Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania said Saturday he thinks President Donald Trump “committed impeachable offenses,” but said he is not certain attempting to remove the President from office with just a few days left in his term is the right course of action.
“I do think the President committed impeachable offenses,” Toomey told Fox News. The senator, who has said he is not going to run for reelection in 2022, would not say whether he would vote to impeach Trump should there be a Senate trial, saying he is not certain what kind of articles of impeachment would be passed by the Democrat-led House of Representatives.
Toomey said he believes Trump’s “behavior this week does disqualify him from serving. But we’ve got 10 days left, 11 days left.”
“I don’t know whether logistically it’s actually really even possible or practical and I’m not sure it’s desirable to attempt to force him out, what a day or two or three prior to the day on which he’s going to be finished anyway,” Toomey said. “So I’m not clear that’s the best path forward.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday Democrats are prepared to move forward next week with impeaching the President over his role in Wednesday’s deadly attack on the US Capitol if he doesn’t resign. House Democrats plan to introduce their impeachment resolution on Monday.
A growing number of Republicans want Trump to leave office before January 20, the day President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn in as the next president.
Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska became the first Republican senator to call on Trump to resign on Friday, telling the Anchorage Daily News, “I want him out. He has caused enough damage.” Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois has endorsed invoking the 25th Amendment, which would force Trump’s removal from office.
Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska said in radio interviews Friday that he would consider impeachment but questioned whether that was the right course of action.
But on Saturday, seven Republican members of the House sent a letter to Biden asking the President-elect to formally request that Pelosi not pursue impeachment. These Republicans had previously issued a joint statement opposing the objection made by several of their Republican colleagues against certifying the Electoral College vote.
“A second impeachment, only days before President Trump will leave office, is as unnecessary as it is inflammatory,” the letter reads. “This impeachment would undermine your priority of unifying Americans, and would be a further distraction to our nation at a time when millions of our fellow citizens are hurting because of the pandemic and the economic fallout.”
The letter was signed by Republican Reps. Ken Buck of Colorado, Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Tom McClintock of California, Nancy Mace of South Carolina, Chip Roy of Texas, Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota and Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin.
CNN’s Phil Mattingly, Michael Warren and Jamie Gangel contributed to this report.