ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said America would be “better off” if President Donald Trump would resign or be removed from office and allow Vice President Pence to take over the transition of power in the days leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

On Wednesday, Hogan deployed Maryland State Police troopers and instructed the National Guard to send a team to DC to help as a violent mob of Pro-Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol. Lawmakers were inside debating over the affirmation of Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election.

Four people died and at least 82 people were arrested during the riot. Nine of those arrested were from Maryland. 

Gov. Hogan said he was in a meeting with the Japanese ambassador when he got a personal phone call from Majority Leader US Rep. Steny Hoyer, “pleading” for him to send reinforcements as the Capitol was breached. However, the governor said they were “repeatedly denied” approval from the Department of Defense to send Maryland National Guard troops into DC.

“We had a little back and forth trying to get that authorization, in the meantime we did not hesitate,” he said.

He said there was some confusion on whether or not they had authorization, but Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy called later on asking them to come “as soon as possible.” He added it took nearly an hour and a half to get permission from the DOD. Maryland’s National Guard were the first to arrive in DC on Wednesday.

The National Guard’s deployment is extended through the inauguration and the end of the month.

He said our institutions have held firm amidst Wednesday’s events.

“The mob may have shattered glass, but they did not, and they will not shatter our democracy,” he said.

As many Trump supporters have acknowledged feeling left out or forgotten by the government, Gov. Hogan said there is a choice to be made.

“We can show those who feel forgotten, and we can actually deliver solutions to the serious problems that face us or we can continue to perpetuate this toxic politics rabid triablism and hatred,” he said. “We can either face the truth, or be destroyed by lies. We can either descend into chaos and rancor, or we can rise above and meet this test with real courage and patriotism.”

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He said while he’s not privy to what’s currently going on inside the White House or the Pentagon, the country would be better off if President Trump leaves–  one way or another.

“I think that there’s no question that America would be better off if the president would resign or be removed from office,” Gov. Hogan said.

He is calling for Vice President Mike Pence to take over and conduct a peaceful transition of power.

“We need leadership right now and we need to stop all this craziness,” he added.

Security has also been increased around the Maryland State House complex and at a number of statehouses across the country.

Other state leaders join the governor in calls for removal or resignation.

US Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said in a statement what Americans witnessed Wednesday was “no accident.”

“The President has repeatedly violated his most sacred responsibility to protect the American people. And yesterday he incited more violence — resulting in the loss of life and putting the lives of countless other Americans and the future of our democracy at risk,” he said in part. “While there are only thirteen days left of his presidency, each day Trump remains a ticking time bomb aimed at the heart of our democracy. Moreover, we must establish a clear precedent that this kind of seditious conduct is unacceptable. That is why I support his immediate removal from office.”

Maryland State Senate President Sen. Bill Ferguson joined in agreement, and said he appreciated the governor’s “clear stance.”

U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin said later Thursday “we cannot wait 13 days” and that the president “must resign or be removed from office quickly” either by the 25th Amendment or impeachment.

 

Rachel Menitoff