“I don’t have any question that some of these are resignations of convenience, and résumé resignations,” said Peter Wehner, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center who worked for three previous Republican presidents but has long been a critic of Mr. Trump.

The test of how to judge such departures, he said, is complicated, and depends on how hard the exiting officials worked while on the inside to constrain presidential behavior they considered immoral or dangerous. But he said any claims by those officials that they were shocked by Wednesday’s events were dubious. “It was almost inevitable for the Trump presidency to end like this, or something like this,” he said…

To Mr. Trump’s die-hard supporters, they may be traitors. But the departed Trump administration officials had stood by the president through countless other episodes that shocked consciences across the country: the separation of migrant children from their parents at the border, Mr. Trump’s equivocal words about white supremacist groups, and his many weeks dedicated to undermining the presidential election result with false claims about voter fraud and at least one vague threat to a state election official.