Lawmakers mount pressure on Trump to leave office
Calls grew Sunday for President Trump’s impeachment or resignation as lawmakers accused him of inciting the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol last week.
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he agreed with his colleague, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who became the first Senate Republican to call for Trump’s resignation last week.
“I think the best way for our country, Chuck, is for the president to resign and go away as soon as possible,” Toomey told NBC’s Chuck Todd. “It does not look as though there is the will or the consensus to exercise the 25th Amendment option, and I don’t think there’s time to do an impeachment. There’s 10 days left before the president leaves anyway. I think the best thing would be a resignation.”
Toomey went on to tell CNN’s Jake Tapper that Trump’s actions Wednesday had likely doomed any political future he might have.
“I think the president has disqualified himself from ever certainly serving in office again,” Toomey said. “I don’t think he’s electable in any way, and I don’t think that he’s going to be exercising anything like the kind of influence like he’s had over the Republican Party going forward.”
Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), a close confidant of President-elect Joe Biden, said that Trump has “lost the right to be president,” adding that he supported either impeachment or Trump’s removal through the 25th Amendment if Trump declined to resign.
“Many of my Republican colleagues are now calling for healing and for us to come together,” Coons said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “I’ll tell you that there can only be reconciliation with repentance. And I think the single most important thing that Republicans in Congress who helped facilitate this widespread conspiracy theory … can do in these remaining 10 days is to stop those lies and to persuade their followers and their supporters that President-elect Biden is the duly elected president of the United States.”
Coons has also called for Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to resign for leading a challenge to the official Electoral College count that affirmed Biden as the next president, accusing them of inciting the storming of the Capitol that killed five people, including a Capitol Police officer.
House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that Trump presented too imminent a threat to wait for the end of his presidency in 10 days.
“The goal at the present moment is to address the existential threat that Donald Trump presents at this time. Every second, every minute, every hour that Donald Trump remains in office presents a danger to the American people,” Jeffries said. “All of our efforts at the present moment are focused on his immediate removal. That’s the right thing to do. The House is a separate and co-equal branch of government.”
“We have a constitutional responsibility to serve as a check and balance on an out of control executive branch,” Jeffries added. “Donald Trump is completely and totally out of control, and even his longtime enablers have now come to that conclusion.”
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), a longtime ally of the president, said on ABC’s “This Week” that “what we had was an incitement to riot at the United States Capitol. We had people killed, and to me there’s not a whole lot of question here.”
“I think if inciting to insurrection isn’t [an impeachable offense], I don’t really know what it is,” he added.
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) was one of the only lawmakers not to endorse Trump’s resignation or removal, saying on on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that “it would be up to him, but my view would be is what the president should do is finish the last 10 days of his presidency.”
Although Blunt was not among the senators who joined the objection, he cast doubt on Biden’s victory in the immediate aftermath of the election, saying that Trump “may not have been defeated at all” three days after Biden was projected president-elect in November.
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