Show an ad over header. AMP

McConnell votes to acquit then condemns Trump for Capitol siege

After voting to acquit Donald Trump, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) condemned the former president as "practically and morally responsible for provoking the events" during the deadly Capitol siege on Jan. 6.

Why it matters: The Senate failed to reach the two-thirds majority necessary to convict Trump on charges of high crimes and misdemeanors, with a final vote of 57-43 cementing his acquittal. But in his post-vote speech, McConnell said Trump “didn’t get away with anything yet."


What he's saying: "Former President Trump’s actions preceding the riot were a disgraceful, disgraceful dereliction of duty,” McConnell said from the Senate floor.

  • Trump is “practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day, no question about it,” he added.
  • "If President Trump were still in office, I would have carefully considered whether the House managers proved their specific charge. By the strict criminal standard, the president’s speech probably was not incitement."
  • "However, in the context of impeachment, the Senate might have decided this was acceptable shorthand for the reckless actions that preceded the riot. But in this case, the question is moot because former President Trump is constitutionally not eligible for conviction."
  • “President Trump is still liable for everything he did while he was in office as an ordinary citizen, unless the statute of limitations has run. [He] didn’t get away with anything yet.”
  • "We have a criminal justice system in this country. We have civil litigation and former presidents are not immune from being accountable by either one."
  • "I believe the Senate was right not to grab power the Constitution doesn’t give us. And the Senate was right not to entertain some light speed sham process to try to outrun the loss of jurisdiction."

Our thought bubble via Axios' Margaret Talev: McConnell's post-vote speech will be parsed and dissected until its impact reveals itself.

  • Democrats will be furious because he essentially made their case for impeachment while arguing against it on a thin constitutional argument. Trump will hate it for obvious reasons. 
  • Does it lead to a censure vote or 14th Amendment vote? Does a prosecutor try to use it in criminal court? Or is it just a way for him to try to have it both ways?

Go deeper: Senate acquits Trump

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring Houston COVID-19 vaccination site

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."

Keep reading... Show less

Podcast: Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky on the future of travel and his company

Airbnb seems to be on the precipice of a business boom, as travel is expected to surge once herd immunity is achieved.

Axios Re:Cap speaks with CEO Brian Chesky about the company's first earnings report since going public, plus what's next for Airbnb, travel and hospitality.

Biden after U.S. airstrike: Iran "can't act with impunity. Be careful"

President Biden said Friday that Thursday night's airstrike against facilities tied to an Iranian-backed militia group in Syria was meant to warn Iran that it "can't act with impunity."

Driving the news: The Pentagon said the airstrike, which was authorized by Biden, was carried out "in response to recent attacks against American and Coalition personnel in Iraq" and was intended to "de-escalate the overall situation in both eastern Syria and Iraq."

Keep reading... Show less

Schiff: "Definitive" Khashoggi report sends clear message to Saudis

The report released Friday on the murder of Jamal Khashoggiwas short on evidence or new information, but Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) tells Axios that the “definitive” statement assigning responsibility to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) speaks volumes.

What he’s saying: Schiff, the chairman of the House intelligence committee, says that while some intelligence couldn’t be published because of the need to protect sources and methods, “we rarely see something published that is this definitive and I think that's an important accomplishment for the administration.”

Keep reading... Show less

FDA advisory panel endorses Johnson & Johnson one-shot COVID vaccine for emergency use

A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Friday recommended the authorization of Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot coronavirus vaccine for emergency use.

Why it matters: The FDA is expected to make a final decision within days on the J&J vaccine, which was found to be 66% effective against moderate to severe COVID. An emergency use authorization would allow distribution to immediately begin, helping streamline and speed up the vaccine rollout across the U.S.

Keep reading... Show less

Law enforcement groups back Biden pick for associate attorney general

Local and federal law enforcement officials are backing Vanita Gupta, President Biden’s nominee for associate attorney general, according to letters sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee and obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: The Major County Sheriffs of America noted Gupta “emphasized that she does not support efforts to ‘defund the police'” and highlighted her desire to improve criminal justice through methods that include increased training for law enforcement officials.

Keep reading... Show less

About 20% of U.S. adults have received first COVID-19 vaccine dose, White House says

Nearly 1 in 5 adults and nearly half of Americans 65 and older have received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, White House senior adviser Andy Slavitt said on Friday.

The big picture: The Biden administration has previously said it has secured enough doses to vaccinate most of the American population by the end of July.

Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories