Senator Pat Toomey, a Pennsylvania Republican, called on President Donald Trump to resign, asserting that the leader of his political party is no longer a “viable candidate” for elected office in the future following the attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Trump on Wednesday urged hundreds of his supporters to march on the Capitol and “fight” as Congress met to certify the election victory of President-elect Joe Biden. The mob broke into the legislative building, while some threatened to murder lawmakers and Vice President Mike Pence—who Trump had attacked for refusing to comply with an unconstitutional effort to overturn the election results. Five people died in the violence.
Speaking to NBC News’ Meet the Press on Sunday morning, Toomey called out the president for inciting the assault on the Capitol, saying he should resign.
“I think the best way for our country, Chuck, is for the president to resign and go away as soon as possible,” Toomey told host Chuck Todd. “I acknowledge that may not be likely, but I think that would be best. It does not look as though there is the will or the consensus to exercise the 25th Amendment option. And I don’t think there’s time to do an impeachment. There’s 10 days left before the president leaves anyway. I think the best thing would be a resignation,” he said.
Although Democratic lawmakers in the House of Representatives are pushing forward with plans to impeach the president a second time—which would be a first in U.S. history—Toomey questioned whether this is constitutionally possible as the process would likely finish after Trump was out of office.
“One, it’s not clear, the Constitution permits impeachment, conviction and prohibition against ever serving again—which is a separate vote—that that’s permitted after a person has left office, which is what would have to happen here,” Toomey said. “So, whether that could be done in a binding fashion is really an open question.”
“Number two, I would certainly hope and I actually do believe that the president has disqualified himself,” he added. “I don’t think he’s a viable candidate for office ever again because of the outrageous behavior in the post-election period.” In an interview with Fox News on Saturday, Toomey said he believed the president had “committed impeachable offenses.”
Newsweek reached out to the White House for comment but did not immediately receive a response.
Senator Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican, on Friday became the first GOP senator to call on Trump to resign in the wake of the Capitol assault.
“I want him to resign. I want him out. He has caused enough damage,” Murkowski told the Anchorage Daily News. The GOP lawmaker went on to question whether she could remain a Republican if Trump continues to be head of the political party.
“If the Republican Party has become nothing more than the party of Trump, I sincerely question whether this is the party for me,” she said.
GOP Senator Toomey Says Trump Should Resign, Not ‘Viable Candidate for Office Ever Again’ The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ Newsweek.