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McCarthy Says Trump ‘Bears Responsibility’ for Capitol Riot, Advocates Censure Instead of Impeachment

House minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) speaks during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., December 10, 2020. (Erin Scott/Reuters)

House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) on Wednesday blamed President Trump for the riots on Capitol Hill, but advocated a formal censure instead of impeachment.

House Democrats are currently attempting to impeach the president for “incitement of insurrection,” after Trump urged a mob of his supporters to amass at the Capitol during the congressional certification of the election results. The mob subsequently breached the building, forcing lawmakers to evacuate. Dozens of police officers were injured in the riots, including one who later died of his injuries.

“Some say the riots were caused by Antifa. There is absolutely no evidence of that. And conservatives should be the first to say so,” McCarthy said during the House debate on impeachment on Wednesday. “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.”

While Trump has repeatedly claimed that Democrats “stole” the election, McCarthy pushed back on that position on Wednesday, after he supported objections to certifying election results on January 6.

“Joe Biden will be sworn in as president of the United States in one week because he won the election,” McCarthy said.

However, McCarthy opposed impeaching Trump.

“I believe impeaching the president in such a short time frame would be a mistake,” McCarthy said. “A vote to impeach would further divide this nation.” The president’s actions should be condemned with “a fact-finding commission, and a censure resolution.”

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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