WASHINGTON, D.C (AP) – A leading centrist Democratic senator says it seems unlikely that President Donald Trump can be quickly removed from office. But U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) isn’t ruling out action against GOP senators who led the effort to thwart President-elect Joe Biden’s win because he says that helped encourage pro-Trump rioters to attack the Capitol.
Manchin says in an interview that he’s heard Vice President Mike Pence is not likely to use the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. He also says he’s seen no evidence of enough Senate GOP support to oust Trump if the House impeaches him.
Manchin says that while he favors removing Trump as soon as possible, “We don’t need any more theater.” He says lawmakers should defer to President-elect Joe Biden’s need for the Senate to focus on confirming his Cabinet. And he says Twitter should bar Trump from its platform.
Manchin says GOP Sens. Josh Hawley of Missouri and Ted Cruz of Texas both knew they had no chance of persuading Congress to nullify Biden’s electoral votes this week. He says their efforts “facilitated” rioters who swarmed the Capitol. And he says other Republicans who voted with them should also be held responsible.
Manchin stopped short of saying Hawley and Cruz should be expelled from the Senate.