US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Saturday criticized former US President Donald Trump and said that he was "practically and morally responsible" for his supporters' deadly attack on the Capitol.
The speech came shortly after the Senate acquitted Trump on charges of “inciting insurrection” at his impeachment trial. McConnell voted in favor of acquitting Trump.
A supermajority of 67 had been required for the impeachment motion to pass, but the Senate voted 57-43 on to acquit Trump.
The top Senate Republican explained the unexpected turnabout by declaring it unconstitutional to convict Trump of misconduct now that the former president has left office and become a private citizen.
"There is no question that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day," said McConnell, according to Reuters.
"The people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president," McConnell added.
He said that Trump had orchestrated "an intensifying crescendo of conspiracy theories" and described Trump as "determined to either overturn the voters' decision or else torch our institutions on the way out."
McConnell suggested that Trump could still face criminal prosecution for his acts, saying, "President Trump is still liable for everything he did while he was in office as an ordinary citizen."