Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Pat Toomey said Saturday that President Donald Trump “committed impeachable offenses,” becoming the third GOP senator to suggest possible support for removing the president after the deadly mob attack on the Capitol this week.
Furious discussion among Democrats and some Republicans in Washington continued Saturday about whether Trump should be removed or resign from office before his term ends in 11 days, with Democrats in Congress weighing plans to impeach Trump for inciting the insurrection by his supporters.
“I do think the president committed impeachable offenses,” Toomey said during an interview on Fox News’ The Journal Editorial Report. “But I don’t know what is going to land on the Senate floor, if anything.”
He also said he was concerned about whether the Democrat-controlled House would “politicize” the situation.
House Democrats were reportedly planning to introduce articles of impeachment accusing Trump of abuse of power on Monday; a vote could occur in the House as early as Wednesday.
Impeachment could only be taken up before Jan. 20 by the Senate, the body charged with convicting or acquitting an impeached president, if all 100 senators agreed to come back to session for it.
Toomey on Wednesday called the attack by Trump supporters — who stormed the U.S. Capitol, smashed windows, vandalized the interior, and caused police to release tear gas in the building while putting a terrifying halt to Congress’ confirmation of Joe Biden’s win — an “absolute disgrace.” Five people have died in connection with the siege.
On Friday, GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said that Trump “needs to get out,” and Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, also a Republican, said he would “definitely consider” any articles of impeachment passed by the House, saying Trump had broken his oath of office. Other Republicans in Congress reportedly want Trump to leave office before his term ends.
The White House has responded to the suggestion of impeachment by saying it would further divide the country.
Before Wednesday’s attack, Toomey, who is retiring after 2022, had called Trump a “demagogue” and refused to back the president’s push to overturn Biden’s legitimate victory. He did not back Trump’s push to challenge Pennsylvania’s election results — unlike other state Republicans in Congress who objected to their state’s own election results.
Pennsylvania’s Democratic members joined the calls for Trump’s removal following the violence at the Capitol.
Rep. Madeleine Dean, the Democrat who represents Montgomery County, said on Saturday that she had signed on to cosponsor impeachment articles.
“Never more clearly has the President demonstrated how unworthy and unfit he is to lead our nation,” she said in a statement.
This article contains information from the Associated Press.