Despite Donald Trump’s inevitable impeachment acquittal thanks to all but seven Republican Senators refusing to convict the former president for inciting the deadly assault on the Capitol building following his “Stop the Steal” rally on January 6, The Wall Street Journal has declared the end of Trump’s political career. In a damning op-ed from the conservative-leaning paper, the Editorial Board grapples with the constitutional precedent for continuing to impeach Trump after he’s already left office, but when it comes to the evidence, Trump’s failure to stop the riot is a serious matter that won’t go away even after his acquittal.
“Mr. Trump’s Jan. 6 early-afternoon comments to House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy dismissing a plea to call off the rioters, as related second-hand by GOP Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, are further evidence of Mr. Trump’s dereliction,” the Editorial Board wrote. “As Mr. McConnell also noted, Senate acquittal does not absolve Mr. Trump of potential criminal or civil liability for actions he took in office.”
In perhaps an overly optimistic statement, the Editorial Board feels that Trump is toast as far as voters are concerned, and it behooves the GOP to recognize that fact sooner rather than later:
Mr. Trump may run again, but he won’t win another national election. He lost re-election before the events of Jan. 6, and as President his job approval never rose above 50%. He may go on a revenge campaign tour, or run as a third-party candidate, but all he will accomplish is to divide the center-right and elect Democrats. The GOP’s defeats in the two Jan. 5 Georgia Senate races proved that. The country is moving past the Trump Presidency, and the GOP will remain in the wilderness until it does too.
As for whether the GOP will heed that advice is anybody’s guess, but right now, it doesn’t look good. During the impeachment trial, it was revealed that Trump and McCarthy had a profanity-laden phone call where McCarthy yelled, “Who the f–k do you think you are talking to?” while rioters broke into his office through the windows as Trump refused to help. Two weeks later, McCarthy went to Mar-a-Lago for a photoshoot with Trump as if the whole thing had never happened.
(Via Wall Street Journal)