Senator Mitch McConnell blamed President Donald Trump and his administration for the Capitol Hill riot of Jan. 6. On the Senate floor on Tuesday, McConnell said that "The mob was fed lies."
"The last time the Senate convened, we had just reclaimed the Capitol from violent criminals who tried to stop Congress from doing our duty," McConnell said.
"The mob was fed lies," McConnell said.
"They were provoked by the President and other powerful people. 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."
It was a week after the Capitol Hill riot on Jan. 6 that the House of Representatives impeached President Trump, with little debate on the House floor. The articles of impeachment charged Trump with "incitement of insurrection."
While ten House members of the GOP voted to impeach, there were over 100 Republicans who had voted against the certification of the Electoral College results, and have been derided since for having done so.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) has been censured by her own party in Wyoming for having voted to impeach Trump.
McConnell declined to reconvene the Senate early in order to hold an impeachment hearing prior to Trump's departure from office. McConnell had said that he was as yet undecided on how he would vote in a Senate impeachment hearing.
In his comments on the Senate floor on Tuesday, McConnell said "we certified the people's choice for their 46th president. Tomorrow, President-elect Biden and Vide President-elect Harris will be sworn in.
"We'll have a safe and successful inaugural right here on the west front of the Capitol, the space that President Bush 41 called 'democracy's front porch.' And then we'll move forward. Our work for the American people will continue as it has for over 230 years.
"There are serious challenges that our nation needs to continue confronting," McConnell said. "But there will also be great and hopeful opportunities for us to seize."
"Certainly November's elections did not hand any side a mandate for sweeping ideological change. Americans elected a closely divided Senate, a closely divided House, and a presidential candidate who said he would represent everyone."
He finished by saying "we're all in this together."