Calls for Donald Trump’s impeachment mount as lawmakers condemn the president for inciting the crowd of supporters who stormed and devastated the U.S. Capitol.
This includes a small group of mostly moderate Republican leaders who have condemned Trump and called for him to step down or be forced, either by invoking the 25th amendment or impeachment.
The number of GOP votes remains low compared to the growing number of Democrats, led by House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi and soon-to-be majority leader Chuck Schumer, who are calling for Trump to overthrow.
Democrats are already planning to launch a second round of impeachment proceedings against the president and could vote on items as early as next week. Trump could very well be tried a second time, but it would take two-thirds of the Senate to convict him before Trump could be removed from office.
Most Republican senators have so far been silent or are against it. Large parts of the House’s GOP caucus are determined to support Trump. But The power of some denunciations signals that there are at least some in the Republican Party who want a separate future from Trump – as small as this group may be.
Republican officials are calling for Trump to be removed
Below are the few Republicans currently in office who have called for Trump to step down or be impeached.
Glad. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski was the first female Republican Senator to call for Trump to leave office. She did not mention impeachment or other methods of removal, but was clear in her criticism of the president.
“I want him to resign. I want him out. He’s done enough damage, ”Murkowski told the Anchorage Daily News in an interview on Friday.
“He doesn’t want to stay there,” she added. “He just wants to stay there for the title. He just wants to stay there for his ego. He has to get out. He has to do good, but I don’t think he is capable of doing good. “
Murkowski has a reputation for being one of the more moderate Republicans in the Senate – though she may not have long referred to herself as a Republican. She told the Anchorage Daily News that if it continued to organize around Trump, she could leave the party. “I’ll tell you if the Republican Party has become nothing more than Trump’s party, I sincerely wonder if this is the party for me,” she said.
Phil Scott, governor of Vermont
Vermont’s Republican governor, just being sworn in for his third term, was among the first prominent Republicans to call for Trump’s resignation, “or be removed from office” by his cabinet or Congress.
“Make no mistake, the President of the United States is responsible for this event,” wrote Scott in a thread on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon. “President Trump has launched a campaign to spark an insurrection that will turn the results of a free, fair and legal election upside down.”
The structure of our democracy and the principles of our republic are under attack by the president.
Enough is enough.
President Trump should step down or step down from his cabinet or Congress. 6/6
– Governor Phil Scott (@GovPhilScott) January 6, 2021
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL)
Kinzinger also called on the cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment, the first Republican member of Congress to do so.
“All the signs indicate that the president has not only been released from his duty or even his oath, but also from reality itself,” said Kinzinger in a video statement posted on Twitter. “It is for this reason that I urge the Vice President and Cabinet members to ensure that the next few weeks are safe for the American people and that we have a sensible captain on the ship.”
Kinzinger was among the first Republicans to recognize Biden as a legitimate elected president and has sought to expose electoral fraud conspiracies. He criticized his congressional colleagues for attempting to object to the results of the electoral college, calling them “not serious people”. Kinzinger made no explicit mention of the impeachment in his statement, but told MSNBC that he had not ruled out supporting such a move.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan
Maryland’s governor could be the most prominent GOP figure calling for Trump’s removal. In a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Hogan said, “There is no question that America could do better if the president resigns or is removed from office.”
After the press conference, Hogan wrote, “I understand that President Trump has relinquished his sacred oath to endorse and defend the United States Constitution.”
While Hogan is a Republican, he’s not exactly a rare Trump critic, and he’s broken with the president over his handling of the coronavirus and immigration. In 1974, Hogan’s father, a GOP congressman, was the first Republican in the House to support the impeachment of Richard Nixon.
Charlie Baker, Massachusetts Governor
Massachusetts Republican Governor Charlie Baker – another moderate GOPer to clash with the president – also blamed Trump for the violence in Washington, DC, and for creating chaos with his conspiracy theories about electoral fraud. In a press conference on Thursday, he said Pence should lead the transition.
“It’s been 14 days, OK?” Baker said according to the Boston Globe. “I think people should do whatever they think can be done quickly for the president to step down and the vice president to take over the office for the next 14 days so that an orderly transition can take place.”
Most of the Republican resistance stops before it is removed
Still, the list of Republicans who specifically said Trump should go is still fairly short and perhaps not all that surprising.
Many – if certainly not all – Republican leaders have now called on Trump to pass these conspiracy theories on to his supporters and to use his platform at the rally on Wednesday to radicalize the demonstrators present.
Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) did not directly request Trump’s removal, but in an interview with CBS This Morning, he signaled that he was open to impeachment.
Nebraska Republican Senator Ben Sasse has blamed President Trump for the violent attack on the Capitol, calling it an “inevitable and ugly outcome”. @ SenSasse joins us now. pic.twitter.com/bZHDKuXEWx
– CBS this morning (@CBSThisMorning) January 8, 2021
“The House, when you get together and have a lawsuit, I’m definitely going to consider what articles you could move because, like I told you, I believe the president disregarded his oath of office,” Sasse told CBS This’s Gayle King Morning. “He has sworn an oath to uphold, protect and defend the Constitution. He acted against it. What he did was bad. “
A handful of cabinet officials have also resigned in protest, notably Elaine Chao, the transportation secretary, and Betsy DeVos, the education secretary. Others considered resigning, including National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, although he was reportedly persuaded to keep going.
The conviction came from former officials, including those who served under Trump. Former Attorney General Bill Barr, who resigned last month shortly after denying the president’s allegations of widespread electoral fraud, said in a statement that “orchestrating a mob to pressure Congress is inexcusable”. Barr said: “The President’s conduct yesterday was a betrayal of his office and his supporters.” John Kelly, former White House chief of staff and former Homeland Security Secretary, told CNN that if he were still in the cabinet, he would vote to remove Trump.
Some of these denunciations come a little late as many of Trump’s Republican allies did little to stop or condemn Trump in the previous weeks.
And so far, few Republicans who actually have the power to remove the president – that is, those in Congress or running a cabinet agency – have announced that they will definitely do so. Pence is reportedly opposed to invoking the 25th Amendment, and many other lawmakers look like they’d rather go ahead and reiterate the president’s statement Thursday night recognizing that a “new government” would take over and would try to distance itself from the Capitol attack.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), one of Trump’s greatest defenders in the Senate, said Friday as Trump said, “It’s time to heal and move on.”
“If Spokesman Pelosi presses for impeachment in the final days of the Trump presidency, it will do more harm than good.”
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