‘The Courage to Put Country Over Party’: Arguments in Trump’s Trial


To the Editor:

Re “House Case Calls Trump ‘Singularly Responsible’ for Rampage at Capitol” (front page, Feb. 3):

Open Letter to Republican Senators:

As I watch the memorial for Officer Brian Sicknick in the Capitol and reflect on his courage and integrity, I cannot help but think about the lack of courage and integrity that has been on display by Senate Republicans. This brave man gave his life because it was his job to save yours. It wasn’t political. You are alive because Officer Sicknick and the rest of the Capitol Police stepped up to the plate on Jan. 6.

Your job now is to honor them by holding Donald Trump accountable for inciting the insurrection that led to Officer Sicknick’s death. It shouldn’t be political. It shouldn’t be about re-election. It shouldn’t be about holding onto support from the same people who stormed the Capitol. It should be about doing the right thing, not the easy thing.

My hope is that you take your lead from the 10 House Republicans who had the courage to put country over party.

Sharon S. Ochs
Fallston, Md.

To the Editor:

Let me get this straight.

The lies about the election being stolen plus his words that incited his followers to attack the Capitol on Jan. 6 have been publicly broadcast and quoted in print, and even many Republican members of Congress initially acknowledged that the former president bears some responsibility for the riot. But since according to decades-old policy a sitting president cannot be indicted, Donald Trump has faced no legal consequences for his role in the riot.

And now for the coming impeachment trial, his defense team is arguing that it is unconstitutional to impeach a former president, a position that many Senate Republicans are rushing to support as a way to let Mr. Trump escape any form of responsibility for what many would claim was domestic terrorism.

So it’s looking as if Donald Trump may get away scot-free. All this from the party of law and order?

James G. Goodale
Fort Myers, Fla.

To the Editor:

I try to imagine what would have happened if the mob had gotten Mike Pence. Donald Trump’s impeachment and conviction would have been a foregone conclusion. Why should Mr. Pence’s narrow escape lead us to a different conclusion?

Michael B. Heckman
Pine Bush, N.Y.

To the Editor:

The Senate trial’s constitutionality may be in question. But that can be answered only by the Supreme Court, not individual senators in the minority claiming the trial to be unconstitutional and therefore moot.

Republicans wrap themselves in the Constitution. So walk the walk, senators. Don’t dodge your duty. Vote on the evidence of incitement of insurrection. And if Donald Trump is found guilty, he may resolve the question of constitutionality with an appeal to the Supreme Court.

Ned Gardner
Apex, N.C.

To the Editor:

Although a great deal of attention has, appropriately, been focused on the trial of the impeachment charges against former President Donald Trump and whether his enablers in the Senate will vote to convict him, the principal focus should be on the criminal investigation and prosecution of serious crimes that endangered (and continue to endanger) our democracy and caused several deaths during the Jan. 6 assault on our Capitol.

It is clear from incontrovertible recordings, and other sources, that there is substantial evidence to conclude that Mr. Trump engaged in criminal conduct in violation of both federal and state laws. Grand juries should be impaneled immediately to consider the evidence against him (and his co-conspirators) and take appropriate action.

Throughout his life Mr. Trump has avoided responsibility for actions he has undertaken — most recently the immunity from prosecution afforded to presidents while in office. That immunity has expired, and Mr. Trump should be held accountable for his serious crimes.

Richard Schaeffer
Rye Brook, N.Y.
The writer is a lawyer and former assistant district attorney.

To the Editor:

To all the Republicans who don’t think that inciting a violent insurrection to overthrow a lawful election is a crime meriting conviction, I would like them to complete the following sentence: “It would be an impeachable offense if Donald Trump _______.” It appears they would never fill in that blank.

Laurie Woog
Westfield, N.J.

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