Two-thirds (67 percent) of Americans blame US President Donald Trump for the US Capitol riots last week and a majority think that he should be removed from office before January 20, according to a poll by ABC News and Ipsos.
Only 15% of respondents think Trump bears no responsibility for the chaos that resulted in at least five deaths and cast a cloud over the country’s democratic procedures.
The survey also shows that 56% of Americans think the president should be ousted before his term ends later this month, while 43% think he should not. The answers to that question were largely divided along party lines, with 94% of Democratic supporters but just 13% of Republican backers saying Trump should be removed from office.
The poll of 570 adults was conducted January 8-9. It had a margin of error of 4.7%.
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 — resigning “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.”
He said Trump’s behavior after the election was “wildly different” from what it was before.
Lisa Murkowski of Alaska was the first Republican senator to urge resignation, saying, “I want him out.” House Republicans, including Adam Kinzinger on Sunday, have echoed that call.
Authorities continued seeking 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.
A seven-foot-tall (about two meters) black metal fence has been erected around the historic building and extremists have threatened new action in coming days both in Washington and in state capitols.
A House Democratic leader said that Biden’s party would likely file at least one article of impeachment against Trump this week, charging him with inciting the violence, which left five people dead, including a Capitol policeman.
“It may be Tuesday or Wednesday before action is taken,” House whip James Clyburn told CNN, “but I think it will be taken this week.”
Impeachment could still be circumvented by a Trump resignation or by resorting to the Constitution’s 25th amendment, which would remove him from power but requires the assent of the vice president and most of the cabinet, making it unlikely.
One reason Democrats might pursue conviction, even after Trump leaves office, is to prevent him ever being able to run again for federal office.
The president has so far resisted all talk of resignation, and is reportedly furious over recent events — including Pence’s rejection of Trump’s vocal pressure to somehow intervene in Congress’s confirmation on Wednesday of Biden’s election win.
Trump has gone largely silent in recent days — making no statements, holding no news conferences — and his state of mind has become slightly less transparent since Twitter, his favored public platform, banned him for language that could incite violence.