Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the leader of the House Republicans, believes President Trump “bears responsibility” for the January 6 riot in the U.S. Capitol – but still does not support impeachment, he said at the meeting. of the impeachment debate on Wednesday.
“He should have immediately reported the crowd when he saw what was going on. These facts require immediate action from President Trump, ”McCarthy told the House.
“And the president’s immediate action also deserves congressional action, which is why I think a commission of inquiry and an essential resolution would be prudent.” Unfortunately, that is not where we are today, ”he added.
McCarthy insisted that an arraignment on such a short notice would be a mistake.
“No investigation has been completed. No hearing took place. In addition, the Senate has confirmed that no trial will begin until President-elect Biden is sworn in, ”McCarthy said. “But here’s what an impeachment vote would do. An impeachment vote would further divide this nation. “
McCarthy did not provide evidence that Trump’s first indictment divided the nation.
He was among more than 100 House Republicans to vote against certification of electoral college votes in Arizona and Pennsylvania, based on unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud, after rioters took over assault the Capitol.
But on Wednesday McCarthy insisted Biden “won the election” and will be sworn in as president next week.
“The presidency of this Congress will face immediate challenges that must be addressed,” he said. “I am ready to contribute to this effort. With good faith, good will and an open hand. “
Five people died in last week’s insurgency, including Capitol Hill police officer Brian Sicknick, who was reportedly punched in the head with a fire extinguisher by a rioter.
After the riot, McCarthy’s Senate counterpart Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) broke with him, acknowledging Wednesday night that Biden was president-elect. And, after House Democrats began drafting articles of impeachment, media reported that McCarthy would not force his caucus to vote to acquit.
Six House Republicans have so far announced they will not vote for impeachment, including third caucus member Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY). Joining Democrats in the impeachment vote are Representatives Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), Dan Newhouse (R-WA), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Fred Upton (R-MI) and John Katko (R-NY ).
A final House vote on impeachment is scheduled for Wednesday evening. Wednesday a McConnell spokesman told the Senate the trial would likely not begin until after Biden was sworn in, confirming a Washington post report.
In his speech, McCarthy went on to acknowledge that the antifa were not the perpetrators of the January 6 riot, refuting some of his colleagues’ claims.
“There is absolutely no evidence of this,” McCarthy said. “And the Conservatives should be the first to say so.”
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