Democrats’ momentum for a fresh drive to quickly impeach outgoing President Donald Trump gained support Saturday, and a top Republican said the president’s role in the deadly riot at the Capitol by a violent mob of Trump supporters was worthy of rebuke.
Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., said he believed Trump had committed “impeachable offenses.” But he stopped short of saying whether he would vote to remove the president from office at the conclusion of a Senate trial if the House sent over articles of impeachment.
“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 politicize something,” Toomey said Saturday on Fox News Channel, speaking of the Democratic-controlled House.
“I do think the president committed impeachable offenses, but I don’t know what is going to land on the Senate floor, if anything,” Toomey said.
The new Democratic effort to stamp Trump’s presidential record — for the second time and days before his term ends — with the indelible mark of impeachment gained momentum Saturday.
Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I, a leader of the House effort to draft impeachment articles — or charges — accusing Trump of inciting insurrection, said his group had grown to include 185 co-sponsors.
Lawmakers plan to formally introduce the proposal on Monday in the House, where articles of impeachment must originate. A vote could be possible by Wednesday — exactly one week before Democrat Joe Biden becomes president at noon on Jan. 20.
The articles, if passed by the House, would then be transmitted to the Senate for a trial, with senators acting as jurors who would ultimately vote on whether to acquit or convict Trump. If convicted, Trump would be removed from office and succeeded by the vice president.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, however, shared no details about her party’s plans as she addressed her hometown San Francisco constituents during an online video conference on Saturday.
“Justice will be done. Democracy will prevail. And America will be healed,” she said. “But it is a decision that we have to make.”
A violent and largely white mob of Trump supporters overpowered police, broke through security lines and rampaged through the Capitol on Wednesday, forcing lawmakers to scatter as they were putting the final, formal touches on Biden’s victory over Trump in the Electoral College.
The crowd surged to the domed symbol of American democracy following a rally near the White House, where Trump repeated his bogus claims that the election was stolen from him and urged his supporters to march in force toward the Capitol.
Five people, including a Capitol police officer, died as a result of the siege.
“It has been an epiphany for the world to see that there are people in our country led by this president, for the moment, who have chosen their whiteness over democracy,” Pelosi said of the attack.
She added: “This cannot be exaggerated. The complicity, not only the complicity, the instigation of the president of United States, must and will …read more
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