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Letters: Not AG’s job to shield boss; Partisan impeachment bad for democracy; Trumps’ actions impeachable; Both sides agree about what Trump did

It isn’t AG’s job to shield boss from consequences

Josh Hammer’s op-ed “Barr Isn’t A Toady, It’s The Nature Of His Job” (Jan. 18) is an interesting summary of the ways US attorneys general have historically supported their presidents, noting AGs who backed Lincoln’s suspension of habeus corpus in the Civil War and FDR’s internment of Japanese citizens in WW II as examples.

But those were the stated policies of a president acting on behalf of the nation. No one would expect a sitting AG to contradict a president’s policies; Mr. Barr, for example, would be expected to uphold Mr. Trump’s internment of immigrant children at the border or resign.

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Perhaps a better analogy would be Attorney General John Mitchell, who went to jail for his part in the Watergate cover-up. Like Mr. Mitchell, Mr. Barr is trying to protect his boss’s personal conduct; for example, he falsely summarized the Mueller report to say it “exonerated” Mr. Trump, then tried to prevent Congress and the public from seeing it. In the impeachment hearings, he blocked Department of Justice officials from testifying in a legitimate Congressional investigation into possible malfeasance in office.

It’s not “the nature of his job” to shield Mr. Trump from the consequences of what may be illegal or impeachable acts, such as withholding grants to foreign governments in return for personal favors. And Mr. Barr will remain a “toady” until he follows the law and the Constitution, rather than the personal interests of his employer.

Rod MacDonald

Delray Beach, Fla.

Partisan impeachment will be watershed moment in history

Just once, I would like a politician to stand up and do what’s right rather than what’s politically expedient.

So this is the standard for impeachment going forward, the way things should be from now on? The majority party in the House of Representatives can impeach a president anytime it wants for any reason it wants? We’re good with that. Purely partisan impeachments.

Trump or no Trump, I would think every senator would want to push back hard on this sort of thing. Efforts to remove a sitting president from office is a Third World political strategy. As a country, we really should want to avoid invalidating elections or delegitimizing their results. We vote for a president every four years for a reason.

When all this is done, and we’re dead and buried, history will look back at our actions now and call it a watershed moment. The time when it all started going terribly wrong for the United States. No doubt, we’ve been building toward this point for years, but history will view the moment we are living in now as the time when it all came to a head and our country’s eventual demise accelerated past the point of no return.

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And the reason why? The politicians wanted to win the next election.

Chris Roemer

Finksburg

Trump’s offenses clearly impeachable

Alan Dershowitz, newly added to the Trump defense team, claims his only responsibility is to explain that the actions of the President are not impeachable because they do not constitute a high crime or misdemeanor. He defines an impeachable action as only treason and bribery as defined by the founders.

Bribery is defined by Black’s Law Dictionary as the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions of an official or other person, in charge of a public or legal duty. But bribery is exactly what the president admitted to. I’ll paraphrase his telephone call with the Ukraine president: “I’ll release the money for your defense if you’ll announce an investigation into the Bidens. I’ll also offer you a visit to the White House.” This clearly meets the definition of bribery, and is impeachable.

Harvey Rabinowitz

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Taneytown

There is no debate about what Trump did

The current Senate debate in Washington has shown that there is general agreement on one thing: Trump has done exactly what he has been accused of.

The Democrats believe that he illegally withheld some $400,000,000 as motivation for a foreign country to say to the world that the Bidens were under investigation and thus hurt his chances of winning in November. The Republicans believe that it’s really “not that important” why the money was withheld, it’s certainly not worth “impeachment."

If this type of activity by the president is not impeachable, what is?

Wallace Wolff

Westminster

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