Four options seem possible for President Donald Trump in the waning days of his presidency — finishing out his term that ends on Jan. 20, resignation, impeachment or the invoking of the 25th Amendment for his removal.
Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced an article of impeachment on Monday, accusing Trump of “incitement of insurrection” in the lead up to the raid that occurred at the U.S. Capitol when the Electoral College votes were being counted to certify Democrat Joe Biden as the official president-elect.
Also on Monday, House Republicans blocked unanimous consent of a resolution asking Vice President Mike Pence to use the 25th Amendment option. A full vote on that matter is expected later in the week.
Both of Pennsylvania’s United States senators believe Trump should be out of office.
U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr., a Democrat, supports impeachment or invoking the 25th Amendment, which provides for the removal of a president who is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”
“There can be no justice without accountability for those involved in the insurrection against the federal government,” Casey said. “As a nation, we cannot advance our shared democratic values without consequences for those who have betrayed those values. Those who stormed the Capitol should face charges.
“President Trump should be impeached and removed from office because he betrayed his oath to the Constitution and incited a mob to violence. There should also be accountability for those members of Congress who led the effort to overthrow a democratic election. If they refuse to resign their office, then Congress should begin to explore censure or expulsion. Failing to hold those responsible for the insurrection accountable would be a profound injustice and give a green light to future authoritarians.”
U.S. Sen Pat Toomey, a Republican, believes Trump committed “impeachable offenses.”
On Sunday, when speaking on “Meet the Press,” Toomey said, “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 10 days left (as of Sunday) before the president leaves anyway. I think the best thing would be a resignation.”
U.S. Rep. Dan Meuser, a Republican in the 9th Congressional District, said Monday he doesn't think the president's words were intended "to incite individuals to act in such a hostile manner."
“I will always stand on the side of law and order, while providing the facts and the truth to my constituents. What occurred on Jan. 6 was tragic in many ways," he said. "I was there and saw the bad actors up close. They were intent on creating mayhem and nothing else. The result speaks for itself. Lawlessness and violence in any form and from any group must be condemned."
Meuser, who said he plans to attend the inauguration next week, said he stands by his objection to the Pennsylvania electors following the riots. He also said impeachment will only create further division.
“President Trump is leaving office in eight days," he said. "An impeachment proceeding will do nothing but divide us further, rather than preparing for President-elect Biden to be sworn in, and spending this time on important matters to our nation like vaccine distribution and economic recovery."
U.S. Rep. Fred Keller, R-12, repeated his statement from last week, when he called the violence shameful. He also said he expects a peaceful transition of power next week.
“Certainly the last thing that anyone wants is to see a repeat of the violence we saw last week. The unlawful actions taken by the rioters were shameful and not reflective of how our nation conducts itself," he said. "Per our Constitution, there will be a peaceful transition of power on January 20. The Capitol Police, National Guard, and other law enforcement agencies are taking steps necessary to ensure that happens, and I encourage every American to remember the good that unites us as one nation.”
Neither U.S. Rep. John Joyce, R-Blair, 13th Congressional District, nor U.S. Rep. Glenn “G.T.” Thompson, R-Centre, 15th Congressional District, provided comments about the article of impeachment before deadline on Monday.
Both supported Trump throughout the campaign and condemned the violence in the Capitol.
They also backed the president in questioning the results of the election. They formally objected to certifying Pennsylvania’s Electoral College votes. Neither has publicly stated if a free and fair election occurred and if Biden is the legitimate president-elect.
Daily Item reporter Rick Dandes contributed to this story.