Largest Connecticut Newspaper Group Demands Donald Trump Step Down as President

The largest local newspaper chain in the state of Connecticut is urging President Donald Trump to step down from office in the wake of "damning evidence" tied to his communications with Ukraine.

The Hearst Connecticut Media Editorial Board on Thursday called for Trump to resign from office for "conduct far outside the accepted norms of a democratic leader." The newspaper chain's editorial board said Trump's request for an investigation into Hunter Biden's dealings with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky "would benefit him politically" and is a clear-cut case of an "impeachable offense." The scathing Hearst editorial concedes "there's almost no chance" Trump will step down and urges Congress to vote to remove him from the White House.

The editorial board's call for Trump's resignation is one of the first of its kind and has prompted discussion over whether news publications around the country will follow suit.

"The proper next step for the president is clear. He should resign," the editorial board wrote in the piece first published in the Connecticut Post. "He has repeatedly proven himself unfit for office and appears to view the presidency as a position meant to benefit himself personally, not as one that must represent the interests of an entire nation."

"The truth is that Trump has been breaking laws and norms with impunity from the beginning. For instance, the U.S. Constitution forbids federal officeholders from receiving any gifts or payments from foreign entities, but in the same phone call with the Ukrainian president we see evidence that Trump is in violation," the editorial board continued.

New York City-based Hearst Communications owns dozens of magazines, newspapers and other online news media brands across the country. In addition to the Connecticut Post, Hearst controls Greenwich Time, The News-Times, The Advocate, The Middletown Press, the New Haven Register, The Hour, The Register Citizen and Connecticut Magazine in the state of Connecticut alone.

The editorial goes on to say Trump was only "saved from criminal indictment" in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation "by virtue of the office he currently holds."

"[W]hat we know is enough, and because it's from the president himself, there's no reason to question its veracity. There's no going back from here. The long, bumpy ride of the Trump era may have turned a corner, but it's nowhere near over," the editorial board concluded.

The editorial sparked news media industry speculation on whether newspapers or other publications will join the Connecticut board in condemning Trump's actions as president.

In response, Northeastern University journalism professor Dan Kennedy questioned if the Post would be the first of many Hearst-owned newspapers to call for Trump's resignation.

"A Hearst paper. Is this a trial balloon for the entire chain?" Kennedy tweeted, replying to Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Will Bunch, who declared, "All hail the mighty Connecticut Post! Somebody finally had to go first."

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Connecticut Hearst Media Group demanded President Donald Trump step down from office. MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images