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Letters to the Editor: Investigating Trump and his enablers would be deterrence, not retribution

Donald Trump speaks with then-White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly on June 27, 2018.
Donald Trump speaks with then-White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly on June 27, 2018. Kelly advanced the president’s controversial immigration policies.
(Associated Press)

To the editor: If former Vice President Joe Biden wins, what should we do about President Trump and his enablers? Although some may argue against retribution — the word “retribution” implies a thuggish kind of revenge. Instead, we should call it deterrence. (“Shaming? Absolution? Jail? How to treat those complicit in Trump’s wrongdoing,” column, Oct. 30)

Do we want to send the message that someone elected to the presidency is immune to legal accountability? If yes, then every pseudo-billionaire hungry for power and recognition would line up for a chance to con American voters, and there is no shortage of those people and their enablers.

We need to have an effective deterrent to discourage that from happening. If Trump and his enablers are prosecuted for any illegal activity, it shouldn’t be for political purposes, but rather based solely on the evidence.

Dan Mariscal, Montebello

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To the editor: There was one critical word was missing from Michael Hiltzik’s thoughtful column — impunity.

There has been much discussion over the last four years about whether the president himself is above the law. But in the end, the only effective way to confirm that we really believe that the president is subject to the requirements of the law — and shouldn’t we say especially the president? — is to prosecute presidents who may be criminals.

When more than 400 former federal prosecutors agree that Trump’s conduct warranted an indictment for obstruction of justice, ignoring this would only confirm that there is one law for ordinary people and another for the political class — that is to say, impunity for presidents.

To de-politicize this decision, if Biden is elected, one of his administration’s first acts should be to appoint a special counsel to examine Trump’s potential criminal exposure and let the chips fall where they may.

Mitchell Zimmerman, Palo Alto

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To the editor: Hiltzik excoriates John F. Kelly, former secretary of Homeland Security and later White House chief of staff, for “advancing immigration policies of unexampled cruelty,” which he says Kelly should not be allowed to sweep under the rug.

Neither should the general public, especially religious institutions with their high ethical teachings, escape responsibility for the government separating children from their parents.

Black Lives Matter protests across the nation provided an appropriate response to police brutality, but tearing families apart received far less attention. Truly all of us have some soul searching to do.

The Rev. Fred Fenton, Seal Beach


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