Second Republican Senator urges Trump to step down as impeachment looms


Two Republican senators are now saying U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to step down following deadly riots on Capitol Hill, as support for the House’s desire to impeach him a second time grows.
Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey joined Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski on Sunday in calling on Trump to “resign and leave as soon as possible” after a violent mob of his supporters burst into the Capitol building Wednesday. Murkowski, who has long expressed exasperation at Trump’s conduct in office, told the Anchorage Daily News on Friday that Trump “just had to get out.”

Toomey said that while he believed Trump had committed uneasy offenses by encouraging loyalists in the Capitol seat, he didn’t think there was enough time for the impeachment process to unfold. The resignation, Toomey said, was “the best way to go, the best way to put this person in the rearview mirror for us.” The senator was not optimistic that Trump would step down before his term ends on January 20.

House leaders, furious at the violent insurgency against them, appear determined to act despite the short delay.

Late Saturday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, sent a letter to her colleagues reiterating that Trump should be held accountable. She told her caucus, now scattered across the country on a two-week hiatus, “to be ready to return to Washington this week” but did not say categorically that there would be an impeachment vote.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told her caucus to “prepare to return to Washington this week,” but did not categorically state that there would be an impeachment vote. (Alex Wong / Getty Images)

“It is absolutely essential that those who carried out the attack on our democracy are held accountable,” Pelosi wrote. “It must be recognized that this desecration was caused by the president. ”

Rep. Jim Clyburn, the Third House Democrat, said “it might be Tuesday, Wednesday before the action is taken, but I think it will be taken this week.”

Clyburn, a Democrat from South Carolina and a close ally of President-elect Joe Biden, suggested that if the House of Representatives votes to impeach Pelosi could withhold the charges – called articles of impeachment – until after the first 100 days of Biden’s tenure. . Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, said an impeachment trial could not begin until inauguration day, Jan.20.

“Let’s give President-elect Biden the 100 days he needs to get his program off the ground,” Clyburn said. “And maybe we’ll send the items out sometime after.”

Clyburn said lawmakers “will take the vote we should take in the House” and Pelosi “will make the decision as to when is the best time” to send them to the Senate.

Republicans split up

Another idea being considered is having a separate vote that would prevent Trump from returning to office. That might only require a simple majority vote of 51 senators, unlike impeachment, in which two-thirds of the Senate’s 100 members must support a conviction.

Toomey has indicated that he could support such a vote: “I think the president disqualified himself to certainly never be in office again,” he said. “I don’t think he’s eligible in any way. ”

The Senate is expected to be evenly divided 50-50, but under Democratic control once Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and the two Democrats who won the Georgian Senate second round last week are sworn in. Harris will be the Senate tiebreaker. vote.

WATCH | Trump and the future of the Republican Party:

CBC News talks to Chris Galdieri, an associate professor of politics at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire, for his views on the state of the Republican Party. How divided is he, where is he going from here, and what influence will Trump and Trumpism have? 4:10

While many have criticized Trump, Republicans have said impeachment will be a divisive in times of unity.

Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio has said that instead of rallying, Democrats want to “talk about ridiculous things like” impeaching a president “who won’t even be in office in about nine days.” Republican Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri said Trump’s actions “were clearly reckless,” but “my personal opinion is that the president touched the hot stove on Wednesday and is unlikely to touch it again” .

Still, some Republicans might be in favor.

WATCH | The former White House chief of staff said Trump should step down:

Former Defense Secretary, CIA Director and White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta has said Donald Trump should step down and allow Mike Pence to lead the final days of the administration. 8:21

Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse has said he will review any articles the House sends. Illinois Representative Adam Kinzinger, a frequent critic of Trump, said he will “vote the right way” if the matter comes to him. But, he said, “Honestly, I don’t think impeachment is the smart move because I think it re-victimizes Donald Trump. ”

The Democratic effort to stamp Trump’s presidential record – for the second time and days before his term ends – with the indelible mark of impeachment has progressed rapidly since the riot on Capitol Hill.

Democratic Representative David Cicilline of Rhode Island, a leader in House efforts to draft impeachment articles accusing Trump of inciting insurgency, said on Saturday his group had grown to include more than 200 co -sponsors.

Lawmakers planned to formally present the proposal to the House on Monday, where the articles of impeachment are expected to come from.

The articles, if passed by the House, could then be sent to the Senate for trial, with the senators acting as jurors who would ultimately vote on Trump’s acquittal or conviction. If found guilty, Trump would be removed from office and succeeded by the vice president. It would be the first time that an American president has been impeached twice.

What this means for Biden, and the start of his presidency, potentially complicates Pelosi’s decision on impeachment. While reiterating that he has long viewed Trump as unfit for office, Biden avoided an impeachment question on Friday, saying what Congress does “it’s up to them to decide.”

Trump more and more isolated

A violent, largely white crowd of Trump supporters stormed police, broke through security lines and windows and ransacked the Capitol on Wednesday, forcing lawmakers to disperse as they put the finishing touches on Biden’s victory. on Trump in the electoral college.

Crowds surged towards the domed symbol of American democracy following a rally near the White House, where Trump repeated his false claims that the election was stolen from him and urged his supporters to march in force towards the Capitol.

A Capitol Police officer died after being hit on the head with a fire extinguisher as rioters descended on the building, and scores of other police officers were injured. A California woman was fatally shot by Capitol Hill police and three others died after medical emergencies during the chaos.

WATCH | A photojournalist recalls the chaos on the U.S. Capitol:

Associated Press photojournalist Andrew Harnik recounts the times he took refuge there with members of the US Congress and shares some of the powerful images he took. 6:36

The outrage over the attack and Trump’s role in instigating it capped a chaotic, divisionist presidency like few in the country’s history.

Trump has few Republicans speaking out in his defense, and the White House has declined to comment on new Republican calls for resignation. He has become increasingly isolated, locked in the White House, as he was abandoned in the wake of the riot by many aides, prominent Republicans and, so far, two cabinet members – all two of the women.

Toomey appeared on CNN State of the Union et NBC Meet the press. Clyburn was on Fox News dimanche and CNN. Kinzinger was on ABC This week, Blunt was on CBS Face the nation and Rubio was on Fox News Channel Sunday morning futures.


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