WASHINGTON (AFP) – Donald Trump faced fresh calls Sunday from some members of his own party to resign over the violent incursion into the US Capitol, as the threat builds for a historic second impeachment effort in his final 10 days in the White House.
With the January 20 inauguration of Democrat Joe Biden fast approaching – and with the country hit by a surging pandemic, a flagging economy, and searing division – resignation “is the best path forward,” Republican Senator Pat Toomey told CNN, adding, “That would be a very good outcome.”
Toomey said that since losing the November 3 election, Trump had “descended into a level of madness and engaged in activity that was absolutely unthinkable, and unforgivable.”
Democrats said some 200 of their lawmakers had lined up in favour of impeachment, with a vote in the House of Representatives possible as early as this week but a trial in the Senate possibly delayed for months to help Biden deal unimpeded with the nation’s urgent problems.
Lisa Murkowski of Alaska was the first Republican senator to urge Trump’s resignation, saying, “I want him out.” House Republicans, including Adam Kinzinger on Sunday, have echoed that call.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and other authorities are continuing to seek Trump supporters who violently stormed the Capitol on Wednesday after the president’s repeated false claims that he had lost to Biden due to fraud. Dozens have already been arrested.
Hundreds of off-duty police on Sunday lined Constitution Avenue in Washington and saluted as a hearse rolled slowly by carrying the body of Brian Sicknick, the police officer who died in the chaotic attack on the Capitol.
Security has been stepped up in the aftermath of the attack. An about two-metre black metal fence has been erected around the historic building. Extremists have threatened new action in coming days both in Washington and in state capitols.