The Wall Street Journal editorial board is joining the chorus of voices calling for President Donald Trump’s term in office to end as soon as possible, publishing an op-ed Thursday evening calling for him to resign.
The violent insurrection at the Capitol, which the op-ed refers to as “Wednesday’s disgrace,” was the final straw, with Trump’s actions “[raising] constitutional questions that aren’t casually dismissed.”
Trump’s incitement of his rally crowd to march on the Capitol, his refusal to help calm the waters, and his insistence on continuing to make baseless claims that the election was fraudulently stolen from him was “an assault on the constitutional process of transferring power after an election,” and “an assault on the legislature from an executive sworn to uphold the laws of the United States.”
“This goes beyond merely refusing to concede defeat. In our view it crosses a constitutional line that Mr. Trump hasn’t previously crossed. It is impeachable,” the editorial board wrote, clarifying “[t]his week’s actions are a far greater dereliction of duty than his ham-handed Ukrainian interventions in 2019.”
The Editors acknowledged that both impeachment and removal via the 25th Amendment having unique complications so late in his term, and the latter risking allowing Trump “more cause to play the political victim.”
Instead, they write, resignation is what’s best for both Trump and the country:
If Mr. Trump wants to avoid a second impeachment, his best path would be to take personal responsibility and resign. This would be the cleanest solution since it would immediately turn presidential duties over to Mr. Pence. And it would give Mr. Trump agency, a la Richard Nixon, over his own fate.
We know an act of grace by Mr. Trump isn’t likely. In any case this week has probably finished him as a serious political figure. He has cost Republicans the House, the White House, and now the Senate. Worse, he has betrayed his loyal supporters by lying to them about the election and the ability of Congress and Mr. Pence to overturn it. He has refused to accept the basic bargain of democracy, which is to accept the result, win or lose.
It is best for everyone, himself included, if he goes away quietly.
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