
This was an intensifying crescendo of conspiracy theories orchestrated by an outgoing President who seemed determined to overturn the voters decision or torch our institutions on the way out. …
By the afternoon we know he was watching the same live television as the rest of us. A mob was assaulting the Capitol in his name. These criminals were carrying his banners. Hanging his flags and screaming their loyalty to him.
‘After it was clear Vice President Pence was in serious danger … the President sent a further tweet attacking his own Vice President. Members of the mob … interpreted this as a further invitation to lawlessness and violence.’
— Republican leader Mitch McConnell.
It was obvious only President Trump could end this … Former aides publicly begged him do so … Loyal allies frantically called him.… He did not do his job. … Instead, he watched television happily as the chaos unfolded …
With police officers bleeding, he kept repeating election lies and praising the criminals. In recent weeks, his defenders have used the 74 million Americans who voted against him as a kind of human shield against criticism. … That is absurd. … 74 million Americans did not engineer the campaign of misinformation and rage that provoked it. One person did, just one.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: We move on, waiting for our better angels to alight.