Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Pat Toomey has become the second Republican senator to call for President Donald Trump’s resignation following Wednesday’s deadly insurrection on the U.S. Capitol by his supporters, while former GOP N.J. Gov. Chris Christie and Trump ally has called his incitement an “impeachable offense.”
“I think at this point, with just a few days left, it’s the best path forward, the best way to get this person in the rearview mirror for us,” Toomey said on State of the Union. “That could happen immediately. I’m not optimistic it will, but I do think that would be the best way forward.”
“I think the best way for our country, Chuck, is for the president to resign and go away, as soon as possible,” he said. “I acknowledge that may not be likely, but I think that would be best.”
Toomey said there may not be “the will or the consensus” to invoke the 25th Amendment, resulting in Vice President Mike Pence taking Trump’s role during his final days in office. Toomey also said there may not be “enough time” for impeachment.
He remarked that he doesn’t think the “unbelievable behavior of Wednesday ... could’ve been reasonably expected,” and that Trump’s actions are “wildly different from the offensive tweets that were common during his presidency.” Former United States Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson took issue with the comments when appearing as a panelist following Toomey’s interview.
“I’ve written several op-eds over the last four years about how President Trump’s rhetoric makes unacceptable behavior acceptable and violence inevitable,” he said. “My principle concern right now, Chuck, at this moment, is the domestic security situation, which is to say the least tense and should be on high alert.”
As outrage over Wednesday’s events continued to build, Democrats moved forward with calling for Trump’s second impeachment trial. If agreed upon by both the House and the Senate, he may also be prevented from running for president in 2024.
House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn says the House could vote this week to impeach Trump but delay sending the legislation to the Senate until after many of incoming President Joe Biden’s cabinet secretaries are confirmed for their posts.
The South Carolina Democrat says “it may be Tuesday or Wednesday before action is taken, but I think it will be taken this week.”
Clyburn says he’s concerned that a Senate trial could distract from the process of confirming Biden’s nominees.
While Toomey may be the second GOP senator to urge Trump’s resignation, other Republican lawmakers have expressed support for removing the president from office, including Sen. Ben Sasse (R., Nebraska). While on ABC’s This Week on Sunday, Christie told George Stephanopoulos that Trump’s incitement ahead of Wednesday’s insurrection was “an impeachable offense.”
“If inciting to insurrection isn’t, then I don’t really know what is,” Christie said.
Trump’s term ends Jan. 20, when President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President elect Kamala Harris will be sworn into office. Trump has said he will not be attending the inauguration.
Twitter has also permanently banned Trump from using the social media platform in the wake of Wednesday’s events, killing five, including a Capitol Police officer. The insurrection escalated after Trump told supporters Wednesday that he would “never concede,” and urged them to march toward the Capitol where lawmakers were meeting to certify election results.