Watch: Mitch McConnell Says Trump Provoked Mob That Attacked Capitol
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell condemned the deadly mob attacks on the Capitol earlier this month and said the riots were “provoked” by President Donald Trump during a speech on the Senate floor on Tuesday afternoon.
“The last time the Senate convened, we had just reclaimed the Capitol from violent criminals,” Mr McConnell said. "The mob was fed lies, they were provoked by the president and other powerful people ... But we pressed on. We stood together and said an angry mob would not get veto power over the rule of law in our nation, not even for one night."
“We certified the people's choice for their 46th president,” he added. “Tomorrow, President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris will be sworn in."
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also spoke during the floor openings, saying the Senate has a “solemn” responsibility to convict the president in an impeachment trial for “exhorting” and “directing” his supporters to storm the Capitol.
He added: “President Trump is a threat to our constitutional order — whether he’s in, or out of office.”
The minority leader said the Senate would soon be introducing legislation for Covid-19 recovery efforts, as well as conducting an impeachment trial that, if resulting in a conviction of the president, could result in his barring from holding public office.
Bipartisan calls for the president’s removal from office have grown in the final hours of his White House tenure, with lawmakers citing his conduct during the deadly riots and threats of further violence ahead of Inauguration Day.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 19, 2021
Mr Trump has been suspended or blocked by virtually all major social media platforms, which have cited threats of violence to the peaceful transition of power and Mr Trump’s continued flagrant falsities surrounding his electoral defeat.
An unprecedented National Guard presence has enveloped Washington DC ahead of the inaugural ceremonies, with thousands of troops stationed at the Capitol building, where President-elect Joe Biden was set to be sworn in on Wednesday.
The ceremony would be mostly virtual, however, with a theme of “national unity.” The president-elect spent the day ahead of his inauguration presiding over a national memorial for the nearly 400,000 Americans who died as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Watch: Trump bids farewell as he faces impeachment trial