Ron Tollefson, Alexandria
President Trump is essentially asserting that Congress is not an equal branch of the government [“Trump tests outermost boundaries of his power,” front page, Oct. 10]. I assume and hope that Congress will take the president’s claim to the courts. And I certainly hope that in judging this matter, the courts understand that if Congress is not an equal branch of the government, then neither are they.
Tom Curtis, Arlington
Republicans were okay with birtherism, with “very fine people on both sides” and with an attack on four first-term Democratic House members telling them to “go back” to the countries they came from.
As members of what we once thought of as the party of fiscal responsibility, they seem okay with trillion-dollar deficits and transferring funds for the military to a wasteful wall on our southern border.
Some finally have spoken up as the president betrayed the Kurds, who fought and died with us and helped us to make the world safer. But they are very late. The party of Lincoln and Eisenhower and Reagan is unrecognizable.
They have one last chance. As the president flouts the law and obstructs justice in plain sight, they can condemn him with words and votes. They can bring the party and our country back.
Elliott Miller, Bala Cynwyd, Pa.
George F. Will’s Oct. 11 op-ed, “Trump’s impeachable offense,” asserted that “the House should wield its fundamental power, that of the purse, to impose excruciating costs on executive branch noncompliance. This can be done.” How can this be done, Mr. Will?
To ordinary people (such as those who cannot spend 30 percent more than their income), the “power of the purse” means a person can selectively withhold funds from activities or people. If Congress has this “fundamental power,” why can’t it withhold the funding for any department that refuses a subpoena? If I refused a subpoena, there would be a fellow with a badge at my front door. If a payroll officer at the State Department kept paying salaries in the secretary’s office in defiance of a congressional defunding of that office, a Capitol police officer should show up at his door.
I’ll say one thing for President Trump: He gets down to where the rubber hits the road. He reminds me of what Joseph Stalin said about the pope: “How many divisions does [he] have?” Do these “slow-learning careerists” (Mr. Will’s exquisite appellation catches both parties) know how and what weapons to bring to Mr. Trump’s knife fight?
Bob Lane, Palmyra, Va.
By all means, investigate, interrogate and inquire. Put klieg lights on all he will not answer, all he refuses to disclose, all he hides.
Then censure. Then vote.
Ask any oddsmaker as to the chances of a Senate impeachment and removal from office. Slim to none. Ask the oddsmakers as to whether the mere word, and especially the act of impeachment, will only further enrage and engage his already raging base; answer: nearly a sure thing.
Idealistic, sanctimonious talk of duty to the Constitution is fatuous. Our nation’s existential need is to make Donald Trump a one-term president; it’s precisely a second term that is the real threat to the Constitution. Play three-dimensional chess. There’s just one year before we vote. The long shot of successful impeachment and the likely backfire make taking the chance that it will actually help him a dangerous and unnecessary tactic. Expose and vote.
Sam Kopper, East Greenwich, R.I.