McConnell says mob that attacked Capitol on January 6 was provoked by Trump

Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, said on Tuesday that the mob that stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 had been “provoked by the president and other powerful people,” stating publicly for the first time that he holds Trump responsible for the insurrection attempt.

“The mob was fed lies,”McConnell said, referring to attempts by Trump to overturn the election based on bogus claims of voter fraud. “They were provoked by the president and other powerful people. And they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government which they did not like.”

McConnell made the remarks on his last full day as majority leader, speaking on the eve of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s inauguration and as the Senate was bracing to receive a single article of impeachment from the House charging Trump with “incitement of insurrection.”

This could aid in convincing at least 17 Republicans to join the Democrats in a bipartisan conviction of Trump. It also has consequences for Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri, both of whom aided in the insurrection attempt.

Trump’s 2nd Impeachment – Historic Firsts

With the 2nd impeachment of Donald Trump by the House today, here are some historic firsts to note, as well as some other points of interest.

– Trump has become the first president to be impeached twice, this time on incitement of insurrection, after Trump incited a violent mob to storm the Capitol last week, resulting in five deaths.

– Ten House Republicans voted in favor of impeachment making this the most bipartisan presidential impeachment in US history. The final vote on the article of impeachment was 232-197.

– The most surprising Republican “yes” vote on impeachment came from Tom Rice of South Carolina. Before the vote, Rice did not offer any indication that he was planning to support impeachment, and he was not considered one of the likely “yes” votes.

– There won’t be a Senate trial before Trump leaves office because Mitch McConnell won’t bring the Senate back into session early. However he has indicated that he supports impeachment.

– The House might hold off sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate in order to give Biden time to get all his appointees approved. McConnell and Biden might come to an agreement on allowing the trial and other business to run in parallel though.

– The reason both Republicans and Democrats are in favor of having a trial – even after Biden is sworn is – is to get rid of Trump once and for all. If convicted, not only will he have to give up all post-Presidential benefits, he will also be barred from running for public office again. There is every indication that the GOP wants to be rid of him forever.

McConnell is said to be pleased about impeachment, believing it will be easier to purge Trump from the G.O.P.

Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, has told associates that he believes President Trump committed impeachable offenses and that he is pleased that Democrats are moving to impeach him, believing that it will make it easier to purge him from the party, according to people familiar with his thinking. The House is voting on Wednesday to formally charge Mr. Trump with inciting violence against the country.

At the same time, Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the minority leader and one of Trump’s most steadfast allies in Congress, has asked other Republicans whether he should call on Mr. Trump to resign in the aftermath of the riot at the Capitol last week, according to three Republican officials briefed on the conversations.

Murkowski calls for Trump’s resignation; Pelosi talks with military about keeping Trump from nuclear codes

Following Trump’s incitement of the first attack on the Capitol since the War of 1812, resulting in 5 deaths and massive chaos, events are moving quickly in the final days of Trump’s term.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) became the first Senate Republican to call for President Trump to resign, telling the Anchorage Daily News: “I want him to resign. I want him out. He has caused enough damage.”

“He doesn’t want to stay there. He only wants to stay there for the title. He only wants to stay there for his ego. He needs to get out. He needs to do the good thing, but I don’t think he’s capable of doing a good thing,” Murkowski said.

Her comments Friday came on the same day House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told colleagues in a letter that she has spoken to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark A. Milley, about keeping an “unstable president” from accessing the nuclear codes. Pelosi also threatened impeachment if Trump didn’t resign “immediately.”

Her letter came shortly after Trump tweeted that he would not attend the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on Jan. 20, breaking with a long-standing tradition of outgoing presidents attending the swearing-in ceremony of their successors. Biden told reporters that he agreed with Trump’s decision to skip the ceremony, though he would welcome Vice President Pence.

Fox News challenges Trump’s lie about Biden and his police platform

In an interview with Fox New’s Chris Wallace, Trump made a false claim about Biden, saying: “It’s really because they want to defund the police, and Biden wants to defund the police.”

“No, sir, he does not,” Wallace countered.

Trump stood by his claim, incorrectly saying the unity platform endorsed by Bernie Sanders, embraces calls to defund the police.

Biden has repeatedly said he does not support calls to defund the police and has instead called for policing reform.

Wallace tried to explain, but the president responded by ordering an aide to go get the document.

“Let’s go! Get me the charter, please!” Trump said.

Wallace later told Fox News host Bill Hemmer it “led to a very interesting exchange … and he went through it and he found a lot of things that he objected to that Biden has agreed to, but couldn’t find any indication, because there isn’t any, that Joe Biden has sought to defund and abolish the police.”

Trump made a similar claim during a blatantly political speech in the Rose Garden on Tuesday, claiming: “The Biden-Sanders agenda is the most extreme platform of any major party nominee, by far, in American history … They now want to abolish our police departments. They want to abolish our prisons, I guess.”

Politifact gave that claim a rating of “Pants on Fire”.

Such attempts to paint Biden as an extreme liberal do not seem to be working: polls show voters view the challenger as more of a moderate than the president.”