One of President Trump’s most faithful fans has withdrawn support for Mr. Trump — and is calling for him to resign — in a painting that he had once sued to have displayed in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery.
Julian Raven voted for Mr. Trump twice and created a large portrait of him next to an eagle and the American flag.
Mr. Raven even brought a lawsuit all the way to the Supreme Court in an attempt to get the painting displayed by the Smithsonian, though to no avail because the justices refused to hear the case.
But now the artist has recreated his painting, turning it into a graphic with the president’s head upside down accompanied by the word “RESIGN!”
The formerly pro-Trump artist wanted to make a statement about last week’s violence at the U.S. Capitol where a law enforcement officer, among others, died due to the pro-Trump rioting.
Mr. Raven’s letter asked the 45th president, whom he once admired, to step down and leave the White House — even with just one week left of his term before President-elect Joseph R. Biden is sworn-in Jan. 20.
“Inciting your followers to march on the Capitol in an effort to thwart the certification of President Elect Joe Biden and then refusing to take responsibility for their lawless actions at the January 6th insurrection is reprehensible! As someone who has supported you and prayed for you and voted for you twice, I now resolutely close the door on that season,” Mr. Raven wrote.
He said the killing of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick was caused by Mr. Trump inciting a mob.
“Mr. President, you have sinned against God!” the artist wrote.
The president had gathered thousands of his supporters on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 during a joint session of Congress as lawmakers met to certify the November results in favor of Mr. Biden. But Mr. Trump told his followers they should go to the Capitol and make their concerns over election fraud known to lawmakers in an attempt to stop Congress’ approval.
Hundreds of the supporters did go to the Capitol, overpowering law enforcement and breaching the building, entering the chamber. The disruption caused lawmakers and staff to remain in lockdown after being taken to a safe, undisclosed location for several hours.
Six people died as a result of the riot — one demonstrator was shot, two police officers died directly or indirectly, and three demonstrators suffered fatal medical emergencies.
Democrats have claimed Mr. Trump incited the violence and have moved to impeach him for a second time. Mr. Trump and some of his GOP allies in Congress have said the rush to impeachment is political, noting he will leave office in a week.