The editorial board of The Wall Street Journal, the American flagship of Rupert Murdoch’s newspaper empire, denounced President Trump on Thursday for inciting a mob of his supporters to storm the U.S. Capitol, declaring his behavior “impeachable” and encouraging Mr. Trump to resign his office to prevent a second impeachment by the Democratic-controlled House.
In an unsigned article titled “Donald Trump’s Final Days,” the Journal’s editorial page — a bellwether for the conservative establishment — excoriated the president for “an assault on the constitutional process of transferring power after an election” and said “this week has probably finished him as a serious political figure.”
“If Mr. Trump wants to avoid a second impeachment, his best path would be to take personal responsibility and resign,” the Journal wrote, concluding, “It is best for everyone, himself included, if he goes away quietly.”
The Journal’s editorial page, led by the editor Paul Gigot, has criticized Mr. Trump in the past, sometimes harshly. But its latest salvo was a striking repudiation of the president by a news outlet controlled by Mr. Murdoch, whose Fox News cable network is home to several of Mr. Trump’s most loyal and longstanding media defenders.
Mr. Murdoch’s publicists had previously indicated that he did not expect Mr. Trump to recapture the presidency, and another Murdoch publication, The New York Post, trumpeted President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory even as Mr. Trump refused to accept the results.
The Post, in its own unsigned editorial on Thursday, stopped short of arguing that Mr. Trump should prematurely exit the White House, instead urging his aides “to stay and stop the crazy.” But given Mr. Murdoch’s influence on his publications’ political views, the Journal’s blunt words for Mr. Trump — who once craved Mr. Murdoch’s approval — signal that the mogul is now looking ahead to the start of the Biden presidency.