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Readers consider the impeachment hearings

Career Foreign Service officer George Kent and top

Career Foreign Service officer George Kent and top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine William Taylor, right, are sworn in to testify during the first public impeachment hearing of the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill on Wednesday in Washington. Credit: AP/Joshua Roberts

I read the story “Five impeachment hearing takeaways” after the first day of testimony [News, Nov. 14], and all I can say is there must be another inquiry that I did not see.

My takeaways were that neither of the two diplomats, William Taylor and George Kent, could name what offense President Donald Trump committed; their accounts were based on hearsay and conjecture; they seemed overly concerned about Ukraine’s interests and their own beliefs on how things should be handled and less about carrying out the policies of Trump, who was concerned about our excessive aid to a corrupt government.

Was Ukraine’s security ever badly at risk? It ultimately got much more aid from Trump than from the Obama administration.

Read the transcript of the July call between Trump and the president of Ukraine.  I think this is a politically motivated hit job that undermines everything all Americans hold dear.

Howard Valan,


In the story about his retirement, Rep. Peter King said charges against President Donald Trump do not rise to an impeachable offense — and this happened even before any public testimony was given by witnesses in the impeachment inquiry [“Peter King won’t seek reelection in 2020,” News, Nov. 12].

In saying so, King betrays his oath of office, which says he will protect and defend the Constitution. Nowhere does the oath specify protection of the president. I believe such an attitude violates King’s duty to the people to at least have a fair and impartial hearing to determine the facts before he casts his vote.

I believe the president tried to leverage U.S. aid in return for Ukraine’s help in investigating a political rival. Both the president and his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, have admitted this. This is unconstitutional behavior, in my opinion. In addition, Trump has blocked House Intelligence Committee access to witnesses and documents.

If the president is innocent, why not let his people testify and release documents? If the president’s July phone call with Ukraine’s president was “perfect,” as he says, what is he afraid of? A president who fails to come clean and release the facts is not worthy to remain in office. Likewise, King, who exonerates Trump without any review of the evidence, also should leave office at once.

Mitchell Friedman,

 Great Neck

It is clear to me that President Donald Trump tried to shake down the new Ukraine president in July by demanding dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden in return for military hardware.

The machinations of Reps. Devin Nunes and Jim Jordan at the impeachment hearings were a sight to be seen. Jordan, brought in to do the dirty work for Republicans, was nasty and rude to a pair of decent public servants who, with no ax to grind, obeyed a subpoena and put themselves out there to tell the truth as they knew it.

Joan Nelson,


I took a day off from work recently to report for jury duty at the federal courthouse in Central Islip. As I sat in traffic, a radio news report said some White House officials were defying subpoenas to testify before the House impeachment inquiry.

The moment struck me as ironic.

Scores of people appeared at the courthouse that day, some traveling from Staten Island, Brooklyn and Queens, to comply with the court’s summons. Some lost a day’s pay and went to great lengths to report on time. Yet, White House officials were refusing to report to tell what they know.

I feel it is a very dark day in America when officials who vow to defend our Constitution defy the law. There is no doubt that officials in the White House should take lessons from law-abiding citizens who show up for jury duty.

Deborah Slinkosky,


Editor’s note: The writer has been a candidate for local and state elective office.