Jan 13, 2021 - Politics & Policy

House GOP leader says Trump “bears responsibility,” but won’t vote to impeach

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), while making his case against impeaching President Trump for a second time on Wednesday, noted that Trump "bears responsibility" for a mob of his supporters breaching the U.S. Capitol last week.

Why it matters: The core accusation of House Democrats in their article of impeachment against Trump is that he incited insurrection against the U.S. government by urging his supporters to breach the U.S. Capitol.

Between the lines: McCarthy, who has personally tied himself to Trump more than any other Republican leader during the last four years, has been under siege as some members of his caucus break ranks with the president following the Capitol siege, Axios' Alayna Treene reports.

What he's saying: "The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding."

  • "These facts require immediate actions by President Trump. Accept his share of responsibility. Quell the brewing unrest."

What he's saying: "I believe impeaching the president in such a short timeframe would be a mistake," he told his colleagues. "No investigations have been completed. No hearings have been held."

  • "What’s more, the Senate has confirmed that no trial will begin until after President-elect Biden is sworn in."

The bottom line: McCarthy also pushed back against a false claim invoked by some of Trump's supporters in Congress, saying: "Some say the riots were caused by Antifa. There is absolutely no evidence of that. And conservatives should be the first to say so."

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