To the editor: Here’s why the Democrats lost on Day One of the public impeachment hearings, as Republican strategist Scott Jennings wrote: They are playing the wrong game.
Every Republican with a conscience who puts the U.S. Constitution over their party already agrees with the Democrats. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Burbank) and his allies need to realize that only emotion is going to win, not facts. If facts (or principles) mattered to President Trump’s supporters, he would have been impeached for obstruction of justice or violating campaign finance laws months ago.
Democrats need to stop acting like bloodless prosecutors and start acting like American patriots outraged by Trump’s egregious behavior.
John Bauman, Los Angeles
To the editor: What Trump did was wrong and stupid, but is it enough to overturn an election? Consider the actions of some past presidents who were not impeached.
John Adams signed the Alien and Sedition Acts (which were used to throw a congressman, Matthew Lyon, into jail for criticizing Adams). Abraham Lincoln suspended habeas corpus. Franklin D. Roosevelt incarcerated more than 100,000 Japanese Americans who were guilty of nothing whatsoever.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) originally said she would proceed with impeachment only if there was bipartisan support for the inquiry. When Pelosi took the vote in the House, not only did no Republicans vote for it, but two Democrats joined the Republican opposition.
This is a nakedly partisan impeachment effort, and time will tell who is hurt by it — Trump or the Democrats.
Robert Chapman, Downey
To the editor: After watching the first public impeachment hearing, all I can say is thank goodness for the whistleblower.
I learned that Congress first heard there was a whistleblower complaint on Sept. 9. On Sept. 10, Schiff asked the director of national intelligence for the complaint. On Sept. 11, the Trump administration released the aid to Ukraine.
A planned CNN interview with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which he was believed to have planned announcing an investigation into the Bidens, was canceled. The Trump shakedown was thwarted.
The whistleblower is a hero. Unfortunately, this incident raises concerns about what else might be happening in the White House.
Ken Blalack, La Mesa
To the editor: Jennings argues that there is no justification for impeaching Trump because “the net result of Trump’s decisions, by any measure, is a stronger response to the Russians than Obama ever delivered.”
By that reasoning, President Clinton should not have been impeached since he reversed the federal deficit into a surplus, oversaw low unemployment and high job creation, and was responsible for a host of other accomplishments that made America stronger and more secure.
Would Jennings acquit a mobster just because he had made generous donations to charity? Give me a break.
Jonathan Kaunitz, Santa Monica
To the editor: Don’t you think it’s a bit hypocritical to accuse Trump of improperly exerting political pressure on Ukraine’s president based on testimony that isn’t firsthand while President Obama was caught actually saying to Russia’s president that he would have more flexibility in negotiations after the next election?
The fact is that Trump has allowed Ukraine to purchase lethal weapons from the United States, and Obama did not. Now the Democrats are enraged that Trump may have compromised national security by merely delaying aid.
Seems there are different standards for different parties.
Kathleen Taylor, Newport Coast
To the editor: Note to Scott Jennings: Obama is not on trial. Mentioning him is another smokescreen by the Republicans.
Emma Willsey, Huntington Beach