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McCarthy: Impeachment would 'further divide' nation but Trump 'bears responsibility' for riot

House GOP leader says a "censure resolution" rather than impeachment would be "prudent"

Updated: January 13, 2021 - 4:55pm

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House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy said Wednesday he opposes impeaching President Trump, arguing that it would "further divide" the nation.

"I believe impeaching the president in such a short timeframe would be a mistake," the California lawmaker said on the House floor. "No investigations have been completed. No hearings have been held. What’s more, the Senate has confirmed that no trial will begin until after President-elect Biden is sworn in."

McCarthy said a vote to impeach Trump one week before Democrat Joe Biden takes office would "further divide this nation" and "further fan the flames of partisan division." 

McCarthy said that Trump isn't free from fault though, regarding the Jan. 6 siege on the U.S. Capitol Building by Trump supporters and others.

"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," he said. "These facts require immediate actions by President Trump. Accept his share of responsibility. Quell the brewing unrest."

McCarthy added that a "censure resolution" rather than impeachment would be "prudent."