As I watched the despicable display by those who invaded the Capitol at the behest of the president, I was moved to tears and consumed with anger. It was shocking to see those hooligans enter what I consider to be sacred ground, the House and Senate chambers where I was privileged to serve. I was counsel and parliamentarian to three House committees, including the House Judiciary Committee, where I worked on the impeachments of three federal judges and a president.

I strongly urge Congress to impeach, convict and remove the president from office. I also beseech the Senate to invoke the second penalty contained in the Constitution. After voting to remove the president from office by the required two-thirds supermajority, the Senate may disqualify him “to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States.” This requires only a simple majority vote.  It would bar President Trump from running for president in 2024. I think that would give great comfort to many citizens who deeply believe in our form of government.

Daniel M. Freeman, Washington

The writer is a fellow at the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University.

Regarding the Jan. 8 front-page article “Senate losses, Trump’s incitement open rifts in a party once in thrall”: I have tried to hold out hope over the past four years that at some point the traditional Republican Party would return. I lost all hope when I read that President Trump called in to the Republican National Committee (RNC) meeting in Florida on Thursday and was warmly greeted and cheered with shouts of “We love you.” This was done the day after Mr. Trump incited a riot and attempted coup. At least five people are dead because of Trump and his Republican enablers.  

Sadly, I’ve come to the realization the RNC is as unhinged as Mr. Trump. The current members of the Republican Party will go down in history as allowing an unprincipled man to take over the party of Lincoln and destroy it. 

Mr. Trump should be vilified for his actions. He spent four years planning for this coup by seeding doubt within his base on the institutions of our democracy, attacking the media with accusations of fake news and casting doubt on our elections. Mr. Trump used his powers to enrich himself and reward his friends for “loyalty.” 

My hope now is that traditional Republicans such as Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah), Sen. Ben Sasse (Neb.) and former Ohio governor John Kasich will form a new political party that will embrace the traditional Republican values of integrity, traditional family values and fiscal responsibility. The RNC has let our country down badly.

Patricia McGuireAlexandria

Aaron Burr, a 1772 graduate of Princeton University and a man of high intelligence, lost his public reputation as a patriot after trying to tear the western states and territories from the Union. Last week, Sen Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), a 1992 Princeton graduate and an expert in constitutional law, similarly besmirched his public reputation as a patriot when he demanded that the Senate not certify the Arizona electors for President-elect Joe Biden. Mr. Cruz cited the widespread opinion generated by President Trump as well as himself that the Arizona election was rigged. I thank George F. Will (Princeton, 1968) for identifying in his Jan. 7 Thursday Opinion essay, “A heartbreaking spectacle. Three repulsive architects.,” Mr. Cruz as a seditionist, whom, like Burr, we must forever shun.

Stanley I. Rapoport, Washington

I take exception to the conclusion of Ishaan Tharoor’s Jan. 8 Today’s WorldView column, “The end of the road for American exceptionalism.” The tragic facts of Wednesday do not show the end of American exceptionalism, just the contrary. They show that our great nation, even in a government transition period, is able to quell in a few hours without an armed, military defense the protest of a huge and excited rioting mob armed with weapons and that violently and unexpectedly invaded one of the most sacred buildings of our democracy.  

I don’t remember any insurrection of that magnitude excited by a godlike personality to be quelled not in days and months of conflict but within a few hours without the use of combat weaponry between heavily armed protesters and basically unarmed and outnumbered government forces.

Which other government can possibly claim such a rapid and effective response? Now we can foresee that America will be soon great again.

Paolo Vidoli, McLean

I was very disappointed to see so many high-level administration officials resigning after Wednesday’s riot. Now their moral compass is working? The thousands of lies were tolerable and the bullying was okay until Wednesday? Where was their anger at President Trump when he was promoting massive voter fraud and stirring up dissent at his rallies? In the waning days of the administration with an unstable president, we need Cabinet officials to stay on board to keep him in check. (And perhaps be available to vote yes on the 25th Amendment.) Wouldn’t it better for them to stay two more weeks and loudly denounce his actions from their offices? 

If they were fired, so be it. However, to resign at this late hour is just wrong. The right thing to do would be to stay and help in the transition. Another example of putting self before country in an administration where that seems to be a core value.

Joe Facenda, Vienna