House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) offered some scathing criticism of President Donald Trump, saying directly that he “bears responsibility” for last week’s attack on the Capitol, but still says that he will vote against impeachment.
“Last week’s violent attack on the capitol was undemocratic, un-American, and criminal,” McCarthy began. “Violence is never a legitimate form of protest. Freedom of speech and assembly under the constitution is rooted in nonviolence. Yet, the violent mob that descended upon this body was neither peaceful, nor democratic. It acted to disrupt congress’ constitutional responsibility.”
Denouncing the “mob law” that “tried to interfere with constitutional law,” McCarthy also shot down the efforts to blame antifa for the violence: “There is absolutely no evidence of that. And conservatives should be the first to say so.”
Still, McCarthy stated that he believed that impeaching Trump “in such a short time frame would be a mistake,” because “no investigations have been completed,” “no trials have been held,” and the Senate will not begin a trial until after his term ends.
Calling for “durable bipartisan justice,” McCarthy said that “a vote to impeach would further divide this nation,” and “further fan the flames of partisan division.”
“That doesn’t mean the president is free from fault,” he continued. “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 action of President Trump. Accept his share of responsibility, quell the unrest, and ensure President-Elect Biden is able to successfully begin his term.”
McCarthy closed with a call to unity.
“United we can deliver peace, strength, and prosperity our country desperately needs,” said McCarthy. “Divided we will fail. What we saw last week was not the American way. Neither is the continued rhetoric that Joe Biden is not the legitimate president. Let’s be clear. Joe Biden will be sworn in as President of the United States in one week because he won the election.”
Last week, McCarthy voted against certifying the Electoral College votes showing that Biden defeated Trump.
Watch the video above, via CNN.
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