Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was censored this week by fellow Republicans in Nelson County, Kentucky, after he accused former President Trump of provoking the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
“The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people,” McConnell said on the U.S. Senate floor, Tuesday. “And they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government which they did not like.”
“But we pressed on. We stood together and said an angry mob would not get veto power over the rule of law in our nation. Not even for one night. We certified the people’s clear choice for their 46th president,” he added.
According to the Kentucky Daily News, McConnell’s speech prompted Nelson County GOP leaders to hold an emergency meeting, voting unanimously in favor of a resolution censuring the senator for his comments.
“This has shown his true colors,” Nelson Co. GOP Chairman Don Thrasher said. “We felt today during his floor speech on the Senate where he impugned the character of President Trump was unacceptable to us. His whole behavior overall through this whole process of the last week is not consistent with what he promised us when he was running for re-election.”
House Democrats impeached Trump for a second time this month for “incitement of insurrection.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has yet to transmit the House’s impeachment articles to the Senate, a necessary step before the beginning of the trial.
McConnell reportedly told senators their decision on whether to convict Trump would be theirs alone. According to media reports, he is pushing Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer to hold the impeachment trial in February, so Trump’s legal team can prepare for the proceeding.
Thrasher has also proposed a resolution calling on McConnell to vote to acquit the former president.
“Basically calling for Senator McConnell to support President Trump and denounce the second impeachment as divisive,” Thrasher said.
Kentucky’s GOP central committee will meet for a specially-called meeting on Saturday, Jan. 23, to discuss and vote on the resolution. Over 300 members, which included county GOP chairs and vice-chairs, and all Republican elected state officials, will participate in the meeting.
Thrasher said the process for special meetings requires a 15% quorum to start the meeting, and anyone who attends the meeting will be eligible to vote. A simple majority of those present and voting would be enough to pass the resolution.
“I have at least 50 other chairs and vice-chairs that have signed on for our resolution,” Thrasher said. “This is a deal-breaker for a lot of Republicans.”