By calling January 6 a violent insurrection. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) went against the Republican National Committee. The party earlier said that the events during January 6 were a “legitimate political discourse,” but McConnell chose to disagree.
McConnell: January 6 Was a ‘Violent Insurrection’
A video clip of the C-SPAN press conference featured the top Senate Republican contradicting the RNC’s perspective. According to McConnell, January 6 “was a violent insurrection” and not a political discourse. At the time, the purpose was to “prevent the peaceful transfer of power after a legitimately certified election.”
Earlier, the RNC censured two party mates serving on the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 riots. They censured Representatives Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Liz Cheney (R-WY) for participating in the committee hearings. The RNC also criticized the panel for its “persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse.”
Over 700 Americans Arrested and Charged With Federal Crimes
The January 2020 riots led to more than 700 Americans getting arrested and charged with federal crimes. The majority of those arrested face lower-level crimes, but around 150 people received charges of assaulting police officers. In addition, over 50 Americans received conspiracy charges as well. Many of these include members of the far-right Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers. However, no suspect ever received sedition charges.
Meanwhile, another 70 defendants remain incarcerated on riot charges. 183 additional defendants already pleaded not guilty to riot-related offenses. 78 already received their sentences, including 35 Americans who got prison sentences.
GOP Censures Cheney and Kinzinger
During the GOP’s winter party meeting in Salt Lake City, party officials voted to censure both Cheney and Kinzinger. The committee approved the censure, but only after watering it down and removing the expulsion recommendation for both. Instead, the censure accused Cheney and Kinzinger of “participating in a Democrat-led persecution.”
Meanwhile, RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel denied that the “legitimate political discourse” referred to the Capitol riots. She said that it instead referred to the other actions taken by the House select committee. However, the resolution did not make a distinction. In addition, some RNC members took issue with the overly broad subpoenas. For example, Arizona GOP Chair Kelli Ward. Ward, an osteopathic doctor, sued to block a subpoena against her. She said that providing her phone records would compromise her patients’ privacy.
Effects of Censure Against Cheney and Kinzinger
The most damaging effect of the censure against Cheney and Kinzinger is that the GOP will no longer support them. The censure, combined with Wyoming GOP support, allows the GOP to back candidates other than Cheney. It will also set into motion for the Republican party to support Cheney’s primary challenger, Harriet Hageman. Trump already gave his endorsement to Hageman. Meanwhile, Kinzinger already declared that he is not running for reelection.
What do you think of McConnell’s assertion that January 6 was a violent insurrection and not a legitimate political discourse? Do you agree with McConnell, or do you see this as a way to distance himself from Trump? Tell us what you think. Share your comments below.