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OpinionLetters

Letter: Trump's refusal to supply tax returns

Reader letters to Newsday for Thursday, May 16, 2019.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin testifies about the budget

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin testifies about the budget during a Financial Services and General Government subcommittee hearing on May 15, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Photo Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin

It was dispiriting to read Sol Wachtler’s opinion piece “Democrats, it’s time to move on”  [Opinion, May 10].

He writes, “There is little doubt that the subpoena of Trump’s tax records ordered by Congress is validated by statute.” But somehow, Wachtler seemed blissfully unaware that the treasury secretary chose to flout that very law, claiming assent from the Justice Department. Why would the courts be “unlikely to interfere,” as Wachtler writes, with this attack on the rule of law? I believe that by doing so, the treasury secretary committed a crime. But in what world might one expect his crony, the attorney general, to prosecute that act?

And as for Wachtler’s claim that there is no reason for Democrats to see the unredacted Mueller report and its underlying evidence unless they pursue impeachment, he has put the cart before the horse. Only if the House Judiciary Committee sees the full report and its underlying evidence can it determine whether impeachable crimes have been committed. Would Wachtler rather see impeachment proceedings before the House has determined whether impeachment is warranted?

That a former chief judge of the highest court in the state could get these fundamental points wrong is hard to fathom.

Paul Landaw,

Bellerose Terrace

At last, a voice of reason. We should all be outraged that nothing is being done by our elected officials. They were not elected to spend every waking hour going after the president. It is time to do the things that Sol Wachtler mentions and stop the grandstanding.

Richard Corso,

Oceanside

I was shocked to read that so distinguished a jurist as Sol Wachtler would echo the sentiments of Sen. Mitch McConnell and other Trump apologists by calling for an end to congressional investigations of possible malfeasance by the Trump administration.

First, Wachtler makes assumptions that no one can predict, such as impeachment would be “politically disastrous” for Democrats and “a costly, distracting and vain pursuit.” Who is to say what the real reaction would be after impeachment hearings expose the underlying facts of the Mueller report, parts of which have been shielded from the public by Attorney General William Barr?

Second, Congress has a constitutional mandate to act as a coequal branch of government, independent of and providing oversight of the executive branch. By moving on, as Wachtler would have them do, House Democrats would be abrogating that duty, sending a message to this and future presidents that they are above the law.

We know two simple truths from the Mueller report: The Russian government and its agents interfered with the 2016 election in a direct attack on our democracy, and Trump, rather than fulfilling his oath to protect the Constitution, took active measures, likely including obstruction of justice, to derail Mueller’s investigation into the Russian attack. Impeachment, as outlined in the Constitution, is the only remedy.

Edmund Fountaine,

Oakdale

What consequences for the two men?

It’s an outrage to watch a poor, defenseless dog forced to drink beer from a keg [“Hofstra fraternity suspended after alleged dog ‘hazing,’” News, May 14].

Even worse is that Hofstra University suspended only the fraternity. How about some consequences for the young man in the video who is holding the dog upside down, and for the young man squirting beer at the dog from a keg hose? Wow, their parents must be proud!

Amy Pangretic,

Wantagh

Take a day of rest from shotgun blasts

A one-day-per-week ban on shotgun hunting should be a common-sense ordinance for the Town of East Hampton [“Push to cut back hunting,” News, May 8].

Such a ban would support environmentally sound activities that don’t promote violence and killing, such as wildlife photography, bird-watching, hiking, kayaking, camping and canoeing.

No one wants to hear gunshots when they’re out walking a dog or to come upon a deer full of buckshot or an orphaned fawn.

Whether you believe animals are owed their own inherent rights or are here for our stewardship, it is not unreasonable that animal advocates and the animals themselves are owed at least one day of rest from violence.

John Di Leonardo,

Malverne

Editor’s note: The writer is executive director of Long Island Orchestrating for Nature, an animal advocacy group.

U.S. must remain wary of Russians

This administration’s coziness with today’s Russian government is frightening and appalling [“Source: Barr working with intel chiefs on Russia review,” News, May 15].

In the late 1950s, during the Cold War, I logged nearly 2,000 hours navigating a slow, noisy and uncomfortable U.S. Navy patrol plane over the northern Pacific. The mission: Provide our government a little early warning in case of a Soviet bomber attack from Siberia on the mainland United States.

We didn’t trust the Russians then and have no reason to believe they can be trusted now.

Ralph Langer,

Plainview

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