Despite “clearly reckless” actions by President Donald Trump that incited a mob that overtook the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt said Sunday morning on Face The Nation that Trump should not resign.
“It would be up to him but my view would be what the president should do is now finish the last 10 days of his presidency,” Blunt said.
Blunt said the president “should be very careful” over the next ten days to exhibit the behavior expected of a leader of the U.S., and that the country — not Republican leaders — is the right way to hold presidents accountable.
“The President touched the hot stove on Wednesday, and is unlikely to touch it again,” Blunt said.
Two Republican Senators have expressed support for Trump’s resignation pic.twitter.com/RqCdAYYmKe
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) January 10, 2021
Hundreds of Trump’s supporters marched on the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, leading to the building to be locked down as lawmakers were set to vote to certify the results of the presidential election.
After rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol, calls have grown for Trump to be impeached or removed under the 25th Amendment. House Democrats plan to introduce articles of impeachment Monday, charging Trump with “inciting violence against the government of the United States,” according to Reuters.
Blunt said impeachment “clearly is not going to happen” between now and the next ten days before Trump leaves office. When asked if he believes Trump committed an impeachable offense, Blunt said “that’s not really the question.”
“Is there any likelihood that he could possibly be removed between now and January the 20th, and if there’s no additional ensuing event — my belief is there is no possibility of that,” Blunt said.
With the end of Trump’s term looming, Blunt said the focus should be more on the first day of Biden’s presidency. Trump has said he will not attend Biden’s inauguration, making him the first president in 152 years to skip his successor’s swearing in.
Blunt, who chairs the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, said he hopes to see Vice President Mike Pence there, and said he was proud to see Pence step up as Congress certified the results of the presidential election “and do what the law required us to.”
U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, Missouri’s junior senator who has led the effort to object to the certification of the results, has also faced widespread calls to resign as prominent former backers have denounced him, with one of his major donors calling for the U.S. Senate to censure Hawley.
When asked if Hawley is complicit for continuing to push for a change in the election’s results, Blunt did not directly address the question, but reiterated his stance that he did not support opposing the results.
“I wasn’t interested then or now in spending a lot of time on things that can’t happen,” Blunt said.
A majority of Missouri’s Republican members objected to the certification of the 2020 Presidential election results. Blunt, who was the first Republican member of Missouri’s congressional delegation to acknowledge President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, and U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner both opposed attempts to object to the certification.
The violent mob that stormed the Capitol resulted in five deaths, including U.S. Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick. On Sunday, it was announced Officer Howard Liebengood, another Capitol police officer who was assigned to the Senate, died in an off-duty death.
While it was initially unclear if Liebengood’s death was connected to the violent riot Wednesday, the U.S. Capitol Police union later told WTTG-TV in D.C. that Liebengood died by suicide and was among those responding Wednesday.
Blunt lamented the deaths that were a “tragedy,” and later tweeted that Liebengood “was a familiar face” who was “friendly, professional, and dedicated to the job.”
“I appreciate everything he did to keep us safe,” Blunt wrote. “Abby and I are praying for his loved ones and colleagues.”
Multiple investigations, including a federal probe, have been opened into Sicknick’s death. Blunt, who will serve on a joint Senate investigation into the security failures, said he “deeply resents” any suggestions that officers on the scene aided in the riots. The New York Times reported that an officer tried to direct rioters to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s office.
Blunt said he never thought he would see U.S. citizens storming the nation’s Capitol, and that the impact of Wednesday’s mob will reverberate across the globe.
“But the signal around the world couldn’t have been more helpful to our adversaries than it was,” Blunt said. “It was a sad and terrible day in the history of the country.”
This story has been updated since it was first published.