From former White House staff to Republican heavyweights, the GOP faithful turn on Trump

Donald Trump faces the prospect of becoming the first president to be impeached twice during a single term

Shweta Sharma
Monday 11 January 2021 08:29
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<p>President Donald Trump speaking at the rally in Washington on 6 January, shortly before the US Capitol riots began</p>

President Donald Trump speaking at the rally in Washington on 6 January, shortly before the US Capitol riots began

Even some of Donald Trump’s staunchest supporters have turned against him after the deadly riot at the US Capitol last Wednesday, with several top Republicans joining the chorus of Democrats accusing the president of inciting the violence.  

Multiple senior Republican lawmakers might join about 180 members of Congress in co-sponsoring the resolution to impeach Donald Trump on Monday, according to US media reports, while others demanded his resignation. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi confirmed in a statement on Sunday that Democrats in the House of Representatives will proceed with legislation to impeach Mr Trump a second time.

Senior Republican senator Pat Toomey and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska demanded Mr Trump’s resignation at the weekend, and said they were of the view that the president should not be allowed to run the office again. Mr Trump has repeatedly signalled his intention to try again for the White House in 2024.

Former alley Mr Toomey said on Saturday that the president commuted “impeachable offences” and he should resign “as soon as possible”. He said his "behaviour this week does disqualify him from serving. But we've got 10 days left, 11 days left".

“I don’t know what they are going to send over and one of the things that I’m concerned about, frankly, is whether the House would completely politicise something,” Mr Toomey told Fox News on Saturday. “I do think the president committed impeachable offences, but I don’t know what is going to land on the Senate floor, if anything.”

Lisa Murkowski was the first Republican on Friday to demand Mr Trump resignation and appeared furious during an interview, saying the president has already caused “enough damage”.

"I want him to resign. I want him out. He has caused enough damage," Ms Murkowski told the Anchorage Daily News.

Alyssa Farah, a former White House communications director in the Trump administration, also supported calls for his resignation and said the president had lied to the American people with his baseless conspiracy theories about the election being rigged.  

She joined former White House chief of staff, John Kelly, in calling Mr Trump to either resign or be removed from office before Joe Biden’s inauguration on 20 January. Once the right-hand-man to the president, Mr Kelly is now among those calling on vice president Mike Pence to take over from Mr Trump through the 25th Amendment of the constitution.

Five people, including a member of the US Capitol Police, died in the riots on 6 January as Congress counted the electoral college votes to certify Mr Biden’s victory. Dozens of rioters have been arrested, with the FBI calling on people to submit video evidence and reportedly investigating whether the attackers had intended to take members of Congress hostage.  

Mr Trump has not issued a public statement since Friday, when it was announced that he would be cut off from his official social media channels. He may now face an impeachment trial and the prospect of becoming the first US leader to be impeached twice during a single-term presidency.

Republican senator Ben Sasse, from Nebraska, indicated that he could support Democrats in their attempt to impeach Mr Trump.

Mr Sasse said on “CBS This Morning” on Friday that he “will definitely consider” co-sponsoring the articles the House sends over because he believes Trump “has disregarded his oath of office” to preserve, protect and defend the constitution.

Republican Illinois representative Adam Kinzinger, another critic of Mr Trump, endorsed invoking the 25th Amendment during his interview with ABC on Sunday as it would “get the debate out of Congress”.

“I think the best thing for the country to heal would be for him to resign," he said. “The next best thing is the 25th Amendment, and that's why I call on Vice President Pence to do it.”  

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