Mitch McConnell branded 'lying snake' for voting Trump not guilty but saying he's 'responsible for provoking' riots
Senator Mitch McConnell said in a speech that Donald Trump was 'still liable for everything he did while he’s in office'
With 43 senators voting to acquit Donald Trump, the Senate did not have enough votes to convict the former president on charges of 'incitement of insurrection' in the impeachment trial. It would take 67 votes to convict him. Voting was divided along party lines. However, seven Republicans chose to pronounce the guilty verdict on him despite clear indications that Republicans in Senate were overwhelmingly going to vote to acquit.
Richard Burr was the first Republican senator to vote that Donald Trump was guilty. Soon after him, Republican Senators Bill Cassidy and Susan Collins joined him and every other Democratic senator in voting guilty. Soon after, four more Republicans Lisa Murkowski, Ben Sasse, Mitt Romney and Pat Toomey — all voted guilty. The final vote count was — 57 Senators voted "Guilty" and 43 voted "Not Guilty".
As soon as it became clear that the impeachment motion would not be successful, Donald Trump released an official statement. It said: “I want to first thank my team of dedicated lawyers and others for their tireless work upholding justice and defending truth. My deepest thanks as well to all of the United States Senators and Members of Congress who stood proudly for the Constitution we all revere and for the sacred legal principles at the heart of our country." He also indicated that he could consider running for president again, adding that: "Our historic, patriotic and beautiful movement to Make America Great Again has only just begun. In the months ahead I have much to share with you, and I look forward to continuing our incredible journey together to achieve American greatness for all of our people. There has never been anything like it.”
Trump also condemned the impeachment trial as “another phase of the greatest witch hunt in the history of our Country”. His statement seemed to be gunning for the impeachment managers who had spent days warning the Senate that Trump would threaten the safety of American democracy if he was allowed to run for public office again.
In contrast to the seven who voted "Guilty", Twitter users tore into Senator Mitch McConnell who after voting "Not Guilty", delivered a scathing speech against Trump’s behaviors before, during and after the riot saying that he "didn't do his job", calling him "someone who seemed determined to torch everything on his way out". The Republican leader said Trump committed a “disgraceful dereliction of duty” by refusing to intervene as his alleged supporters carried out an 'insurrection' at the Capitol and added that, “there’s no question, none, that President Trump is practically, and morally, responsible for provoking the events of the day.” He also said that he believed that the insurrectionists turned violent because Trump had told them a series of lies about the presidential election.
“They did this because they’d been fed wild falsehoods by the most powerful man on Earth because he was angry he lost an election,” McConnell said. “This was an intensifying crescendo of conspiracy theories.” However, the GOP leader said that he didn’t vote to convict him because he does not believe a former president can be legally convicted by the Senate, while adding that the Senate is not meant to act as a “moral tribunal”.
However, many social media users pointed out that Senator McConnell had himself delayed the impeachment trial after January 20 to avoid convicting the then-sitting President Trump on a technicality. "To me, McConnell delaying Trump's impeachment until after Biden took office just so he could then claim the Senate trial is unconstitutional is right up there with denying Merrick Garland a confirmation hearing for more than a year. He has broken the Senate." said one tweet, while another tweet thread commenting on McConnell's speech against Trump said: "McC: If Trump were still in office I probably would have considered, [He made sure he wasn't, of course] States that Trump's statements not incitement, which is probably wrong."
Another user was a bit more blunt about condemning the Senator for his help in securing the 'Not Guilty' verdict, saying: "Mitch McConnell shut the f**k up, you literally sent a letter out to Republicans pressuring them to vote for acquittal with you today". Yet another said: "Mitch McConnell is a lying snake, as are his Republican Trump followers in the Senate. Bipartisan is their snake tactics to continue to remain in power. Push through President Biden's agendas without them, as they did when they were in power."
To me, McConnell delaying Trump's impeachment until after Biden took office just so he could then claim the Senate trial is unconstitutional is right up there with denying Merrick Garland a confirmation hearing for more than a year. He has broken the Senate.— Z-Diddy™ (@Ziggy_Daddy) February 13, 2021
McC: If Trump were still in office I probably would have considered,— emptywheel (@emptywheel) February 13, 2021
[He made sure he wasn't, of course]
States that Trump's statements not incitement, which is probably wrong.
Mitch McConnell shut the fuck up, you literally sent a letter out to Republicans pressuring them to vote for acquittal with you today— Jen Bartel (@heyjenbartel) February 13, 2021
Mitch McConnell is a lying snake, as are his Republican Trump followers in the Senate. Bipartisan is their snake tactics to continue to remain in power. Push through President Biden's agendas without them, as they did when they were in power.— khalilah cousett-shurman (@KhalilahCousett) February 14, 2021
McConnell also suggested that Donald Trump should face criminal prosecution over his role in the January 6 insurrection. “President Trump is still liable for everything he did while he’s in office,” McConnell said. “He didn’t get away with anything yet.” The Senate minority leader noted that the US has both a criminal justice system and a civil litigation system, and he said former presidents are “not immune from being accountable by either one”.