The Washington Post editorial board issued a piece that makes the case to convict former President Donald Trump for the charges against him for his second impeachment.
Writing Monday morning, the Post board began the piece by saying anyone arguing that the impeachment of Trump is unconstitutional is "wrong." Trump was impeached on Jan. 13 by the House. Constitutionally, the Senate is responsible for the trial.
The column goes on to blame Trump for running "a persistent campaign of lies" that the election was a fraud immediately after his loss. Over and over again, his campaign lost in courts across the country, some under conservative judges that Trump had appointed himself. There was no fraud. Still, "he suggested Senate Republicans should 'fight to the death,'" the board noted.
By the time the Jan. 6 rally began that morning, Trump's followers were primed with months of lies to justify their behavior. Speakers at the rally told the crowd to "fight," repeating the sentiment multiple times, using various forms of imagery, including Rudy Giuliani's call for "trial by combat."
"Mr. Trump instructed the crowd to go to the Capitol and warned, 'If you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore,'" the board recalled. "Supporters screamed, 'Take the Capitol right now!' That is what they did after Mr. Trump stopped speaking."
Reports revealed that Trump watched the attack with glee not understanding why those around him weren't just as excited. The crowd chanted "Hang Mike Pence," went on the attack, killed 5 people, stopped the count of the election, and trashed the American seat of government.
"Some in the mob reported that they were following Mr. Trump's directions," said the Post. "Mr. Trump eventually issued meek statements designed as much to justify the mob's rage as to pacify it."
The excuse that Trump's lawyers claim -- the former president was just exercising his First Amendment rights ignores restrictions placed on those rights, like rules that say people can't use that speech to lead a violent mob in an attempt to take down the government. Trump, the Post argued, must be held accountable for what he said.
"Mr. Trump is responsible for whipping extremists into a frenzy with lies, encouraging violence, and directing those extremists to the chambers in which members of Congress were overseeing the transfer of power," said the board. "He betrayed his oath to faithfully execute his duties and defend the Constitution; indeed, he disrupted the core operations of the constitutional system."
The editorial closed by saying that Senators shouldn't hide behind such tiny arguments and should listen to the nearly 400 congressional staffers who shared their terror about the attack.
Senators "should think about the precedent they set," the board concluded. "As the House managers put it, 'Failure to convict would embolden future leaders to attempt to retain power by any and all means — and would suggest that there is no line a President cannot cross.'"