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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Why impeachment is political theater: Republicans won’t budge on Trump

House Republicans
House Republicans, including Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, called for transparency in the impeachment inquiry process.
(Alex Wong / Getty Images)

To the editor: In sizing up President Trump’s options for dealing with impeachment, Gene Healy of the Cato Institute aptly notes that impeachment targets do not enjoy the same constitutional rights as defendants in criminal trials.

On the other hand, as Healy notes, no definitive burden of proof applies at any stage of the impeachment process, including the Senate trial. Thus, each senator decides what level of proof is needed to convict.

Democratic senators might well require proof beyond a reasonable doubt, as in criminal trials. GOP senators might insist on proof beyond any doubt whatsoever.

With partisan-motivated levels of proof allowed, the impeachment process amounts to political theater. So, impeachment proponents must hope that the evidence presented in public proceedings will prove so overwhelming as to convict Trump in the court of public opinion.

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This is possible, but not likely.

David Schaffer, Santa Monica

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To the editor: Your editorial on the House impeachment vote notes that the resolution “would give Republicans on the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees the power to issue subpoenas, with the consent of the relevant committee’s chairman or a majority of its members.”

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Since the chairs of all House committees are held by Democrats, that’s a power without any punch for the Republicans.

Of course, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jerold Nadler of New York, is a Democrat. So much for addressing the issue of full participation by the president and his counsel.

Harvey Pearson, Los Feliz

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To the editor: Of course, Trump and the Republicans around him are not satisfied with getting what they have demanded of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Each time the Democrats offer something, the Republicans will demand more in their attempt to sabotage the impeachment process.

Emma Willsey, Huntington Beach


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