Calls for President Donald Trump to step down following the storming of the Capitol Building by his supporters grew over the weekend, as Democratic lawmakers reportedly move closer to starting a second impeachment of the president.
“The best way for our country … is for the president to resign and go away as soon as possible,” U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, a Republican of Pennsylvania, told NBC News’ “Meet the Press” on Sunday.
“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.”
Trump has insisted that the election was stolen from him and his role in encouraging action by his supporters has led to worry by many following the violent attack at the Capitol on Wednesday, which led to the deaths of several people, including of a police officer and a protester who entered the Capitol.
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican of Alaska, made a similar call for his resignation last week.
“I want him to resign. I want him out. He has caused enough damage,” Murkowski said, according to an interview in the Anchorage Daily News.
At the same time, Democratic lawmakers are expected to vote this week on one or more articles of impeachment against Trump, even though he only has 10 days left in office before Joe Biden moves into the White House.
“I urge you to be prepared to return to Washington this week,” wrote House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a letter to her colleagues over the weekend.
“Over the last few days, I have discussed your views with Constitutional lawyers, both inside and outside the Congress, to consider the parliamentary and constitutional options available to us,” wrote Pelosi, expressing a desire to respond to the attack on the Capitol. “There must be a recognition that this desecration was instigated by the President.”
Even loyal Trump supporters said they were uneasy with the president’s actions of late.
“I think everybody recognizes that what happened on Wednesday is different,” Mick Mulvaney, the ex-chief of staff to the president, told “Fox News Sunday.” “You can go down the long litany of things that people complained about with Donald Trump. And I could probably defend almost all of them. Many of them were policy differences, many of them were stylistic differences. But Wednesday was different. Wednesday was existential. Wednesday is one of those things that struck to the very heart of what it means to be an American. And it was wrong.”