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Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell tore into Donald Trump Saturday after voting with 42 other Republicans to acquit him of “incitement of insurrection” – but then immediately argued the former president is solely to blame for Capitol storming.

“President Trump is still liable for everything he did while he was in office,” McConnell said in Senate floor remarks, The Daily Mail reported.

On the fifth and final day of the impeachment trial, the Republican Senate leader argued in a speech following the 57-43 vote that Congress does not hold the jurisdiction to criminally or civilly prosecute the former president.

McConnell did, however, suggest that Trump should still somehow be held accountable for his words and actions.

“He didn’t get away with anything, yet,” McConnell stated, adding, “We have a criminal justice system in this country. We have civil litigation and former presidents are not immune from being accountable by either one.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was livid as she crashed the House impeachment managers’ press conference following the trial’s conclusion – specifically she lashed out at McConnell and his remarks on the floor after the vote.

“Remember when he talked about incitement, he said he didn’t think this rose to the level,” Pelosi said of McConnell, adding, “He was hedging all over the place.”

“I don’t know whether it was for donors or for what,” she continued, noting, “But whatever it was, it was a very disingenuous speech. And I say that regretfully because I always want to be able to work with the leadership of the other party. I think our country needs a strong Republican Party.”

Democrats did not reach the two-thirds threshold needed to successfully convict the former president – falling short by refusing to sway 10 more Republicans to cross the Party line.

Seven GOP senators did vote Trump was guilty of incitement of insurrection and should be convicted of that count in the impeachment trial. Those Republicans who voted against the former president were Senators Richard Burr of North Carolina, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.

Burr was the biggest surprise, as he did not previously indicate he was going to vote to convict.

McConnell did not vote to convict. He did, however, issue a fiery and direct denunciation of Trump.

“January 6 was a disgrace,” McConnell began in his floor speech Saturday afternoon.

“American citizens attacked their own government. They used terrorism to try and stop a specific piece of domestic 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 a gallows and chanted about murdering the vice president,” he stressed.

“They did this because they’d been fed wild falsehoods by the most powerful man on earth because he was angry he lost an election,” McConnell said, putting full responsibility for the Capitol attack on Trump.

“Former President Trump’s actions preceding the riot were a disgraceful dereliction of duty,” he continued, adding the Senate voted correctly by deciding not to convict Trump, claiming it would be a gross ‘power grab’ that the Constitution does not grant the legislative body.

McConnell slammed Trump for using the more than 74 million Americans who voted for him as a shield to excuse all of his behavior.

“In recent weeks, our ex-president’s associates have tried to use the 74 million Americans who voted to reelect him as a kind of human shield against criticism,” McConnell claimed.

“Anyone who decries his awful behavior is accused of insulting his millions of voters,” he said, adding, “That’s an absurd deflection – 74 million Americans did not invade the Capitol.”


Capitol riot

ABC gives thousands of taxpayer dollars to Capitol Hill rioter for footage





A man indicted on six federal charges in the US for his involvement in the Capitol riots on January 6 was paid thousands of dollars from the ABC for his footage of the siege.

Remittance advice from the national broadcaster shows taxpayers spent $2375 to buy footage from disgraced Capitol Hill rioter and anti-Trump activist John Sullivan. Sullivan was captured on camera encouraging rioters to “we gotta get this s—t burned.” Sky News host Andrew Bolt said there were “very serious questions” for the ABC after the documents revealled the public broadcaster paid Mr Sullivan after he was charged.

Mr Sullivan was indicted last week by a federal grand jury on six charges including obstruction of a civil proceeding, civil disorder, and disorderly conduct. Federal police also accused the self-described anti-Trump activist of actively encouraging the siege.

The ABC’s flagship current affairs program Four Corners last week ran a report on protesters rioting at the US Capitol. “The reporter, Sarah Ferguson, was clear that this was all the work of wicked right wingers,” Mr Bolt said. Mr Bolt approached the ABC to respond on the issue, but the public broadcaster has not replied. The ABC was not alone in bankrolling the rioter with US media companies CNN and NBC paying $35,000 for the footage.

