GOP Sen. Ben Sasse said Friday he is willing to consider articles of impeachment against President Trump if they are introduced by the House of Representatives following a violent mob attack by pro-Trump supporters on the nation’s Capitol earlier this week.
OREGON SEN. JEFF MERKLEY SAYS LAPTOP STOLEN FROM OFFICE DURING CAPITOL RIOTS
“The House, if they come together and have a process, I will definitely consider whatever articles they might move,” Sasse, R-Neb., said on “CBS This Morning.”
Top congressional leaders — including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Democratic Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer — are expected to hold a phone call on Friday to discuss ways to remove Trump from office. Among the options are persuading Vice President Mike Pence and the majority of the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment, which would dub Trump unfit to serve and install Pence as the new U.S. leader, less than two weeks before President-elect Joe Biden is scheduled to be sworn in.
Pelosi has said if Pence does not act, she will move to impeach Trump, a measure that will likely pass the Democratic-controlled House, but require the support of at least 18 Republicans in the Senate to succeed.
Sasse said Trump has “flagrantly disregarding his oath of office. That’s not in debate.”
“He swore an oath to the American people to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution. He acted against that. What he did was wicked,” Sasse said, blaming Trump’s rhetoric, specifically at a rally shortly before the violence broke out at the Capitol, where he encouraged supporters to march to the Capitol and “fight” for the “stolen election.”
“The President had a rally hours before this happened where he is telling them to go to the Capitol and to go wild,” Sasse said on Hugh Hewitt’s radio program. “This is a part of a pattern. The guy is addicted to division. This is a deep brokenness in his soul.”
“That said, the question of what the House does now and how the Senate responds to it over the next 12 days is a critically important question, but the most important question is the prudential one, about how we bring the country back together,” he said later on CBS.
U.S. CAPITOL FLAGS FLOWN AT HALF-STAFF AFTER OFFICER’S DEATH, MURDER PROBE UNDERWAY
Sasse and other lawmakers were in the Senate chamber when Pence was whisked away by Secret Service just as a joint session to certify the Electoral College votes was getting underway.
Lawmakers were instructed by law enforcement officials to duck for cover and utilize gas masks from underneath their chairs. Many occupants at the Capitol Wednesday said they could hear gunshots and loud noises coming from rioters who breached the doors of the building and ransacked and vandalized hallways and offices inside the building.
The incident left five people dead — including a Capitol police officer — as well as dozens of others injured, several of whom remain in critical condition.
Sasse said an investigation is underway into why the National Guard was not deployed sooner on Wednesday as tumult unfolded.
HOUSE REPUBLICAN CALLS FOR 25TH AMENDMENT TO BE INVOKED AGAINST TRUMP
“When the mayor and chief of police were calling on the Pentagon to make sure that they were getting the back up that they needed from the National Guard, the National Guard wasn’t deployed for hours as the House was being taken over, the Capitol — the House and Senate — were being taken over by these violent thugs,” Sasse said.
“We need to know why that happened. There were ultimately deployed, but where was the president in that process?” he added.
Critics have lambasted the slow rollout of law enforcement agents to the Capitol, even as lawmakers were forced into hiding and buildings around the Capitol were on lockdown.
CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP
“Donald Trump has acted shamefully. He has been in flagrant dereliction of his duty and he will be remembered for having incited this and having drawn more division into an already divided people,” Sasse said. “That is who Donald Trump is. That is what his legacy will be.”