To the editor: If President Trump were to apologize, he would have to express contrition not only for his impeachable conduct regarding Ukraine, but also for his actions at the U.S.-Mexico border, for hollowing out our institutions by appointing temporary heads of departments who are loyal only to him, to our allies for disrupting the most meaningful alliance that has mostly kept a stable world order for decades, for vilifying the free press, and for much more.
Were he to do all this, he would certainly have to resign, because apologizing would be an acknowledgment he has not kept his oath of office to preserve, protect and defend our Constitution.
Dean Okrand, Sherman Oaks
To the editor: I agree with Goldberg that “a plain reading of the rough transcript” of the call between Trump and the Ukrainian president “supports the charge” that Trump was pressuring a foreign power to falsely corroborate his smear campaign against former Vice President Joe Biden.
But knowing this and that Trump tried to hide it, how are we supposed to keep believing Trump didn’t secretly accept and try to hide help from Russia in 2016?
No, an apology is not enough. With his smear campaigns, hush-money payments as a candidate and solicitation of foreign interference in our election, Trump has grossly corrupted the American electoral process.
Remembering Trump’s 2018 midterm stunt of deploying American troops to the southern border, we should be very afraid of leaving Trump in office to campaign in 2020.
Robert Fox, Los Angeles
To the editor: I’m not a respected columnist, but common sense tells me that giving a $50,000-per-month job to the son of an American vice president is wrong.
Anybody making a “job” offer like the one from a Ukrainian energy company to Hunter Biden should be thoroughly investigated. The dirt does not have to be dug up; it’s there on the surface.
Paul Zimmelman, Marina del Rey
To the editor: Sure, apologizing for his Ukrainian indiscretion might help the president’s cause. But, as Goldberg notes, Trump has been known to make but one meaningful public apology: during the 2016 campaign, for his 2005 boast about groping women.
Trump did so for two singular reasons: First, his vulgar bragging was recorded, precluding denial, and second, most of the public is inclined to forgive sexual peccadilloes, as President Bill Clinton’s post-impeachment popularity demonstrated.
By contrast, the Ukraine scandal relies on the testimony of multiple witnesses, every one of whom Trump can strive to discredit. Plus he can argue endlessly about how any quid pro quo exertion was excusable, however ill-advised.
It’s not in Trump’s DNA to apologize. He will continue to be his own worst enemy.
Mel Farber, Pacific Palisades