A 7-foot golden statue of the Conservative Political Action Conference’s featured speaker captured the spotlight at the Republican conference last week, dressed in American flag clothing. What’s below was not the speech he gave.

“January 6th was a disgrace. American citizens attacked their own government. They used terrorism to stop a specific piece of democratic business they didn’t like.”

So spoke Republican Mitch McConnell, closing Trump’s impeachment trial.

He continued:

“Fellow Americans beat and bloodied our own police. … They tried to hunt down the speaker of the House. They built a gallows and chanted about murdering the vice president.

They did this because they had been fed wild falsehoods by the most powerful man on Earth …”

McConnell added:

“There is no question that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of that day. The people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president.

And their having that belief was a foreseeable consequence of … false statements, conspiracy theories, and reckless hyperbole which the defeated president kept shouting.

A mob was assaulting the Capitol in his name. These criminals were carrying his banners, hanging his flags, and screaming their loyalty to him,” said McConnell.

“WE WANT TRUMP NOT BARABBAS” exclaimed one profane sign hoisted at the Capitol that day.

Trump is not a force of nature. Far more sadly, he is a reflection of failures in choice which we can only pray may diminish, and only our consciences can whisper to us and impart.

Paul Baribault, Lewiston

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