The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board says regardless of whether former President Donald Trump is acquitted by the Senate over the riots at the U.S. Capitol, his “legacy will be forever stained by this violence.”
In an op-ed published on Wednesday, the editorial board wrote the debate over the validity of the impeachment trial comes down to the Constitution.
“But wherever you come down on those issues, the House impeachment managers this week are laying out a visceral case that the Capitol riot of Jan. 6 was a disgrace for which President Trump bears responsibility,” the publication said.
They noted the former president’s false claims of election fraud and his efforts to pressure former Vice President Mike Pence to reverse the results of the election.
The editorial board mentioned Trump’s defense team and their decision to point out his call for his supporters to make their voices heard “peacefully.”
“But talk about playing with fire. Mr. Trump told an apocalyptic fable in which American democracy might end on Jan. 6, and some people who believed him acted like it,” they wrote.
The members added, “Once the riot began, Mr. Trump took hours to say anything, a delay his defenders have not satisfactorily explained.”
The editorial board claimed the impeachment managers “hurt their case” by only blaming Trump for his actions before the riot and while it was happening.
They acknowledged Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told his Republican colleagues their vote to convict or acquit Trump is a “conscience one.”
“Now his legacy will be forever stained by this violence, and by his betrayal of his supporters in refusing to tell them the truth,” the writers said.
They added, “Whatever the result of the impeachment trial, Republicans should remember the betrayal if Mr. Trump decides to run again in 2024.”