On January 6, fueled by former President Donald Trump's lies that the presidential election was "stolen," a mob of pro-Trump extremists stormed the United States Capitol, upending the joint session to nationally certify Biden's victory, resulting in the deaths of at least five people.
The riots resulted in the historic second impeachment of then-President Trump a week later, with 10 House Republicans voting in favor, making it the most bipartisan impeachment in American history.
But two weeks and one new President later, Republicans are scrambling to minimize the fallout from the failed insurrection, claiming that a Senate trial against a former President is futile and that the United States should just move on.
Trump's former Ambassador to the United Nations and a favorite for the GOP presidential nomination in 2024, Nikki Haley, is one such Republican.
In an interview with far-right Fox News host Laura Ingraham, Haley criticized the efforts to hold Trump accountable for his part in inciting the riots.
Nikki Haley: I don’t even think there’s a basis for impeachment... Now they’re going to turn around and bring about… https://t.co/GD440L4dsA— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn Torabi) 1611632322.0
"The actions of the President post-Election Day were not great. What happened on January 6 was not great. Does he deserve to be impeached? Absolutely not. ... Now they're going to turn around and bring about impeachment yet they say they're for unity... I mean at some point I mean give the man a break. I mean move on."
Haley's characterization of the failed insurrection as "not great" was considered a gross understatement.
Haley takes a stand on the violent attempt to subvert the presidential election: It was "not great." https://t.co/oFGwSUOizp— Philip Bump (@Philip Bump) 1611634451.0
“What happened on January 6th was not great.” Not great? Trump lies about an election being stolen, incites and… https://t.co/ICflideM0y— Sarah Longwell (@Sarah Longwell) 1611659606.0
"Not great" is one way to describe a Trump-supporting mob ransacking the Capitol https://t.co/I6RTQxd8Jb— David P 🎭⚜️📿🎺🍹 (@David P 🎭⚜️📿🎺🍹) 1611674328.0
"What happened on January 6th was not great"...........I have no words left https://t.co/vnkN44YHEe— It’s Just Me (@It’s Just Me) 1611663630.0
What's a little sedition and death? Let me think how to put this. I'd say its "not great". Yea, that captures it. https://t.co/OTEPylcMy6— Bryan Watson (@Bryan Watson) 1611673867.0
Who says an insurrection where 5 died and dozens were injured was “not great”? Talk about playing-it-down, nobody… https://t.co/oCBtxJ5GHg— Screaming Harold (@Screaming Harold) 1611669993.0
Her remarks were roundly rebuked.
"This is ridiculous. You're telling me they're holding trials, at Nuremberg, for former Nazis, even though their Re… https://t.co/PoULG7cKNN— Frank Lesser (@Frank Lesser) 1611634406.0
“give the man a break” for inciting a deadly insurrection against the people of the United States and the democracy… https://t.co/YSBtMgLsrQ— John Harwood (@John Harwood) 1611634449.0
He tried to install himself as dictator and now Republicans want the American people to get over it? https://t.co/2UFx7TfIX6— Molly Jong-Fast🏡 (@Molly Jong-Fast🏡) 1611663597.0
The Senate trial of former President Donald Trump is expected to begin this week.