McConnell claims Trump fed lies to mob, provoked riot; NBC News op/ed says Trump needs to go to prison

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday explicitly blamed President Donald Trump for the deadly riot at the Capitol, saying the mob was “fed lies” and that the president and others “provoked” those intent on overturning Democrat Joe Biden’s election.

Ahead of Trump’s historic second impeachment trial, McConnell’s remarks were his most severe and public rebuke of the outgoing president. The GOP leader is setting a tone as Republicans weigh whether to convict Trump on the impeachment charge that will soon be sent over from the House: “incitement of insurrection.”

“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 the first branch of the federal government which they did not like.”

Sam Liccardo:  Trump’s second impeachment after Capitol riots isn’t enough. He needs to go to prison.

While the forces of decency, democracy and good government prevailed in this impeachment vote, we should ask what gain this battle has brought. A Senate debate will distract that body at a time when a new president critically needs it to confirm his Cabinet, and to approve a funding package to accelerate vaccinations and Covid-19 relief. Impeachment likely persuaded nobody; on all things Trumpian, it seems, virtually no American appears persuadable.

What is needed, rather, is criminal prosecution.

To deter the next unhinged narcissist from using the presidency to undermine the electoral process, a jury must convict Trump of his crimes. Trump previously suffered impeachment for deploying unlawful means to remain in power — using his office to leverage Ukraine to investigate then-Democratic opponent Joe Biden’s family. That impeachment did not deter Trump from abusing his power again, nor should we believe that this one will deter anyone else. A criminal conviction will.

By imposing a personal and direct punishment upon Trump, criminal prosecution will force future leaders to think twice about threatening that essential precondition of any functional republic: the peaceful transfer of power. It will unequivocally repudiate, once and for all, the Nixonian doctrine that “when the president does it … that means it’s not illegal.” If democracy depends on the “consent of the losers,” as some have put it, then the loser’s consent must be mandatory, and enforced by a punitive sanction. We cannot satisfy ourselves with the prosecution of the pelt-wearing members of the mob. Prosecuting only the puppets gives license to future puppet masters.

2 thoughts on “McConnell claims Trump fed lies to mob, provoked riot; NBC News op/ed says Trump needs to go to prison”

  1. Two diametrically opposed moral cultures cannot coexist on the same landmass for very long. One is based on objective truth and one is based on relative truth. Something has to give soon.

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