WSJ editorial board: ‘Trump utterly failed’ his Jan. 6 trial

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The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board criticized former President Trump for refusing to take action on Jan. 6, 2021, as a mob of Trump supporters ransacked the Capitol, saying in an editorial published Friday that his vice president passed his “Jan. 6 trial” while Trump “utterly failed his.”

“Mr. Trump took an oath to defend the Constitution, and he had a duty as Commander in Chief to protect the Capitol from a mob attacking it in his name. He refused. He didn’t call the military to send help. He didn’t call [then-Vice President Mike Pence] to check on the safety of his loyal VP. Instead he fed the mob’s anger and let the riot play out,” the editorial board wrote.

“Character is revealed in a crisis, and Mr. Pence passed his Jan. 6 trial. Mr. Trump utterly failed his,” the editorial board added.

The Journal’s editorial came one day after the House select committee investigating the Capitol riot held its final summer hearing, which focused on the 187 minutes between Trump finishing his remarks at his “Stop the Steal” rally on Jan. 6 and a tweet he sent in the late afternoon telling his supporters to go home.

Using footage of taped depositions from officials like former White House counsel Pat Cipollone and in-person testimony from Trump White House officials Sarah Matthews and Matthew Pottinger, the committee accused the former president of dereliction of duty as they described how for hours he did nothing to stop the violence that ensued that day.

“President Trump did not fail to act during the 187 minutes between leaving the Ellipse and telling the mob to go home,” committee member Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said during the hearing. “He chose not to act.”

The Journal’s editorial board made clear that it did not agree with the committee on all fronts of its investigation — arguing it “lacks political balance” and was “trying to make a criminal case that might be hard to prove and might tear the country apart.”

However, the editorial board also acknowledged that “the facts it is laying out in hearings are sobering” as it condemned Trump’s inaction on the day of the riot.

The editorial comes as The New York Post’s editorial board also offered strong words against the former president in its own editorial on Friday.

“It’s up to the Justice Department to decide if this is a crime. But as a matter of principle, as a matter of character, Trump has proven himself unworthy to be this country’s chief executive again,” the Post editorial said.

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