Funny how a coup attempt that puts one’s own life in danger can result in an epic attitude adjustment for at least a few Republican lawmakers.
After Wednesday’s storming of the Capitol by an angry, violent mob of seditious Trump followers, GOP legislators — who until recently were completely supportive of the president who was now attempting to reverse his electoral loss through a putsch — the Republican Party has been divided between those who like Senators Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) continue to excuse the partisan riot as a legitimate reaction to a supposedly “stolen” election and their colleagues who had a come to Jesus moment once things started hitting too close to home.
Already, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) has demanded that Donald Trump resign immediately and has threatened to leave the party if the president isn’t held accountable for his actions. Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) has also signaled his own turnabout on the president whom he voted to acquit during his impeachment trial last year, saying that he would now be open to considering any articles of impeachment that the House of Representatives may forward to the Senate.
Now, Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA), who had already called Trump’s egging on of Wednesday’s unruly mob of domestic terrorists an “impeachable offense,” has made the rounds of the Sunday morning talk shows making impassioned pleas for the sore-losing president to admit defeat and resign immediately.
The senator was blunt when he spoke to NBC‘s Chuck Todd on Meet the Press:
“I think the best way for our country, Chuck, is for the president to resign and go away as soon as possible,” Senator Toomey said.
Toomey’s choice of resignation over impeachment or the invocation of the 25th Amendment seemed to stem more from practicality than anything else.
“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 ten days left before the president leaves anyway. I think the best thing would be a resignation.” he explained.
The Pennsylvania senator continued his breakup tour with the exiting president on CNN where he also appeared this morning with Jake Tapper on State of the Union.
“I think the president has disqualified himself from ever certainly serving in office again,” Toomey toldTapper.
“I don’t think he’s electable in any way, and I don’t think that he’s going to be exercising anything like the kind of influence like he’s had over the Republican Party going forward,” he prophesized.
Perhaps even more significantly, Toomey believes that Donald Trump could finally face federal criminal prosecution once he’s no longer president and that it would be perfectly appropriate.
“Look I think there’s also the possibility of criminal liability here,” Toomey said. “There should be accountability here.”
Judging from a new ABC News/Ipsos poll that shows that 56% of the American public think that Trump should be removed from office before his term officially ends, the majority of Americans agree with Senator Toomey.
You can watch a clip of Senator Pat Toomey’s appearance on Meet the Press in the excerpt below.
WATCH: Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) tells Meet the Press that he sees “a distinction between the president’s behavior prior to the election and his behavior after the election.”@SenToomey: Trump “spiraled down into a kind of madness” after the election. pic.twitter.com/3s1WTtCyG1
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) January 10, 2021
And here is an excerpt of the Senator’s appearance on CNN‘s State of the Union.
Republican Sen. Pat Toomey says he thinks President Trump should resign: "I think at this point, with just a few days left, it's the best path forward." #CNNSOTU https://t.co/FZolz3LjxS pic.twitter.com/90sYGHcLQY
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) January 10, 2021
Original reporting by John Bowden at The Hill.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.