WASHINGTON — US President-elect Joe Biden attended a mass at St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Washington, DC, on Wednesday morning, accompanied by Democratic and Republican leaders of Congress in a symbol of unity ahead of his inauguration.
The future 46th President of the United States was accompanied by his wife Jill Biden, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, as well as Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell and House leader Kevin McCarthy.
Violinist Patricia Treacy, soprano Renée Fleming and the St. Augustine Gospel Choir were to perform during the mass.
Biden, 78, will be sworn in shortly before noon outside the Capitol, which was targeted in a deadly assault by pro-Trump protesters exactly two weeks ago.
The attack led to the historic second impeachment of Donald Trump by the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives. He is the first president ever to have been impeached twice.
His impeachment trial is now scheduled to take place in the Senate, but the date has not yet been set.
McCarthy and McConnell, long loyal allies of the Republican billionaire, had harsh words for him after the Capitol attack.
McCarthy said Trump “bears responsibility” for inciting the riot and should have immediately denounced the crowd when he saw what was happening — but added that he thought impeachment was a “mistake,” and voted against it.
McConnell, in a resounding break with Trump, did not rule out finding the president guilty at the Senate trial.
“The mob was fed lies,” the senator from Kentucky said in a speech on the Senate floor Tuesday.
“They were provoked by the president and other powerful people. And they tried to use fear and violence to stop” the certification by Congress of Democrat Joe Biden’s November 3 election victory, McConnell said.