TODAY'S PAPER
Good Afternoon
Good Afternoon
OpinionLetters

Debating the purpose of impeachment

In this image from video, Sen. Patrick Leahy

In this image from video, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the president pro tempore of the U.S. Senate, presides over the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump on Tuesday. Credit: AP

In the article "Polls split on convicting Trump" [News, Feb. 6], a Wyoming resident states he thinks impeachment is ridiculous and that his voting for Trump in November was the lesser of two evils. He asks whether we are now going to start impeaching all past presidents we don’t like. No, not all past presidents, only those who through a campaign of misinformation incited a violent insurrection against our democracy in an attempt to overthrow our government and keep a seat lost in a proven free and fair election. Do these actions describe a person who is the lesser of two evils?

Jeff Kupferman,

Long Beach

I feel some relief now that former President Donald Trump is out of office even though I hold no great expectations, beyond civility and competence, for the Biden-Harris administration. To me, Trump should have been removed after his first impeachment — the obstruction of justice, the endless lies, cruel bigotry, and grifting were reasons enough. Following his recorded election interference in Georgia, an election he lost, and the unforgivable, willful, incompetent mishandling of the pandemic, Trump and some of his minions incited a riotous attack on the Capitol in a further attempt to steal the 2020 election. He has been impeached again. In my view, he embarrassed this nation before the world and divided the country with his actions and lies. If impeachment has any meaning, justice requires accountability for those actions. Is the man, now out of office, truly above American law?

Robert Mays,

Freeport

The Republicans’ vote to try to declare the impeachment of former President Donald Trump unconstitutional is just another partisan destructive maneuver ["GOP senators mostly against trying Trump," News, Jan. 27]. The fact that Trump no longer holds office doesn’t matter because Congress already set a precedent in 1876 when it impeached Secretary of War William Belknap. After the House impeached Belknap, a cabinet member, he resigned. Nevertheless, the Senate still went forward with the impeachment process. The reason they proceeded, and this is important, is because if they did not, then the president or any impeachable government employee could simply resign office after committing a crime and thus avoid the consequences of his or her actions. To me, for the Republicans to rationalize otherwise is unconscionable. They know better. All citizens should contact their senators and insist they follow their constitutional responsibility. In addition, impeachment can also lead to the barring of the impeached official from ever holding public office again. After what Trump has done to this country, I say he should be so barred forever.

Michael McBride,

Moriches

Some members of the Senate and Congress say we should just move on. Is that also how they feel about al-Qaida? If a suicide bomber kills American soldiers, do we just move on, or go after the leaders that sent him on his mission? If we just move on, we risk the leaders doing it again and again. The senators took an oath to defend the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic. The Jan. 6 riots were domestic terrorists led by then-President Donald Trump. Shame on them to say to just move on. The people who died because of the insurrection at the Capitol deserve justice. It’s our senators’ job to administer that justice.

Gary Grimes,

Blue Point

Smithtown speaker backlash is rebuked

Student Vincent Vertuccio called it "shameful" that Smithtown parents were upset with the guest speaker and the superintendent’s apology ["Apology for speaker invite is shameful," Letters, Jan. 28]. I feel Vertuccio is being presumptive in saying the parents "flaunted the power of modern white supremacy" with "a long tradition of exclusion of Black people from places such as Smithtown." Put yourself in a parent’s shoes and see the real reason Diamond Essence White might have been a poor choice, and it had nothing to do with skin color or her support for Black Lives Matter, and if you think she’s apolitical, you haven’t done your research. The family literacy night was advertised to encourage reading and discover appropriate children’s books. Maybe these parents felt it wasn’t the best forum for someone using social media to call our nation "Amerikkka" or to accuse people of being white supremacists. Given the difficult year this has been with division and hatred, maybe these parents felt it was just the wrong time and place. Maybe we save that guest for the sociology class? Knowing this information, which one seems shameful — the apology or prejudgment?

Jennifer Saul,

Smithtown

Columns