Former Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe on Saturday called for the resignation of President Trump amid a growing, bipartisan condemnation of the outgoing president’s role in Wednesday’s mob attack on the U.S. Capitol.

“President Trump should resign from office now to allow our nation to begin to heal and prepare for the transition to the Biden presidency,” Snowe, a Republican, said in a brief post on Twitter. It was a rare comment on current political events from the moderate Republican, who left the Senate in 2013 after a 34-year career representing Maine in the U.S. House and Senate.

U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, acknowledges applause after her speech at the Maine Republican Convention in Augusta in 2012.

Until just days ago, Trump had refused to concede or acknowledge President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in November. Trump had urged supporters to converge on Washington, D.C., for the Jan. 6 rally and then repeated a litany of unfounded allegations during about a “rigged” election and widespread voter fraud. He then urged those present to march on the Capitol – saying “we will never concede” — in fiery remarks viewed as inciting the riot that left five dead, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer.

With just days left in his presidency, Trump is now facing another House impeachment process as well as calls for his Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment of the Constitution to remove him from office. While Democrats have been most vocal in calling for Trump to either resign or be removed, a growing number of Republicans have joined those calls or said they would not oppose his removal.

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski became the first sitting Republican senator to call for Trump’s resignation, telling the Anchorage Daily News: “I want him to resign. I want him out. He has caused enough damage.”

Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., has said he would consider voting to remove Trump if the House approves articles of impeachment. And on Saturday, Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., told a Fox News program that Trump “committed impeachable offenses.”

Snowe, who is married to former Republican Maine Gov. John McKernan, was among Maine’s best-known and most-liked politicians at the time she decided not to seek a fourth Senate term in 2012. Since then, she has served on the board of directors of the Bipartisan Policy Center and as co-chair of the center’s Commission on Political Reform.

She also served on the board of the Commission on Presidential Debates, which ran afoul of Trump during the 2020 election after trying to switch to a virtual debate because of Trump’s positive test for COVID-19 and then muting the candidates during a subsequent debate to prevent interruptions.

Snowe, who served for years in the Senate alongside Biden, did not publicly endorse anyone in the 2020 presidential election. But she congratulated Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on their victory on Nov. 8 after it became clear the pair had secured enough Electoral College votes.

“The President-elect’s speech reflects the opportunity we now have to heal our nation,” Snowe said on Twitter at the time. “We can also celebrate the historic election of VP-elect Kamala Harris who has proven there are no boundaries to what is possible for all women.”

Meanwhile, Democrats in Congress are preparing to impeach Trump for an unprecedented second time before he leaves office on Jan. 20.

Among Maine’s current congressional delegation, only U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-1st District, has explicitly backed impeachment. The six-term Democrat has signed onto both House draft impeachment resolutions, repeatedly calling Trump “dangerous” and unfit for office.

“People are just so angry at the actions of the president and even though there is just this short period of time available to us, we can’t just let this go,” Pingree said in an interview Friday with the Portland Press Herald. “We have to make clear that the president stepped over the line.”

The other three members of the delegation have all condemned Trump’s incitement of Wednesday’s attack on the Capitol but have not taken a stance on the pending impeachment process.

U.S. Sen. Angus King, an independent, has said Vice President Mike Pence and Trump’s Cabinet “should consider” utilizing the 25th Amendment to remove him from office. King said on Thursday that Trump’s “fomenting of (Wednesday’s) insurrection of the Capitol was a deeply disturbing abdication of his Constitutional obligations, and raises serious concerns” about his remaining days in office.

A King spokesman said Saturday that he was not available for further comment on the House impeachment process. King voted to convict Trump during the last impeachment trial in February.

Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins has yet to comment on whether Trump should resign or be removed. A spokeswoman for Collins on Saturday repeated her comments from Friday that the Republican was “outraged about the violence at the Capitol and the President’s role” but that initiating the 25th Amendment process “has nothing to do with Congress.”

Spokeswoman Annie Clark said Collins would not be commenting on any potential impeachment because the Senate serves as the jury on any impeachment articles approved by the House. Collins voted to acquit Trump in February.

Likewise, a spokesman for 2nd District U.S. Rep. Jared Golden referred back to a statement Thursday in which the Democrat said “the president is responsible for Wednesday’s violence and lawlessness, and he should be held accountable.” But Golden has, to date, not said how Trump should be held accountable or taken a position on the impending House impeachment process.

Golden voted to support one article of impeachment against Trump during the last process but opposed the second article.

Meanwhile, the Maine Democratic Party also called for Trump’s removal from power.

“Donald Trump interfered with the hallmark of American democracy: the peaceful transition of power,” Kathleen Marra, chairwoman of the Maine Democratic Party, said in a statement Saturday. “He is an imminent threat to our democratic institutions. He must be immediately removed from office.”


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