Note: this piece was originally published in The Washington Post, and was written by Checks & Balances member George Conway.
But it turns out Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was just getting started.
On Tuesday, he added to the disgrace by claiming that impeachment distracted officials from dealing with the coronavirus. Speaking to radio host (and Post columnist) Hugh Hewitt, McConnell said the virus “came up while we were, you know, tied down in the impeachment trial. And I think it diverted the attention of the government, because everything, every day, was all about impeachment.”
This is gaslighting of the highest order. Leave aside that the president now claims that he presciently “felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic” and that he “always treated the Chinese Virus very seriously.”
Look at the calendar. The impeachment trial ended on Feb. 5. In reality, it was over before it even started, thanks in large part to McConnell. The only drama was about whether there’d be any witnesses — and that ended on Jan. 31, when the Senate voted not to hear testimony. That left plenty of time to deal with the virus.
And while some lawyers in the executive branch and Congress were working on impeachment around the clock, impeachment didn’t consume the government. Trump managed to get to Mar-a-Lago at least four times in January and February, working in a few rounds of golf along the way. He held five campaign rallies around the country during the impeachment trial.