U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, said in a speech on the Senate floor Tuesday that "the mob was fed lies" before the violent Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
"They were provoked by the president and other powerful people," McConnell said of the attack that delayed certification of Democrat Joe Biden as the next president by several hours, forcing lawmakers to seek safety, and resulted in the death of five people, including a Capitol Police officer.
"They tried to use fear and violence to stop" the vote certification, McConnell said. "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."
The House of Representatives last Wednesday impeached Trump for a second time. The Senate has yet to schedule a trial to determine Trump's guilt or innocence.
McConnell last week said he would listen to the arguments presented during the Senate trial before deciding how to vote on the impeachment charge of inciting an insurrection that resulted in the siege of the Capitol.
Senate Democrat Leader Chuck Schumer, who is poised to become Senate majority leader in coming days, said in a Senate speech that Trump "is a threat to our constitutional order whether he is in or out of office."
Trump's term as president ends Wednesday when Biden is sworn in.
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