• "This was an assault on the constitutional process of transferring power after an election"
• "The best outcome would be for him to resign to spare the U.S. another impeachment fight"
The Wall Street Journal editorial board is calling on Donald Trump to resign, following yesterday's deadly siege of the U.S. Capitol.
The lodestar of these columns is the U.S. Constitution. The document is the durable foundation protecting liberty, and this week it showed its virtue again. Despite being displaced for a time by a mob, Congress returned the same day to ratify the Electoral College vote and Joe Biden's election. Congratulations to the President-elect, who will be inaugurated as the Constitution stipulates at noon on Jan. 20.
That still leaves Wednesday's disgrace and what to do about the 13 days left in Donald Trump's presidential term. Senate Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are demanding that Mr. Trump be removed from office immediately—either by the Cabinet under the 25th Amendment or new articles of impeachment. There's partisan animus at work here, but Mr. Trump's actions on Wednesday do raise constitutional questions that aren't casually dismissed.
In concise summary, on Wednesday the leader of the executive branch incited a crowd to march on the legislative branch. The express goal was to demand that Congress and Vice President Mike Pence reject electors from enough states to deny Mr. Biden an Electoral College victory. When some in the crowd turned violent and occupied the Capitol, the President caviled and declined for far too long to call them off. When he did speak, he hedged his plea with election complaint.
This was an assault on the constitutional process of transferring power after an election. It was also 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.