MADISON – Wisconsin Democrats want to get President Donald Trump out of office before his term ends on Jan. 20, but the state’s Republicans have shown no support for ousting him or having him resign.
“President Trump will be leaving office in 12 days so I consider any such proposals more press-release fodder than serious attempts,” said U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman, a Republican from Glenbeulah.
Democrats in Congress have urged Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to oust Trump and have said they will impeach Trump if Pence and the cabinet don’t remove him.
Their push comes after Trump encouraged his supporters to descend on the Capitol, which they took over for hours, temporarily delaying Congress from approving President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over Trump.
Grothman said he doesn’t think Trump should step down on his own.
“That would be a strange thing, wouldn’t it? Go through all the hoopla of making Mike Pence the president for 10 days? I don’t know, sounds kind of far fetched,” Grothman said. “I would assume it’s going to be an uneventful 12 days and move onto the next administration.”
Other Republicans from Wisconsin took a similar stance.
“It really would be salt in the wound, for example, Speaker Pelosi is talking about bringing up impeachment once again,” said Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Tiffany of Minocqua. “Why would you do that in the last few days of the Trump administration? He is going to leave office.”
Tiffany, who participated in the unsuccessful attempt to block Biden’s win, said it’s time to “turn down the temperature.”
Republican U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil of Janesville called on Biden to condemn the effort to impeach Trump. In a statement, he said, “What we need right now is leaders to tone down their actions, not (inflame) the situation.”
Steil aimed his statement at Democrats and did not immediately respond to questions Friday on whether he thought Trump bore any responsibility for the attack on the Capitol.
Asked about impeachment, Republican U.S. Rep. Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau emphasized that Trump would be leaving on his own in less than two weeks. Fitzgerald, who voted against the Electoral College results, said he didn’t know much about how removing the president through the 25th Amendment would work.
“The question would be whether or not the president is going to be standing on the stage when Joe Biden raises his hand to be sworn in as president,” Fitzgerald said. “That may be what those suggesting this are really trying to accomplish, they don’t want him there.”
Trump on Friday said he wasn’t planning on attending.
Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher of Green Bay, who drew national attention this week for comparing the Capitol riot to a banana republic, said he thought Trump should serve out the remaining days of his term.
“The transition — not the removal of the president — should be our priority,” he said in a statement.
Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Oshkosh helped lead the effort to challenge the Electoral College results but backed off on the effort after the Capitol was breached. He has not said whether he thinks Trump should go.
The four Democrats in Wisconsin’s congressional delegation — U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Madison and Reps. Ron Kind of La Crosse, Gwen Moore of Milwaukee and Mark Pocan of rural Dane County — have called for getting Trump out of office before his term ends.
“I hope if nothing else we have learned that deciding a reality show star should be president is probably not a good idea,” Pocan said this week.
Biden said Friday he has long thought Trump was unfit for office but it was up to Congress to decide whether to impeach him.
“What the Congress decides to do is for them to decide,” he told reporters.
Bill Glauber, Craig Gilbert and Molly Beck contributed to this report.
Contact Patrick Marley at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @patrickdmarley.