Mitch McConnell On Jan. 6: The Country 'Knows Who Is Responsible'

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Monday reacted to the House Jan. 6 committee’s recommendation that former President Donald Trump be prosecuted for his role in the Capitol riot.

McConnell, who denounced Trump after the Capitol riot but then tempered his criticism, said “the entire nation knows who is responsible for that day,” according to CNN’s Many Raju, but he didn’t explicitly name Trump.

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The Jan. 6 committee recommended that the Justice Department prosecute Trump on four charges, including inciting an insurrection against the United States. The referrals are mostly symbolic, given they cannot force prosecutors to act, but nevertheless put pressure on the DOJ.

The committee also referred House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and three other Republican lawmakers to the House ethics committee for defying congressional subpoenas.

In the immediate aftermath of Jan. 6, McConnell condemned Trump, saying the now ex-president “provoked the mob” that stormed the U.S. Capitol. He reportedly told journalist Jonathan Martin he felt “exhilarated” by how completely Trump discredited himself in the attack.

“He put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger,” McConnell reportedly told Martin in the early hours of Jan. 7.

The Republican leader has since been more muted in his criticism of Trump, even though the former president has trash-talked him and his wife Elaine Chao, and called for McConnell’s impeachment.

After Trump suggested parts of the Constitution should be voided over his baseless 2020 election fraud claims, McConnell said: “Anyone seeking the presidency saying, essentially, the Constitution should somehow be suspended or not followed, it seems to me would have a very hard time being sworn in.”

Following Trump’s recent dinner meeting with Ye, the antisemitic artist formerly known as Kanye West, and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes at Mar-a-Lago, McConnell simply offered: “Anyone” who gathers with white nationalists is “highly unlikely to ever be elected president of the United States.”

McConnell has said he would support Trump if he winds up the GOP’s nominee in 2024.