Trump should resign presidency, Cuomo says; challenges Congress members to echo call

Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump protest in Washington
Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump clash with security forces as they try to get inside the U.S. Capitol during a protest against the certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results by the U.S. Congress, in Washington, U.S., January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith

Though just 12 days remain in his tenure, outgoing President Donald Trump should resign immediately over his role in Wednesday’s siege of the U.S. Capitol by his own supporters, Governor Andrew Cuomo said Friday.

Cuomo further challenged New York’s entire Congressional delegation — Democrats and Republicans alike — to publicly urge Trump to step down in the wake of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, which has left at least five dead. 

Trump supporters stormed the Capitol seeking to stop the official Congressional certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, shortly after the president himself addressed the group. They breached the security around the Capitol, smashed windows, looted offices, clashed with law enforcement agents and forced House and Senate members into an hours-long lockdown.

Many of the invaders, Cuomo pointed out, demonstrated not only loyalty to Trump but also ties to white nationalism — with some wearing clothing with neo-Nazi and anti-Semitic messages. 

“[Trump] marshaled hate, he marshaled fear, and that’s what you saw at the Capitol,” Cuomo said. 

The governor said the attack on the Capitol marked a watershed moment in the history of the republic, and suggested New York’s lawmakers would be defined by what they’ve done to hold the attackers, and those who incited them, accountable.

For his part, Cuomo believes, Trump should quit the White House immediately. The governor acknowledged talk of impeaching the president again — something which New York Senator and incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced support for on Thursday.

Cuomo said that the president should take it upon himself to resign to spare the country further pain and division — and be impeached and removed by Congress if he fails to do so.

“Impeachment will bring great anguish to the country. The last thing I want to see, and this nation needs, is a period of hyper-political activity,” he said. “But if he won’t resign, I believe impeachment is appropriate.”

The governor then called on all 26 Congress Members currently representing the Empire State, regardless of party — as well as Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand — to echo his call for Trump’s resignation.

“You’re a government official. You took an oath,” Cuomo said. “You saw the anarchy, you saw the hatred, you saw the vandalism, you saw the theft, you saw the breakdown of society. You saw this nation look like a joke internationally. Put your politics aside and do what any reasonable American believes.”

The governor later suggested that lawmakers who refuse to call for Trump’s resignation are essentially complicit with the outgoing president and the mob that attacked the Capitol — and it would haunt them for the rest of their careers.