Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania has joined two other Republicans in the upper chamber in indicating possible support for removing President Donald Trump from office.
Following the pro-Trump U.S. Capitol riots, which left 5 people dead, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday gave the president an ultimatum: resign or lawmakers will begin impeachment proceedings. Democrats and some Republicans have accused Trump of inciting violence by encouraging supporters at a Stop the Steal rally to march to the Capitol building while Congress was convening to certify President-elect Joe Biden‘s 2020 presidential election win.
“I do think the President committed impeachable offences, but I don’t know what is going to land on the Senate floor,” Toomey told Fox News on Saturday. “I don’t know what they’re going to send over and one of the things I’m concerned about is whether the House would completely politicize something.”
Newsweek reached out to the White House for comment.
Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski on Friday became the first Republican in the Senate to call for the president’s resignation. “I want him to resign. I want him out. He has caused enough damage,” she told the Anchorage Daily News.
GOP Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska shared with CBS This Morning his belief that Trump had “disregarded his oath of office” and said he would “definitely consider” supporting any impeachment proceeding against the president.
“I swore an oath to the American people to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution,” he said, adding that Trump “acted against that.”
In a Friday memo, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the upper chamber cannot start Trump’s impeachment before Biden’s inauguration. The Senate is currently in a pro-forma session and cannot conduct any business unless 100 senators agree.
Even if the House rams through articles of impeachment against the president in his final 10 days in office, proceedings can only start after January 20, as it’s virtually impossible that all senators will allow the pro-forma session to be interrupted.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent, on Friday insisted that the House should move forward with impeachment proceedings despite McConnell’s memo. “Some people ask: Why would you impeach and convict a president who has only a few days left in office? The answer: Precedent. It must be made clear that no president, now or in the future, can lead an insurrection against the U.S. government,” Sanders tweeted.
The White House has warned that “a politically motivated impeachment against a President… will only serve to further divide our great country.”
GOP Senator Says Trump ‘Committed Impeachable Offenses’ but Fears House ‘Politicizing’ It The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ Newsweek.