Hours after becoming the first president to be impeached twice, President Trump released a new video “unequivocally” denouncing the violence at the U.S. Capitol last week and calling for a “safe transition … without incident.” He made no mention of Wednesday’s impeachment vote.
The House charged him with “incitement of insurrection” for his part in the the deadly Jan. 6 riots, where pro-Trump insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol.
“Mob violence goes against everything I believe in, and everything our movement stands for,” Trump said. “No true supporter of mine could ever endorse political violence, no true supporter of mine could ever disrespect law enforcement, or our great American flag.”
Trump called on protesters to “follow our laws and obey the instructions of law enforcement” ahead of the transfer of power next week when President-elect Joe Biden will be inaugurated.
In a nod to his exile from social media platforms, Trump also condemned the “unprecedented assault on free speech seen in recent days.”
Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he remained open to voting to convict Trump but that a final verdict would not be reached until after the president leaves office.
“While the press has been full of speculation, I have not made a final decision on how I will vote and I intend to listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate,” he said.
“Even if the Senate process were to begin this week and move promptly, no final verdict would be reached until after President Trump had left office,” McConnell later said.