With less than two weeks before President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. takes the oath of office, it seemed on Thursday that the wheels might finally be coming off the Trump administration. In 24 hours, Congress reconvened in a Capitol breached and battered by a pro-Trump mob, formalized Mr. Biden’s victory over the objections of more than 100 Republican lawmakers and found itself on the brink of impeaching President Trump a second time. A growing cohort of legislators, including at least one Republican, expressed support for stripping Mr. Trump of his powers under the 25th Amendment, even as Vice President Mike Pence — who would have to lead that process — was said to oppose the idea.
On Capitol Hill, the number of Republicans willing to publicly defend Mr. Trump dwindled. One, Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, said he supported the invocation of the 25th Amendment; another, Representative Steve Stivers of Ohio, said he “would not oppose” the move if cabinet members decided to proceed. Several high-ranking administration officials announced that they would resign including two cabinet members, a late and purely symbolic gesture by people who had stood by Mr. Trump even as he promoted baseless claims of election fraud and repeatedly refused to accept his loss.
Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary, claimed that “the entire White House” abhorred the violence that Mr. Trump himself had incited, then walked off without answering any questions. She spoke for two minutes in the White House press briefing room and did not mention the president by name, or his speech that set the violence at the Capitol in motion.