President Trump is under increasing fire from all sides after the chaos on Capitol Hill Wednesday. Democrats are calling for his impeachment. And many Republicans have turned against him. Even some top White House officials have resigned.
Demands for the president to resign have mounted even as a growing number of House Democrats – roughly 200 according to media accounts – say they’d impeach the president.
One very notable call for his resignation came from a Wall Street Journal editorial. It stated, “If Mr. Trump wants to avoid a second impeachment, his best path would be to take personal responsibility and resign.”
The editorial suggested, “This might also stem the flood of White House and Cabinet resignations that are understandable as acts of conscience.”
DeVos & Chao Resign in Protest
And the number of those resignations has been growing. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao have now stepped down in protest. They join several others – including former acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney who was most recently the US special envoy to Northern Ireland.
“I can’t do it. I can’t stay,” he told CNBC on Thursday. “It’s a small job. It’s a part-time gig, but it’s all I’ve got in the administration. I did call Mike Pompeo last night to let him know I’d be resigning from that,” Mulvaney said, adding, “And I wouldn’t be surprised if I see more of my friends resign.”
Capitol Police Officer Dies – Top Capitol Hill Security Officials Out
The death toll from Wednesday’s riots grew again when Capitol Hill Police officer Brian Sicknick died Thursday night after being injured during the confrontations with protestors. His death will be investigated as a homicide.
Sicknick’s death came as the fallout grows among Capitol Hill security officials from the violent takeover of the Capitol building by what some are calling “domestic terrorists.”
The chief of the Capitol Police has agreed to resign before President-elect Joe Biden’s January 20th inauguration. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the Senate sergeant-at-arms has stepped down. And Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the House sergeant-at-arms will also resign.
Meanwhile, former Attorney General William Barr is blasting the president, telling the Associated Press Trump’s conduct Wednesday was a “betrayal of his office and supporters.” He added, “Orchestrating a mob to pressure Congress is inexcusable.”
‘End This Nightmare’
And some have taken another tactic, calling for top White House officials to use the 25th Amendment to oust Trump.
Illinois Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger said, “All indications are that the president has become unmoored not just from his duty or even his oath, but from reality itself.”
He continued, “Section Four of the 25th Amendment allows a majority of the Cabinet and the vice president to assume the duties of the office of presidency until the president is able to himself. It’s time to invoke the 25th Amendment and to end this nightmare.”
But that move’s an unlikely long shot, with Vice President Mike Pence reportedly opposed.
Trump: ‘I am Outraged’
Amidst all this, President Trump put out a video Thursday night, finally calling for a smooth transition of power. He also condemned the protestors who took over the Capitol building.
“Like all Americans, I am outraged by the violence, lawlessness, and mayhem,” Trump said.
He added, “A new administration will be inaugurated on January 20th. My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly, and seamless transition of power. This moment calls for healing and reconciliation.”
Despite the president’s remarks, the political damage has been done. Now a key question is: in the years ahead, what impact will Wednesday’s Capitol chaos have on Trump, his fellow Republicans, and most important of all, the country itself?