When McConnell was about to condemn Trump | International
On January 6, 2021, the excuses seemed to run out. During the attack on Capitol Hill to interrupt the transfer of powers to the newly elected Joe Biden, the still President Donald Trump had crossed all the borders that separated him from the end of his political career. Or so Mitch McConnell, the current leader of the Republican minority in the Senate, believed, who was touching the end of his intimate enemy, whom he considered a danger to American democracy. On that fateful day in recent Washington history, he called together a few of his workers, and told them: “We all know that Trump is crazy. I’m done with him. I will never speak to him again.”
However, McConnell voted to declare the impeachment that was undertaken against Trump, and to acquit the former president during his second trial in the Senate, despite the fact that he was closer to convicting him than previously believed.
What happened for McConnell to change his mind between one decisive moment and another is one of the plots of the book Unchecked: The Untold Story Behind Congress’s Botched Impeachments of Donald Trump (Out of Control: The Untold Story Behind Congress’s Failed Impeachments of Donald Trump), by Washington journalists Rachael Bade and Karoun Demirjian, is scheduled to be published by William Morrow Publishing on October 18. Washington Post has offered this Wednesday a preview of its content.
“While McConnell was ready to finish off Trump, his party was not. Much to his chagrin, a large section of its members once again rallied around the former president,” Baden and Demirjian write. One of those Republicans convinced of continuing to stand up to the tycoon was the young senator, also from Kentucky, Rand Paul, who on January 26 forced a vote for his co-religionists to rule on the unconstitutionality of the trial that was hanging over him, given who had already left the White House. McConnell was not convinced by that argument, but neither did he have the nerve to “lead such a rebellion” against another Republican, a party to which he has literally devoted a lifetime. “I wasn’t sure I was up to it, either,” according to the forthcoming book.
Not only did he support the motion of unconstitutionality, but, despite his doubts, he did not vote in favor of the removal of the former president when his time came in the Senate on February 13. That day, McConnell launched, with everything, and who knows if because of swimming and putting away his clothes, some harsh statements against Trump, in which he accused him of a “shameful neglect of his duties.” He also said: “There is no doubt, none, that President Trump is morally and decisively responsible for bringing about the events of that day. The people who stormed this Capitol believed that he was acting on their wishes and instructions.” Why did he then vote against it? Because the impeachmenthe affirmed, is a “limited tool”, destined to remove an official from his post and not to prosecute him afterwards.
Three days later, the former president released a statement calling McConnell a “sulky, sad and gloomy politician.” “The Republican Party will never win or be respected or strong again with ‘leaders’ like Senator Mitch McConnell at the helm. McConnell’s lifelong dedication to politics, his lack of vision, knowledge, skill and personality has quickly taken him from Majority Leader to Minority Leader and it’s only going to get worse,” he added.
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The animosity between both characters is not a secret that no book, no matter how promoted it is, has to come to reveal. The recent trial This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden and the Battle for America’s Future (This Will Not Happen: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for the Future of America, Simon & Schuster) already revealed that McConnell was enthusiastic about the idea that his involvement in January 6 could spell the end of Trump, whom he considered a “despicable human being”.
The Senate minority leader was never a saint of the former president’s devotion, but since those days he has made him one of the favorite targets of his invective. His supporters identify McConnell with everything that is wrong with the Republican Party.
He is not the only one of its members to receive that incessant friendly fire more than a year later. Mitt Romney, senator from Utah, former presidential candidate in 2012, went down in history for having been the only Republican to vote in favor of impeaching the former president, and continues in the fight to get Trump to lift his boot on the future of the formation.
Of the 10 comrades in the ranks who in Congress considered him guilty in that political trial, the most prominent is Liz Cheney, who lost her position in a primary held in her state, Wyoming, in August. She was defeated by a wide margin against Harriet Hageman, a candidate close to Trump. In the excerpt published Wednesday, it is said that Cheney called McConnell “to use her leadership position and confront the president.” This one did not, and he is still in his position. Cheney considered, and still considers (hence her decisive role in the hearings of the committee that she investigates on January 6) that the former president represents a serious threat to democracy in the United States.
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