The Chicago Tribune published a scathing OpEd calling for former Republican President Donald Trump's name to be "jackhammered" off Trump Tower in Chicago after his company was convicted of multiple tax-related crimes in New York.
The newspaper's editorial board spoke out after Trump called for the "termination" of the United States Constitution. They added the fact Trump's company was convicted last week on 17 counts of criminal tax fraud, falsifying records and other crimes indicated "that the Trump Organization was corrupt at the core."
They noted while Trump's call for the Constitution's termination was described as little more than "Trumpian blather" by his defenders who've said his statements have "nothing to do with the Trump Organization or the sign," the Trump Organization's conviction poses a "more significant" issue.
The editorial board wrote:
"The jury found that the Trump Organization was corrupt at the core, we are less than shocked to learn, helping executives dodge required taxes on a punch bowl of perks from luxury apartments to Mercedes-Benzes to cold, hard, cash."
"In essence, the Trump Organization argued that one man, chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, was to blame. Trump himself argued the prosecution was politically motivated."
"Whatever. A jury spoke."
"Let’s review. In a matter of days, if not hours, Trump failed to do his duty to support the Constitution, an act that should preclude a further run for president, and the Trump Organization was exposed as a criminal enterprise."
"And Chicagoans still have to look at that sign?"
"Granted, the city will need to take advice from its lawyers and we acknowledge the conviction likely did not nix all property rights. But this is worth a new negotiation."
"Reintroduce an ordinance. Evoke moral turpitude. Try to get it taken down. This time with our support and, we’ll wager, most everyone who lives there."
The Tribune's call for Trump's name to be removed from the building is noteworthy because it initially defended his right to emblazon his name on the Trump International Hotel and Tower even though the majority of Chicagoans considered it an eyesore on a skyline with no other giant names on buildings.
Ultimately, Trump was allowed to go ahead with his plans after donating $50,000 to the campaign of then-Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, who at the time was running for a second term.
Additionally, Trump made a $5,000 donation to the city alderman whose district included the Chicago Trump Tower and hired the tax attorney of another alderman, this one since-indicted, who cut his tax bill by $12 million over six years.
Last year, The Tribune defended Trump having the sign on the Chicago Trump Tower after Alderman Gilbert Villegas sponsored an ordinance that would ban “any person convicted of treason, sedition or subversive actions from doing business with the city, including having a sign permit."
At the time, the newspaper did not support Villegas’ ordinance, saying it violated Trump's "freedom of expression and private property rights" and accusing Villegas and Mayor Lori Lightfoot of getting "swept into anti-Trump fever and chest-thumping" over the sign.
But the newspaper has changed its tune since, referring to the sign as "visual pollution" on the Chicago skyline.
Many are now supporting the newspaper's call for the sign to be taken down.
The Trump Organization's conviction adds to Trump's troubles, which have only intensified since Herschel Walker, the former pro football player who was Trump's chosen candidate in Georgia's runoff election, lost his bid to the incumbent, Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock.
In its analysis of these losses, The New York Times said they "underscore the new reality Mr. Trump faces as he attempts a third national campaign," namely that he is "not the favorite of most major donors anymore," "not the sole focus of conservative media," and subject to further "legal threats."
A separate analysis—this one written by John Hart, the former communications director for ex-Republican Senator Tom Coburn—posits that Walker's loss "should mark the definitive and unequivocal end of the Trump era." Hart cautioned that "if Republicans don’t write Trump’s obituary today, Trump will surely write theirs tomorrow — as he has the past three election cycles."