Conservative attorney George Conway went after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in his latest Washington Post op-ed, admonishing him for his claim that impeachment created a distraction from coronavirus preparations.
“There should have been shame enough in orchestrating the acquittal of an impeached president who, in order to extort help for his reelection campaign, unlawfully withheld security aid to an ally,” wrote Conway, who is an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump despite his wife Kellyanne Conway serving in a senior advisory role in the administration.
“But it turns out Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was just getting started.”
In an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt Tuesday, McConnell said that coronavirus first “came up while we were tied down on the impeachment trial,” which he claimed “diverted the attention of the government.”
In the column published later that day, Conway labeled this sentiment “gaslighting of the highest order.”
Walking through the coronavirus and impeachment trial timelines, the attorney pointed out that Trump blew off the outbreak as nothing to worry about numerous times during the trial, and had time to hold five campaign rallies and play golf in Mar-a-Lago during the early and even intermediate stages of the outbreak.
Weeks after the impeachment trial concluded on Feb. 5, Trump, still downplaying the seriousness of the burgeoning outbreak, riffed at a South Carolina campaign event that his political opponents were weaponizing the virus as a “hoax” against his presidency. In early March, despite social distancing measures and cancellations of major events and gatherings, Trump said he would continue to hold 2020 campaign rallies.
He repeatedly dismissed early concerns about the outbreak and ignored warnings from intelligence and medical community professionals, leading to a delayed response in the critical window needed to prepare.
“The problem wasn’t impeachment — it was the president,” Conway wrote.
“If anything, it was McConnell and his fellow Senate Republicans’ refusal to remove him, not the impeachment itself, that helped bring us to where we are today.”
Read the full column on the Washington Post here.
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