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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Does Chief Justice Roberts want to oversee a sham impeachment trial?

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks with reporters after walking off the Senate floor on Dec. 19.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks with reporters after walking off the Senate floor on Dec. 19.
(Associated Press)

To the editor: Why should the Senate under Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) set the rules for conducting the impeachment trial of the president “in total coordination with the White House”? If any other country conducted such a preordained political show trial, we would be quick to condemn it.

The Constitution provides that the chief justice of the United States Supreme Court presides over the trial of the president in the Senate. As those of us that have practiced trial law know, the presiding judge takes control of the trial, allowing certain witnesses and documents and issuing subpoenas and enforcing them.

I am no great fan of Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., but I don’t think he wants to be known as the justice who presided over a very public sham trial.

Paul Stull, Carpinteria

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To the editor: As Democrats push for witnesses in the Senate trial of President Trump, Republicans talk about the “possibility” of calling witnesses. But we know they will never call the White House witnesses with firsthand knowledge of the events because these are the people who can tell us the truth.

Trump complains that he was denied due process by the House, but of course it did not conduct a trial. It held a series of hearings and depositions to decide what the charges would be.

Now that an actual trial is imminent in the Senate, Trump has no intention of exercising any of his due process rights except for his privilege against self-incrimination as well as his non-right to prevent others from testifying.

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Democracy in action, right?

Alan Abajian, Alta Loma

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To the editor: Republicans in the Senate don’t want witnesses. Are they afraid of the truth?

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) says “public opinion will crush the Democrats” as the House delays releasing its articles of impeachment to insist on witnesses. He is wrong. According to polls Republicans favor witnesses 2 to 1.

Trump won in 2016 with help from Russia. Could he have won without help? We will never know. Do we want him to be elected again only because of foreign help? No.

It looks like Trump knows he cannot win a fair election. He should be told that he will be impeached again if he accepts illegal foreign assistance. This is a democracy, and we deserve a fair and free election.

Bob Gould, Palm Desert


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