Opinion | What Would It Take for Republicans to Convict Trump?

To the Editor:

Is it really possible that so many Republican senators have forgotten how frightened they were when Trump supporters stormed the Capitol? Have they forgotten how they hid under tables and desks fearing for their lives? Is it really possible that they have forgotten the cries threatening Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker Nancy Pelosi?

All this took place under President Donald Trump and because of his urging them to fight. He could have stopped the rampage and did not. Republican senators need to remember the chaotic scene, cast aside politics and vote to convict the ex-president. It is their duty to protect the Constitution and ensure that this never happens again.

Nancy P. Nemlich
White Plains, N.Y.

To the Editor:

I am sadly convinced that there is nothing that would lead these Republican senators to convict Donald Trump, no matter what offenses he committed. Indeed, with this shabby group, I am convinced that Richard Nixon would not have needed to resign, since he would have been acquitted!

I am therefore left with two questions.

First, with Republicans claiming, wrongly I believe, that you can’t convict after the president has left office, do we accept that he or she can do anything in his or her last month or so?

And the wider question is whether there is any point to impeachment anymore in an age of hyperpartisanship. Is it merely useful for P.R. value? Do we just accept that the president is immune to punishment in the future? Or can we find a substitute punishment in its place?

To say this is worrying is an understatement.

Steven Chinn
Bronx

To the Editor:

Re “Trump Must Be Tried” (Op-Ed, Feb. 3):

Bob Bauer writes that Senate Republicans “claim that a president can escape the consequences of egregious, impeachable conduct … so long as the Senate runs out of time to try the case before the end of his term.” That’s only one part of the argument. The other and arguably more important one is that nothing that President Donald Trump did amounts to an impeachable offense.

Although I voted for Mr. Trump, I found his repeated claims of widespread fraud and stolen elections distasteful. But that is freedom of speech and does not rise to the level of language likely to incite a riot. If Mr. Trump had said “storm the Capitol,” I would agree with Mr. Bauer. But he said “peacefully and patriotically” protest. To convict on such tenuous speculation would be the very definition of totalitarianism.

Constantinos E. Scaros
Tarpon Springs, Fla.
The writer is the author of “Trumped-Up Charges!”

To the Editor:

I think it’s understood that sooner or later the Republican Party will have to break ties with Donald Trump. What is it waiting for?

The man is toxic and cares only for himself, and his public image. How many subordinates have served for years and done everything Mr. Trump asked only to be thrown under the proverbial bus for the least disagreement or personal slight? He expects total loyalty and bestows none.

So, now is the time to jettison Mr. Trump from the party. All Senate Republicans should band together, for the sake of the party’s future, and vote to convict him.

There will be much fallout and fractionalization in the party. And once that’s done, the Republican Party can get back to its true roots. It can take the next two years to heal and then maybe promote a true Republican candidate for the 2024 election.

The Republicans have really nothing to lose right now. They don’t have a majority in either chamber of Congress and there’s a Democrat in the White House.

Republicans, take your lumps now.

Jerry Hoglund
Libertyville, Ill.

To the Editor:

I wonder what it would take for 17 Republican senators to agree to convict Donald Trump. What if he had not only told the insurgents that he would lead them to the Capitol, as he had promised during his rally, but actually did lead them? Or, fancifully, what if 17 of those power-hungry senators were to receive a fortune cookie, crack it open and read this message: “Don’t worry. You will be re-elected”?

Mary-Lou Weisman
Westport, Conn.

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