'Mr. President, it's over': Carper, Coons call for Trump's removal; Coons says two senators should resign
Sen. Chris Coons called it a problem that could "only be solved" by the vice president and Cabinet invoking the powers of the 25th Amendment.
Sen. Tom Carper called on President Donald Trump to resign from office.
If that unlikely outcome doesn't happen, Carper said, Vice President Mike Pence should invoke the 25th Amendment and "set in motion the process to remove the president's power to do more danger."
The two Delaware senators arrived back in Wilmington late Thursday afternoon after a day that Coons said he "thought we'd never see," a "riotous mob" storming the U.S. Capitol to disrupt the certification of a democratic election.
Carper first made his opinion heard Wednesday night, and so did U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, who called for Trump's removal "as quickly as possible."
The Delaware delegation's call for Trump to resign or be taken out of office joined other Democratic elected officials and even Trump's former chief of staff, John Kelly, who said he would vote to remove the president from office if he were in the president's Cabinet.
Coons also had harsh words for Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., echoing his words from the Senate floor late Wednesday night that the two were “most strikingly responsible" for the instigation of chaos and "folks who know better."
"Both of them clerked for different Chief Justices of the Supreme Court," Coons said outside the Wilmington train station Thursday. "Both of them are highly skilled and experienced and well-rounded in law and constitutional principles. I was struck that they would put personal political advancement ahead of the stability and safety of our democracy.
"That Senator Hawley chose to fundraise off last night’s events I find shameful."
Coons, who has been dubbed the "Republican whisperer" for his history of bipartisanship, was then asked if he supported the push for the two senators to resign.
"Yes," he said. "I think they should resign."
The two senators recounted the chaotic events of Wednesday. They were swiftly removed from the Senate floor during a debate over the certification of the Electoral College votes from Arizona and taken to a secure facility, where they waited for hours.
"We had very direct conversations," Coons said.
About half the Republicans who planned to object and interfere with what is normally a ceremonial event relented.
Coons said it was agreed that it was important for Congress to return to the Capitol and finish their business Wednesday night.
The senators were left concerned with the security procedures at the Capitol. Multiple states, including Delaware, are sending National Guard troops to Washington ahead of the inauguration. The district declared a 15-day public emergency.
"This all happened because President Trump called on his supporters to gather from around the country, came out of the White House and spoke to them and then urged them to move to the Capitol to be rough, to be wild," Coons said. "And they did.
"This is a problem created by Republicans who have tolerated some of President Trump’s first coloring outside the lines and then completely violating the guardrails of presidential behavior and conduct."
Thursday evening, a Business Insider story said Pence opposes invoking the 25th Amendment.
It's unclear if Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will attempt to impeach Trump a second time. The inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden is less than two weeks away.
Both Coons and Carper said any action to remove Trump from office should come quickly.
"We know that he’s not acting as president anymore, and we know that it’s time for him to let the vice president carry out the last few weeks," Coons said.
"Mr. President, it's over," Carper said. "You have lost. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have won. We need a passage of the baton."
In a video released after 7 p.m. Thursday, Trump condemned the violence and said "a new administration will be inaugurated on January 20th."
Contact Jeff Neiburg at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Jeff_Neiburg.