Wall Street Journal editorial calls for Trump's resignation after Capitol riots

The conservative paper urged the outgoing President to take personal responsibility,
The conservative paper urged the outgoing President to take personal responsibility, Photo credit: Getty

The Wall Street Journal has called for Donald Trump to resign, urging the outgoing President to take personal responsibility for stirring up a mob that violently stomped the Capitol in Washington DC on Thursday.

The paper, owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp and sympathetic to Trump, published an article by its editorial board - known for its conservative views - on Friday saying "the best outcome would be for [Trump] to resign to spare the US another impeachment fight".

Trump has come under intense pressure after protesters stormed the Capitol building on Thursday while Congress was in the process of certifying Joe Biden's victory in the electoral college in last year's US Presidential election.

A number of lawmakers are now calling for Trump to be removed from office either through impeachment or the 25th Amendment of the Constitution.

The amendment allows for the vice-president and a majority of the Cabinet to declare the President unfit for office. If the amendment were to be used, Mike Pence would become acting president.

The Wall Street Journal's editorial board said the chaos in Washington was a "disgrace" and "an assault on the constitutional process of transferring power after an election".

"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 authors wrote.

In weighing up whether Trump should be removed through impeachment or by invoking the 25th Amendment, the Journal said it would be unwise to get rid of him by declaring him unfit for office as it would give him "more cause to play the political victim".

It was also too late in his term to impeach him, the paper said, and attempting to do so would "further enrage" Trump's supporters and make governing even more difficult for Biden.

"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."

The editorial ended by saying it would be better for everyone, including the President himself, if Trump simply went away quietly.