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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Trump tried but failed to extort Ukraine. That’s still impeachable

President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky
President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speak during a meeting in New York on Sept. 25.
(AFP / Getty Images)

To the editor: Several Republicans assert that what President Trump told his Ukrainian counterpart in that July phone call was not criminal or impeachable. They admit that Trump threatened to withhold congressionally allocated aid if the Ukrainian government did not announce an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son.

But the aid was eventually provided and no investigation occurred, Republicans say, so no impeachable offense was committed.

Here’s the problem: Trump’s threat itself violated the law.

If law enforcement authorities learn of a plot to bomb a shopping center, the act of planning the attack is considered a crime and the person is arrested. If they learn a student is planning to bring a weapon to school to harm others, that student is charged with a crime. If they learn a person is demanding payment to prevent a kidnapping, that extortion is a crime.

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In these hypothetical cases, the intended event did not occur, only the threat. And that is a crime.

Sandra Krist, Studio City

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To the editor: I thoroughly enjoyed the column by Doyle McManus on the Republicans’ shifting stories on Trump.

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But, I wish the media would stop using the term “quid pro quo,” as I think there are a lot of Americans who do not understand it. Reporters should should use the term “bribery,” which is what Trump did with regard to Ukraine.

People understand bribery, and it is one of the three specifically named offenses in the U.S. Constitution for which a president can be impeached.

Mary Duque, Burbank

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To the editor: Sen. Lindsey Graham’s latest arguments for not impeaching the president include the terms “inept,” “incoherent” and “incapable.”

Are you kidding me? To clarify, is it acceptable for a president to be inept, incoherent and incapable?

Bob Kahn, Pacific Palisades


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