Former Attorney General William Barr and a growing number of Republicans, former supporters of President Donald Trump, condemn the president’s incitement to the violent mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 7.
Trump’s conduct was a “betrayal of his office,” Barr said in a statement to the Associated Press on Thursday.
Members of Trump’s cabinet and some political allies have discussed his dismissal under emergency provisions of the US Constitution, Reuters news agency reported, citing a source familiar with the situation.
Democratic politicians in the U.S. Congress and a Republican are now openly calling for Trump’s immediate impeachment or resignation just 13 days before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
Barr, who had resigned his post as senior law enforcement official in the United States at the end of 2020, said “the orchestration of a mob to pressure Congress is inexcusable.”
Barr was one of President Trump’s most loyal and ardent supporters in Cabinet.
His comments came a day after angry and armed protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol, forcing members of Congress to halt proceedings to certify Biden’s election and withdraw from the House and Senate.
Barr had resigned in December amid tensions with Trump over Barr’s refusal to support the president’s baseless allegations of election fraud and opened an investigation into Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.
He joins a growing chorus of former Republican allies of Trump who now blame him for instigating an insurgency on Capitol Hill.
Former White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who was US ambassador to Northern Ireland, has said he is stepping down.
“It’s a little job,” Mulvaney said, but “you can’t do it” after what happened on Wednesday.
“I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of my friends step down in the next 24 hours,” Mulvaney said in a CNBC television interview Thursday morning.
Mulvaney said other Trump officials were appalled at the president’s actions, but chose not to fear being replaced by Trump loyalists who “would make matters worse.”
Mulvaney praised Vice President Mike Pence for breaking away from Trump to preside over Congressional certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s electoral victory.
Mulvaney is a former Republican congressman who, as Trump’s White House chief of staff, publicly defended Trump when he was impeached in 2019 by the House of Representatives.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican who had also defended Trump but increasingly criticized Trump’s false election statements, joined Democrats’ calls for the president to be impeached.
“It is with a heavy heart that I call for the sake of our democracy that the 25th Amendment be invoked,” Kinzinger said on Twitter.
The 25th Amendment to the US Constitution provides for the replacement of a president by the vice president by a two-thirds vote of the members of the Cabinet.
“The president is unfit. And the president is not doing well, ”Kinzinger said. Trump “must now relinquish executive control voluntarily or unintentionally.”
It is with a heavy heart that I call for the good of our democracy that the 25th Amendment be invoked. My statement: pic.twitter.com/yVyQrYcjuD
– Adam Kinzinger (@RepKinzinger) January 7, 2021
In Senate remarks Wednesday night after the restoration of order on Capitol Hill, Republican Senator from South Carolina Lindsey Graham said Trump’s run for president was over.
“Trump and I have had one hell of a trip,” said Graham, who, like Barr, has been one of Trump’s strongest supporters.
“Count on me, that’s enough, I’ve tried to be helpful,” Graham said.
Democrats in Congress, including Senate Leader Chuck Schumer, are formally asking members of Pence and Trump’s cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment now.
“What happened on Capitol Hill yesterday was an insurgency against the United States, instigated by the president. This president is not expected to take office another day, ”Schumer said in a statement released by his office Thursday.
Former Speaker of the House John Boehner said it was time for the Republican Party to recognize Trump’s lies and incitement.
“I said once that Lincoln and Reagan’s party was going for a nap. Nap has become a nightmare for our nation. The GOP must wake up, ”Boehner said in a tweet.
I said once that Lincoln and Reagan’s party was going for a nap. Nap has become a nightmare for our nation. The GOP must wake up. The invasion of our Capitol by a crowd, prompted by the lies of some in charge of power, is a shame for all those who sacrificed themselves to build our Republic.
– John Boehner (@SpeakerBoehner) January 7, 2021