Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) has said that President Donald Trump “committed impeachable offenses.”
“I do think the president committed impeachable offenses. But I don’t know what is gonna land on the Senate floor, if anything,” Toomey said in an interview on Fox News.
Toomey, a member of the Senate Banking Committee, will not seek reelection in 2022 and plans to return to the private sector.
Toomey is not the first Republican to move against the president in the aftermath of the breach of the U.S. capitol by protesters on Jan. 6. Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) said he would “definitely consider” any impeachment articles brought against Trump. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) called on the president to resign.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) urged her Democratic caucus in a letter on Friday to return to Washington as she appears poised to have the Democrats move forward with impeaching President Donald Trump for a second time.
Pelosi and a number of prominent Democrats allege that Trump incited the protesters who breached the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. In a speech to a massive crowd of supporters that day, the president asked them to march to protest near the Capitol and “to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.” The president did not say anything about breaking into the building.
The Capitol breach interrupted a joint session of Congress convened to count the Electoral College votes. After the building was secured, the session concluded with the certification of former Vice President Joe Biden as the president-elect. A group of eight senators and 140 House members objected to the counting of one or more slates of electors who cast their votes for Biden.
During the joint session, Toomey argued on behalf of counting Biden’s electors from Pennsylvania, saying that the objection would “overturn the results of the presidential election.”
“Even if Congress did have the Constitutional responsibility to judge the worthiness of a state’s election process, which it does not, rejecting Pennsylvania’s electoral votes would still be wildly out of proportion to the purported offenses and very damaging to our republic,” Toomey said in a speech on the Senate floor.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment about the impeachment effort.
Trump’s term in office concludes at noon on Jan. 20.
Should a House impeachment vote succeed, the move would send the articles of impeachment to the Senate, where the concurrence of two-thirds of the Senators present would be required to convict and remove the president.
If convicted the president would be barred from holding federal office.