Los Angeles Times Editorial Board Demands Trump Impeachment Now, Says 'Gross Abuse of Power is the Business of Congress'

The Los Angeles Times editorial board abandoned its previous reluctance to use impeachment against President Donald Trump, issuing a scathing opinion Saturday declaring they've finally "seen enough."

The editorial board penned a blistering opinion piece that said Trump should not only have articles of impeachment brought against him for his Ukraine abuse of power, but also on obstruction of justice charges stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. It also urged Republicans to "abandon their lockstep loyalty to Trump" in favor of viewing the plain-and-simple facts, noting that Trump's best "defense" has been preventing his top current and former administration officials from testifying.

The Los Angeles Times opinion piece entitled, "We've seen enough. Trump should be impeached," is one of the first major news outlets to take such a step and joins only a handful of large publications across the country that have called either for his resignation or impeachment.

"[T]he evidence produced over the last two months is more than sufficient to persuade us that he should be impeached," the December 7 editorial begins. "Witness after witness testified that the president held up desperately needed, congressionally approved aid to Ukraine to extort a personal political favor for himself. In so doing, Trump flagrantly abused the power of his office."

On Thursday, Trump demanded the House end impeachment and "get back to business," which the Times board threw back in his face Saturday morning: "Holding the president accountable for gross abuse of power is the business of Congress. The House should get on with that business by writing articles of impeachment that make it clear to the Senate — and the American people..."

The editorial board acknowledged they were "reluctant converts" to the House having to resort to the dire process of drafting articles of impeachment against the sitting president. But concerns over a "divisive" party-line vote and Trump "likely" being acquitted by GOP-controlled Senate do not offset Congress' duty to the Constitution.

"[T]hose concerns must yield to the overwhelming evidence that Trump perverted U.S. foreign policy for his own political gain. That sort of misconduct is outrageous and corrosive of democracy. It can't be ignored by the House, and it merits a full trial by the Senate on whether to remove him from office," the piece continued.

"Holding the president accountable for gross abuse of power is the business of Congress," the board added.

The board urged the House to give Americans and the Senate a specific list of Trump's egregious misconduct in office, and took the aggressive position of saying he should also be charged with obstruction of justice for his actions to "thwart or hobble" the Mueller investigation. Noting Trump was not charged with nor exonerated from obstruction of justice offenses, the Times argues his "attempted interference" should lead Congress to "come to a different conclusion" than the Mueller report.

The piece criticized Republicans and Trump for what they described as his best defense: preventing the highest level officials from testifying at all.

"Trump's defenders argue that the evidence against him on Ukraine is incomplete and thus inconclusive," the Saturday piece continued.

"They're correct that some potentially important witnesses — including acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, who reportedly put the hold on the Ukrainian aid, and former national security advisor John Bolton, who reportedly objected to the efforts to persuade Ukraine to conduct the investigations — haven't testified. But that is because Trump has objected to such testimony. Delaying impeachment because of no-show witnesses would reward Trump's obstructionism."

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The Los Angeles Times Editorial Board penned a scathing piece demanding President Trump be impeached for both the Ukraine and Russia scandals. YURI GRIPAS / AFP / Contributor/Getty Images
Los Angeles Times Editorial Board Demands Trump Impeachment Now, Says 'Gross Abuse of Power is the Business of Congress' | U.S.