The first few months of 2021 have brought about some of the most unforgettable moments in United States history. On Jan. 13, 2021, former President Donald Trump was impeached, and on Feb. 13, 2021, he was acquitted, each for the second time. He was impeached for a second time as a result of inciting the storming of the U.S. Capitol that occurred on Jan. 6, 2021. The accusation came after the insurrection was led by a mob of self-proclaimed Trump supporters who believed that the 2020 election had been stolen from incumbent Donald J. Trump. Earlier, the mob had attended a rally organized by Trump in which he had gone on stage and told his followers that they needed to “fight like hell” because if they did not, they were “not going to have a country anymore.” This critical statement would eventually become the centerpiece of the plaintiff’s evidence against the former President.
When the time came for the Senate to vote on whether the former reality star was responsible, all but seven Republicans voted in his favor. One of the many republicans who voted to acquit Trump was former senate majority leader Mitch McConnell. This action comes as a surprise considering how adamantly McConnell had accused Trump of inciting the mob hours after it had occurred. Politicians, news sources and private citizens alike were all waiting at the edge of their seats to see what Trump’s former ally would do next. Once McConnell placed his vote, there was a consensus that he, like many other Republicans, had decided to continue his support for the former President. However, things took a turn when the 78-year-old senator delivered his speech on the Senate floor after the trial had ended. The nation was shocked when McConnell once again pointed his finger right at Trump by stating: “Let me… reiterate something I said weeks ago: There is no question that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of that day [the storming of the U.S. Capitol].” McConnell expressed that he was aware that his words failed to match his actions by explaining: “If President Trump were still in office, I would have carefully considered whether the House managers proved their specific charge.” He topped it all off by delivering his final insult against the former President by suggesting that he should soon face trial in a criminal court for his involvement in the riots.
The former Senate Majority leader was met by a barrage of insults from both sides of the political spectrum for his actions. The Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, called the Senator “pathetic” for keeping “the Senate shut down so that the Senate could not receive the Article of Impeachment and has used that as his excuse for not voting to convict Donald Trump.” McConnell did not escape being called a hypocrite, traitor or embarrassment by numerous individuals who had not taken kindly to either his vote or his statements. Arguably the most scathing critique thrown his way came from none other than Donald J. Trump himself. On Feb. 16, 2021, he let the world know that he believed, “Mitch is a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack, and if Republican Senators are going to stay with him, they will not win again.” The impeachment trial may be over, but his new development of McConnell and Trump becoming established foes opens up what might perhaps be the beginning of an irreversible division with the Republican party.