Orlando Sentinel Editorial Board Writes 'All Americans Should Support Trump Impeachment Inquiry'

The Orlando Sentinel editorial board called for Americans to support the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, comparing the situation of the country to that before former President Bill Clinton faced impeachment proceedings in 1998.

"The circumstances behind the editorial feel hauntingly familiar today: An unrepentant president, whose behavior is a national embarrassment, drags the country into impeachment proceedings," the Sentinel wrote in a piece published Thursday. "But Clinton wasn't about to resign, at our urging or anyone else's. Neither will Trump. His overwhelming narcissism would never allow it. That's why it's essential for the House's impeachment inquiry to play itself out."

The Sentinel's editorial board issued a scathing review of the president in June, writing it would not endorse Trump in 2020. That article had taken umbrage with Trump's claims that he would accept dirt on an opponent from an adversary nation.

"We underestimated the president," the article published on Thursday said, referring to the board's June assessment of Trump. "In July, he was—by all appearances—soliciting Ukraine's president to dig up dirt on an opponent."

The article repeatedly refers to a 1998 piece from the paper's editorial board, which urged Clinton to resign.

Clinton's impeachment has loomed large in discussions of Democrats' inquiry into Trump. Senator Lindsey Graham, a fervent Trump defender who has bristled at the inquiry, said in 1999 that "impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office."

The apparent shift in opinion among Republicans has garnered news attention, despite the different misconduct allegations faced by Trump and Clinton. Despite the distinctions between the actions of the men, the Sentinel saw a similarity: two presidents demonstrating behavior that is a "national embarrassment."

Trump has bristled at the impeachment inquiry, regularly lashing out at opponents and Democrats. He has called for House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff to be arrested for "Fraud & Treason." He retweeted comments from an evangelical pastor that there would be "a Civil War like fracture in this Nation" if Democrats successfully removed the president from office. He claimed that the impeachment proceedings were an illegal coup and wrote that "The Do Nothing Democrats should be focused on building up our Country, not wasting everyone's time and energy on [B***S***]."

Although Trump's base has consolidated behind him, the proportion of Americans who support impeachment has also risen. Forty-five percent of Americans support House impeachment, while 38 don't, according to a USA Today/Ipsos poll released on Thursday. Forty-four percent say that the Senate should remove Trump from office and convict him, while 35 percent disagree.

Despite Trump's continued assaults on those pursuing the investigation, House Democrats have moved aggressively forward with the inquiry. Three House committee chairmen threatened on Wednesday to subpoena the White House for documents.

"We're not fooling around here, Schiff, one of the chairmen who issued the threat, said at a news conference.

The Sentinel isn't the only editorial board to call for Trump's impeachment. Editorials from staffers at The St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Hearst Connecticut Media Editorial Board have also called for Trump to step down.

President Donald Trump rails against journalists asking questions about an impeachment inquiry during a joint news conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto on October 2. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images