McCarthy Rejects Claim Antifa Was Behind Capitol Riot: 'The President Bears Responsibility'


House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is going on the record to shoot down claims that Antifa was behind the riot in the U.S. Capitol and blame President Donald Trump for the violence.

During a speech on the House floor on Wednesday as lawmakers debate impeaching Trump, McCarthy said, “Some say the riots were caused by Antifa. There is absolutely no evidence of that, and conservatives should be the first to say so.”

He vowed that the individuals responsible for the violence “will be brought to justice.” 

Still, he argued the House should not vote to impeach the president, “I believe impeaching the president in such a short timeframe would be a mistake. No investigations have been completed, no hearings have been held.”

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The California lawmaker noted that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) revealed that he will not agree to reconvene the chamber to hold an impeachment trial before January 19, just one day before President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in.

Additionally, he warned that voting to impeach Trump would only further divide the country and “further fan the flames of partisan of division.” 

He also argued that “most Americans want neither inaction nor retribution.”

“They want durable bipartisan justice,” McCarthy said. 

While he argued that impeachment is “not the path” toward “bipartisan justice,” he said, “That doesn’t mean the president is free from fault.”

“The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding. These facts require immediate action of President Trump,” he continued.

In a recent phone call with the Republican leader, Trump reportedly claimed “Antifa people” were behind the riot. Which McCarthy rejected as he said, “It’s not Antifa, it’s MAGA. I know. I was there.”

Antifa is described by the Anti-Defamation League as “a loose collection of groups, networks and individuals who believe in active, aggressive opposition to far right-wing movements.”

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During his speech, McCarthy called on Trump to “accept his share of responsibility, quell the grueling unrest, and ensure President-elect Biden is able to successfully begin his term.”

Additionally, instead of impeaching Trump, McCarthy suggested Congress should establish a fact-finding commission and pass a censure resolution. 

While McCarthy opposes impeachment, he is reportedly not lobbying Republican House members to vote “no” on the article of impeachment against Trump.

And several Republican lawmakers have announced their intention to vote to impeach Trump, including the No. 3 House Republican, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.). 

That is a sharp contrast from Democrats’ 2019 impeachment effort when no House Republicans broke ranks to vote in favor of either article of impeachment. 

The House is expected to pass one article of impeachment against Trump for “incitement of insurrection.”

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