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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Roger Stone’s prosecutors quit. So did American democracy

Roger Stone
Roger Stone, a former campaign advisor for President Trump, arrives at federal court in Washington on Jan. 29, 2019.
(Andrew Harnik / Associated Press)

To the editor: I have been angered by Trump, but now I am chilled. It is time to break the glass and pull the fire alarm.

Last week, Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a Purple Heart recipient who testified to Congress about President Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, was fired by Trump from the National Security Council and escorted from the White House by security.

On Monday, federal prosecutors recommended that Trump ally Roger Stone be sentenced to between seven and nine years in prison for lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstructing an investigation. The Department of Justice overruled that recommendation, a move so unprecedented that all four prosecutors walked off the Stone case.

This is the definition of authoritarianism, not democracy. Please, to everyone reading, it’s time to speak up — loudly.

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Anh Oppenheimer, San Francisco

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To the editor: So this is now America, a country without the three truly separate, co-equal branches of government established by our wise framers, but rather a developing banana republic where the rule of law, separation of power, our beloved and unique Constitution, officials’ sworn oaths of office and justice for all no longer seem to matter.

At the whim of one president, all the wheels can come off our democracy. I no longer recognize my country, with all its division and hate and distrust of one another and our once respected institutions.

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Bette Mason, Corona del Mar

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To the editor: These prosecutors are sending a red alert.

Now that Trump has discovered he can put his thumb on the scales of justice for his friends, it won’t be long before he “thumbs down” the scales against his perceived enemies, both in targeting them for prosecution and for increased penalties.

Quite clearly, the 2020 election cannot come too soon. If Trump succeeds, we can expect further abuse of pardons as well.

The president chafes at democracy’s restraints and has revealed he will stop at nothing to retain power.

Thomas D. Penfield, Cardiff, Calif.


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