Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, surprisingly revealed his double-faced identity by pretending to say one thing and do another in his speech he delivered after the Senate trial of former president Donald Trump ended lately.
“Trump’s actions are a dereliction of duty,” McConnell commented in explaining his vote acquitting the former president. He was saying that Trump committed insurrection and yet he voted to acquit him, together with 43 GOP senators. Seven GOP senators joined the Democrats in convicting/impeaching Trump on the issue of insurrection. Prior to this, the Senate voted that the trial is constitutional (56 – 44) even if Trump is no longer the president, so the Senate trial continued. Congress voted to impeach him with 10 GOP senators led by 3rd ranking GOP House lawmaker Liz Cheney of Wyoming while he was still the president. When the article of impeachment was sent to the Senate, the rial started when he is no longer the president.
According to Barbara Sprunt (NPR February 13, 2021): “After voting to acquit, McConnel Torches Trump as responsible for riot… excoriated Trump for his actions on the day of the attack on the U.S. Capitol, calling them a ‘disgraceful dereliction of duty.”’ But he said ultimately, he did not vote to convict the former president because of constitutional concerns. I do not know, but what I know is that this is a contradiction, right?
McConnell speaks after the Senate voted 57-43 in former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial. The chamber needed 67 votes for conviction, short of 10 votes to convict him.
“There’s no question, none, that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day,” McConnell said shortly after the 57-43 Senate vote that ended in the former president’s acquittal.
McConnell rebuked Trump for his actions after the insurrection as well. “He did not do his job. He didn’t take steps so federal law could be faithfully executed and order restored,” he continued.
But McConnell said that the process of impeachment and conviction is a “limited tool” and that he believes Trump is not “constitutionally eligible for conviction.” Didn’t the Senate already resolve that the trial is constitutional? Why is McConnell is now invoking constitutional concerns?
McConnell delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding the impeachment trial: “January 6th was a disgrace… American citizens attacked their own government. They used terrorism to try to stop a specific piece of democratic business they did not like. Fellow Americans beat and bloodied our own police. They stormed the Senate floor. They tried to hunt down the Speaker of the House. They built gallows and chanted 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, he had lost an election.
“A mob was assaulting the Capitol in his name. These criminals were carrying his banners, hanging his flags, and screaming their loyalty to him. It was obvious that only President Trump could end this.
“Former aides publicly begged him to do so. Loyal allies frantically called the Administration. But the President did not act swiftly. He did not do his job. He did not take steps so federal law could be faithfully executed, and order restored.
“Instead, according to public reports, he watched television happily as the chaos unfolded. He kept pressing his scheme to overturn the election!
“Later, even when the President did halfheartedly begin calling for peace, he did not call right away for the riot to end. He did not tell the mob to depart until even later.
“And even then, with police officers bleeding and broken glass covering Capitol floors, he kept repeating election lies and praising the criminals.
“We have a criminal justice system in this country. We have civil litigation. And former Presidents are not immune from being held accountable by either one.
“The Senate’s decision does not condone anything that happened on or before that terrible day.
“It simply shows that Senators did what the former President failed to do: “We put our constitutional duty first.”
As a result of this double-faced stand of McConnell, Trump is angry at him. The rift in the GOP is further divided with Trump rebuking/not talking to McConnell and saying the fate of the GOP in 2022 is doomed if they go with McConnell.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, Senate Budget Committee Ranking Member (R-South Carolina), is going down this week to Mar-a-Lago in Florida to meet with Trump to play a peacemaker stunt trying to patch up the relationship of Trump and McConnell.
Lately, we heard that Trump sent a message to GOP that he will be running for president in 2022. We received mixed reactions from members, some welcomed the announcement while others say they will not vote for him but looking for new face to lead the party.
Is Trump still a big factor of the GOP in moving forward? It seems, yes, although most GOP members are thinking of revitalizing the old GOP principles and policies and looking for a new face to lead them.
What if the GOPs will be able to regain the Senate in 2022 with Trump’s help, will he be a candidate to reckon with in the 2024 presidential election?
On the other hand, if the GOPs lose in the 2022 primary election, then the party is doomed, right?
Your guess is as good as mine!
ELPIDIO R. ESTIOKO was a veteran journalist in the Philippines and an award-winning journalist in the US. For feedbacks, comments… please email the author @ firstname.lastname@example.org.