Top Republican says Trump committed ‘impeachable offenses’
By DARLENE SUPERVILLE and ALAN FRAMtoday
1 of 11President Donald Trump gestures at a campaign rally in support of U.S. Senate candidates Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., and David Perdue in Dalton, Ga., Monday, Jan. 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
WASHINGTON (AP) — 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 did not explicitly say 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.ADVERTISEMENThttps://37eeb36173deeb20756e7138841161c1.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html
“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.
Late Saturday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent a letter to her Democratic colleagues reiterating that Trump must be held accountable — but stopped short of committing to an impeachment vote. Still, she told her caucus, “I urge you to be prepared to return to Washington this week.”
“It is absolutely essential that those who perpetrated the assault on our democracy be held accountable,” Pelosi wrote. “There must be a recognition that this desecration was instigated by the President.”
Pelosi said House Democrats “will be proceeding with meetings with Members and Constitutional experts and others.”
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 more supporters 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.