I read with great amusement Texas Sen. John Cornyn’s comment about going back and impeaching former President Barack Obama ["Impeachment to Senate," News, Jan. 26]. Yes, senator, you can go back and impeach Obama — if he tried to overturn an election he lost and incited a mob to attack the Capitol in an insurrection.
I am not a lawyer, but I can read. I read the Constitution about impeachment. Impeachment is to remove a president or a politician from office. Now that former President Donald Trump is an ordinary citizen, I believe the impeachment process is moot. I do not understand why anyone in Congress would not make this point and stop wasting the time that the new administration can use to get control of the coronavirus and get our economy going again. If the above is not true, do Democrats think they will get 17 Republicans to vote for impeachment and alienate 74 million people who voted for Trump?
Garden City Park
The bloviating from the Republican right that impeaching former President Donald Trump when he’s no longer president is unconstitutional, pointless and a waste of time is hard to swallow. If they had been around after World War II, they’d be yelling, "This is ridiculous! You’re telling me they’re holding trials at Nuremberg for former Nazis, even though their Third Reich no longer exists?"
Our Founding Fathers were geniuses when they created the division of power and three branches of government. One safeguard they installed was the power of impeachment. In their genius, they understood the power and the possibility of its abuse. They made it difficult and of the utmost seriousness. Before former President Donald Trump, that is why it was used only twice on a president. Now, the Democratic Party has weaponized and cheapened it by using it twice against Trump in the span of a year. Just like the first time, they have little hope of getting a conviction. But just for political gain and not justice, they will move forward. With so many hurt by the pandemic, instead of putting efforts and dollars to help them, Democrats are wasting it on impeachment. Impeachment is to remove a dangerous president. He has been removed by the voters. There is a Department of Justice probe of the Jan. 6 riot. Let the DOJ determine whether Trump broke the law — that’s what we do to citizens, which he now is.
The letter "The price of an impeachment trial" [Jan. 26] was quite interesting. What makes the reader think an impeachment trial would cost $10 million to $20 million? And how much does he think it cost to call in 25,000 National Guard members, to pay overtime to the police, to repair the Capitol, and to install fencing to protect the Capitol after the siege that former President Donald Trump incited? But this is not a dollars-and-cents issue. Not proceeding with a trial would condone sedition, insurrection and inciting riots. As then-Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said of Jan. 6, Trump "provoked" the riot and no one should be above the law, whether they’re the president or a common citizen. Ironically, when the Capitol was overrun with violent individuals, many intending to kill the vice president, House speaker and congressional members, Trump didn’t "walk with them" as promised but sat in the White House reportedly watching with delight as it unfolded on television, refusing for hours to call in the National Guard. A price must be paid for this and the five lives lost.
Responding to the letter "The price of an impeachment trial," what is the price for defending democracy? Visit Arlington National Cemetery, Gettysburg or the Pinelawn or Calverton national cemeteries. What is the price to ensure another insurrectionist isn’t elected president? President Thomas Jefferson told us in 1801, "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." The reader cites spending "$10 million, $20 million, or more" for a "circus" impeachment trial and then tries to defend it by stating this money would be better spent: " ... how many gallons of milk or fast food lunches could be distributed or food from local pizzerias and delis?" If that’s the basis of the argument, imagine how many families could have been helped by what Forbes magazine estimates is the $340 million taxpayers spent on Trump’s golf outings. Before there can be unity, there has to be accountability. Our halls of democracy were attacked based on a lie encouraged by a president whose ego came before democracy. The actions demand accountability so that never happens again. It’s called "eternal vigilance."