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Capitol riot

Angry Trump partisans facing major obstacles in effort to oust Murkowski after impeachment vote




With fellow Republican Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Richard Burr (R-NC), and Mitt Romney (R-UT) facing pushback and censure in their home states for voting to convict Donald Trump of inciting an insurrection in his just-concluded impeachment trial, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) may get flack, but she has far fewer worries about losing her seat if she runs for re-election.

Murkowski is the only one of the dissident Republicans facing a referendum on her vote in the form of facing voters in the coming midterm election, but recent election law changes in Alaska make the probability of a pro-Trump insurgent nominee from the right unseating her as a nominee highly unlikely.

According to the National Review’s John McCormack, Alaska enacted new voting rules in the just concluded election that switched the state’s primary to an open one and not divided by parties.

As McCormack writes, “First, Alaska got rid of partisan primaries and established an open primary in which the top four primary candidates will compete in the general election.” Add to that, Alaska will be implementing ranked-choice voting that will create another obstacle.

According to Ballotpedia, “A candidate needs a simple majority of the vote (50%+1) to be declared the winner of an election. If no candidate wins a simple majority of the vote, the candidate with the fewest votes would be eliminated. People who voted for that candidate as their first choice would have their votes redistributed to their second choice.”

McCormack also notes that this will not be the first time that Murkowski has drawn the ire of far-right Republicans. In 2010 she lost the primary to arch-conservative candidate Joe Miller, only to defeat him in the general election by successfully running a write-in campaign.

Since 2016, Murkowski has bucked her party on a number of issues. She declined to vote for Trump or the Democratic presidential nominee in 2020 (just as she had done in 2016),” before adding, “It’s been a delicate dance for Murkowski, but if she simply finishes first or second place in the first round of balloting in 2022, she’ll very likely keep her seat.”
(Raw story media)

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Capitol riot

Why was Capitol police chief’s request for National Guard denied ahead of riot? Republicans ask Nancy Pelosi




House GOP seeking to learn why the National Guard wasn’t in place to prevent the January 6 Capitol riot and what took them so long to arrive are blaming Speaker Nancy Pelosi for denying them access to evidence.

Even though then-chief of the Capitol Police Steve Sund requested the troops on January 4, he was denied by Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving and told it would be bad “optics,” according to an open letter four GOP ranking members of House committees sent to Pelosi on Monday.

Irving took an hour to approve Sund’s request for National Guard backup on January 6, as a crowd of supporters of President Donald Trump broke into the building, the Republicans noted, asking if the delay was due to him having to consult Pelosi.

The California Democrat proceeded to fire both Irving and Sund, and appointed a retired Army general to conduct a security review – without so much as informing the minority, the letter says.

When Republicans attempted to obtain more information about what happened, they were met with “obstruction and inability to produce and preserve information” by House staff appointed by Pelosi. Worse yet, some of the material the Republicans requested was recently provided only to House Judiciary Democrats, the letter added.

This is unacceptable, Madam Speaker, that direction could have only come from you.

The letter calls on Pelosi to end the “political charade” of looking for enemies inside the Capitol and imposing rules she isn’t following herself. It was signed by Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) of the Judiciary, Devin Nunes (R-California) of Intelligence, James Comer (R-Kentucky) of Oversight & Reform and Rodney Davis (R-Illinois), of the House Administration committee.

Democrats have presented the events of January 6 as an “insurrection against our democracy” and blamed it on Trump and the Republicans. They impeached Trump in the House and sought to convict him in the Senate, but failed on Saturday as they lacked the votes.

Other aspects of the partisan narrative about the Capitol riot have collapsed as well, as it emerged that Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick was not injured by the crowd, and his cause of death remains officially unknown. Of the four people who died that day, only one – Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt – was actually killed, by a Capitol Police officer who is unlikely to face any charges in the matter.

The razor wire fence around the Capitol set up after the attack remains in place, as do several thousand National Guard troops initially brought in to secure the inauguration of President Joe Biden and provide protection against unspecified threats during the impeachment.

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