The events of January 6, 2021 were tumultuous, to say the least — and aren’t likely to be forgotten by those old enough to remember anytime soon. Unlike the rest of Trump’s antics, five people died as a result of the violence or, in the case of two members of the police force, through suicide in the weeks after. And there’s another reason we won’t forget: the mob violence was probably the last even of any significance during Trump’s time in office.
Mitch McConnell and other prominent Republicans let Trump off the hook, acquitting him of inciting the mob by using the excuse that they can’t try a former president (hint: they can). But McConnell was also quick to explain that Trump wasn’t off the hook just yet.
McConnell said, “There’s no question, none, that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day. The people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president, and have that belief was a foreseeable consequence of the growing crescendo of false statements, conspiracy theories and reckless hyperbole which the defeated president kept shouting into the largest megaphone on planet Earth.”
He wasn’t done: “He did not do his job. He didn’t take steps so federal law could be faithfully executed and order restored. No. Instead, according to public reports, he watched television happily — happily — as the chaos unfolded.”
McConnell continued his rant against the former president by acknowledging that Trump “hasn’t gotten away with anything yet.”
The Justice Department will likely probe the mob violence to discover whether or not Trump should be held criminally liable for the assault on our Democracy. Perhaps if Trump had shown some sort of buyer’s remorse for his role in that violence, he’d have a better shot of skating out of harm’s way. But at this point, he could absolutely be tried. Whether or not a jury would ever convict him…well, that’s another story.