- Mitch McConnell hit out at Donald Trump after the latter was referred to the DOJ for prosecution.
- In a statement, McConnell said that “entire nation knows who is responsible” for the Capitol riot, without directly naming Trump.
- The January 6 panel on Monday asked the DOJ to prosecute Trump on four charges linked to the riot.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday zinged former President Donald Trump after the latter was referred to the Justice Department for prosecution over the January 6 Capitol riot.
“The entire nation knows who is responsible for that day. Beyond that, I don’t have any immediate observations,” McConnell said in a statement to CNN, the news outlet’s Manu Raju tweeted Monday.
McConnell’s statement came after the House panel investigating the Capitol riot on Monday asked the Justice Department to prosecute Trump on four charges. These included: conspiracy to defraud the US, conspiracy to make false statements obstruction of an official proceeding, and inciting an insurrection.
While this referral does not mean Trump will be prosecuted, it now hands the matter over to the Justice Department, which can decide if it wants to charge Trump.
McConnell’s statement comes close to two years after he blamed Trump for the riot during a February 2021 Senate speech. During that speech, McConnell rebuked the former president for his “disgraceful dereliction of duty” — despite voting that same day to acquit Trump in his second impeachment trial.
“There is no question — none — that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day,” McConnell said of Trump at the time. “The people that stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president.”
“A mob was assaulting a Capitol in his name. These criminals were carrying his banners, hanging his flags, and screaming their loyalty to him,” McConnell added.
McConnell has had a long-standing feud with Trump
McConnell’s statement on Monday marks the latest salvo in a long-standing feud between him and the former president.
In November 2021, Trump slammed McConnell and other Republicans who backed President Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill, calling them “RINOs,” an acronym for Republicans In Name Only. That same month, he also gave McConnell the moniker “Old Crow” and accused him of “jeopardizing” other Republican senators’ reelection chances.
In February, McConnell shrugged off rumors that Trump might succeed in an attempt to oust him as the Senate GOP leader after the midterms. That was after Trump in January called McConnell a “loser” for defending GOP Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota. Rounds had contradicted Trump’s voter fraud claims.
And in October, McConnell and his wife, Trump-era Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, became the target of Trump’s ire again. This was after McConnell voiced support in September for changing the way Congress counts electoral votes, an effort aimed at preventing a Trump-style coup.
In a rant on Truth Social, Trump escalated his acrimonious feud with the Kentucky senator, and accused McConnell of opposing him because he has a “death wish.” Trump also leveled a racially charged insult at Chao, calling her McConnell’s “China loving wife, Coco Chow.”
McConnell has largely stayed out of the mud-slinging — though in May, he did troll Trump by giving out bottles of the Kentucky-made Old Crow bourbon to GOP senators during a luncheon in his home state.
McConnell has also refrained from responding to Trump’s insults about his wife.
Representatives for McConnell and Trump did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.