On the one hand, McConnell and Trump's GOP agree with the House Impeachment Managers on the details of the former president planning and inciting a deadly insurrection against the U.S. government, the Capitol, and the people who work there:
“There’s no question,” McConnell said, “that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day,” which left five people dead, US Capitol Police officers injured, and parts of the building damaged. "The people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president.”
But, when it came time to buttress his words with action, the Senate Minority Leader, along with 42 of his comrades in arms, voted "Not Guilty!"
Supposedly, because of a technicality ...
McConnell maintained that the Constitution didn't allow but for the "removal" of a (sitting) president in an impeachment trial. Moreover, he held that if the House of Representatives had delivered its Article of Impeachment to the Senate earlier, he might have considered the case differently, because it would be against a president then in office.
Nice cover, huh?
Trouble is, earlier in its deliberations, the Senate voted that -- despite an ambiguous word (and principle) long and vigorously debated -- nothing in the U.S. Constitution precluded or prohibited their trial from continuing.
Ironically, this Senate (and future ones) now find themselves in a position wherein they violate the rules that they, themselves, have established.
Moreover, McConnell was the reason why the House couldn't legally and dutifully deliver its Article of Impeachment to the Senate ... because he had conveniently provided cover to Trump's GOP minions by adjourning the Senate until January 20th. In other words, because of McConnell, nobody was there to constitutionally accept the impeachment documents.
Nice case of double standards and speaking out of both sides of his mouth.
Politics at its pinnacle!
In the matter of Trump, however, McConnell reminded us that the end of this impeachment trial beckons the beginning of the ex-president's potential problems:
"We have a criminal justice system in this country. We have civil litigation. And former Presidents are not immune from being held accountable by either one."
So, theoretically, the U.S. Justice Department, the states, individuals and other entities that suffered because of Donald Trump's words and actions (or lack thereof) can bring criminal and civil charges against him now that he's a private citizen.
Others, too, will demand retribution and restitution for the harm caused by Donald John Trump's lies and deceit, threats and blackmail, cheating and thieving: "mobs" other than that storming the U.S. Capitol to whom Trump owes, banks and money lenders seeking their payback, governments -- local and international -- denied and damaged by the 45th president of the United States.
Ultimately, there's a higher authority to which Trump must answer, as well.
Retired church pastor and university professor Bruce Joffe relocated to Portugal in March 2017 ... two months after Donald Trump was inaugurated president of the United States.
(Rev.) Bruce H. Joffe, Ph.D.