Opening the Senate on Tuesday, Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell charged that the Trump supporters who breached the U.S. Capitol were “provoked” by the president, who fed them lies about the outcome of the 2020 election.
“The mob was fed lies,” McConnell said. “They were provoked by the president and other powerful people, and they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of branch of the federal government.”
In his final full day as the Senate leader, McConnell promised to “move forward” after helping carry out a “safe and successful” inauguration of Democrat Joe Biden on Wednesday at the Capitol amid unprecedented security.
Meanwhile, Rush Limbaugh told his massive audience on Tuesday “the mystery is now over and we now know where McConnell and the Republican leadership stand.”
“McConnell wants you to know [lawmakers] were not intimidated,” Limbaugh said. “They were not in any way inspired to quit. … They said an angry mob would not get veto power over our nation, by golly.”
See McConnell’s remarks:
Shortly after Biden’s inauguration, the Democrats will take over leadership of the Senate with the swearing-in of three new Democratic senators. With a 50-50 split in the chamber, the new vice president, Kamala Harris, will be the tie-breaking vote.
Biden’s nominee for Department of Homeland Security secretary,
Alejandro Mayorkas, said during his confirmation hearing he would do all he can to ensure “the desecration of the building that stands as one of the three pillars of our democracy, and the terror felt by you, your colleagues, staff, and everyone present, will not happen again.”
The Biden team has told media the new president wants the Senate to split its time each day between handling the proposed $1.9 trillion stimulus package and the impeachment trial.
The Democratic-led House impeached Trump last week on a charge of incitement of insurrection. Constitutional scholars are divided on whether or not a president who already has left office can be convicted.
Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, who won the hotly contested runoffs in Georgia earlier this month, and Alex Padilla of California, who is succeeding Kamala Harris, will be sworn in Wednesday.
Mitchell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer will meet to negotiate a power-sharing agreement that will include dividing committee assignments.
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