U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) continues to distance himself and the GOP from President Donald Trump, blaming him for leading the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol two weeks ago.
“The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people.” the top Republican said Tuesday on the Senate floor. “We certified the people’s choice for their 46th president. Tomorrow, President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris will be sworn in.”
The U.S. Senate reconvened on Tuesday and is holding hearings for key Biden administration cabinet nominees.
McConnell’s first comments after the House of Representatives led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) impeached Trump for a second time in less than a year. The majority of 232 congress members, included ten Republicans who broke party lines to bring charges against Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 riots. A Senate trial will now determine if Trump is convicted of the single article of impeachment. A process expected to play out in the next two weeks.
After supporting Trump to the bitter end, McConnell now weighs his options on reforming the GOP after the President’s final hours in Washington, D.C. and with President-elect Biden officially taking office tomorrow. The Senate will be evenly split with the Democrats having the tie-breaking vote of Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris. To convict Trump, it would take a two-third majority with 17 Republicans joining the Democrats.
Biden replaces Trump and will officially be sworn-in at noon on Wednesday. The Democrat from Pennsylvania will be the oldest sitting U.S. President by 78 days. Biden (78 years, 62 days) will move ahead of Ronald Reagan (77 years, 349 days), who was the oldest in history when he left office in 1989.