A local Missouri newspaper has delivered a blistering rebuke of Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) along with a serious ultimatum ahead of former President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch published an editorial on Monday, Feb. 1 calling on Hawley to either hold Trump accountable for his attempted coup to overturn the election or resign from the Senate. The newspaper criticized Hawley and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.).
"Missouri's two Republican senators, Roy Blunt and Josh Hawley, seem confused on this point, diverting the argument to whether impeaching Trump after he's left office violates the Constitution instead of focusing on the far-more blatant constitutional violations the world knows Trump committed," the newspaper said.
However, the publication noted that there is a silver lining. "But there's still time for them to switch gears and fulfill their sworn oath to impartially weigh Trump's guilt or innocence," the St. Louis Post-Dispatch said.
The newspaper argues that there is no way to justify or defend Trump's post-election behavior or his dangerous rhetoric that influenced the U.S. Capitol insurrection.
"There is no way to credibly argue that Trump protected and defended the Constitution when video evidence shows him directing a mob to storm the Capitol and interrupt constitutionally mandated proceedings to certify the Electoral College result," the newspaper argued.
The St. Louis Dispatch went on to reiterate Trump's remarks during the "Save America" rally, which occurred almost immediately before his angry mob of supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol. At the time, Trump told the crowd, "If you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore." For the publication, those remarks clearly influenced the crowd's reaction.
"The insurrectionists obviously were dangerous and violent. Some came dressed in tactical gear, carrying zip-tie handcuffs. Five people died in the chaos as Capitol police struggled to hold protesters at bay," the editorial said.
The newspaper concluded with a reminder of Republican lawmakers' oath reiterating that the "sole responsibility left to Hawley and his colleagues is to enforce the law and bring Trump to justice."
It concluded, "Because any elected official who has law enforcement responsibility and won't do it needs to resign."