Ultimately, now, in this national crisis, it is we Americans, our Congress and our courts who are on trial, not just our president. The United States’ greatness has always been its adherence to the Constitution and the rule of law. Will we the people so cherish our democracy’s fundamental principles that we will support the long and stressful process of impeachment to seek the truth? Will our elected representatives honor this nation’s greatness by faithfully following that process, created by our forebears for such a time of danger to the republic? Will our courts support that process when requests lawfully seeking documents and witnesses are refused? Or will the people betray the United States’ greatness by not insisting that these do their duty to keep that greatness alive in our generation?

Susan De Simone, Chestertown, Md.

I was moved by the Oct. 6 news article “Before confirmation, inspector general pledged to protect whistleblowers,” about Inspector General of the Intelligence Community Michael K. Atkinson. The current news stream has been so bad for the good guys.

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As a former “govie,” and having worked for the government as an employee and contractor for about 45 years, I am proud of Mr. Atkinson. He absolutely has his act together. He has committed to the path that many of us old-timers did. We all believed that we worked for the people. We had the opportunity to work on enormously broad projects that no private-sector person would ever see. No, we didn’t make the “big bucks,” but dealing with countrywide problems and issues, and working with local people and governments, can’t be beat. I’m now retired, but still lust for getting into the game.

I thank Mr. Atkinson for his service. Keep up the great work.

Theodora Watts, Lusby

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Regarding the Oct. 3 editorial “Mr. Barr’s strange trip”:

By most accounts, William P. Barr was a respected and accomplished lawyer when he wrote his “job application” memo to become President Trump’s attorney general. His actions and behavior since then have done nothing to burnish his image — and instead have eroded his credibility and fitness to serve in the post he holds.

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One would think that Mr. Barr is old enough to recall what became of John Mitchell in the aftermath of Watergate, but, clearly, he seems not to understand what is happening to his own reputation. Trotting around the world in search of help in the president’s vendetta against his political rivals, especially former vice president Joe Biden, does not align with the duties assigned to the attorney general as the top law enforcement official in the federal government. Eventually, those surrounding Mr. Trump and lying to cover up his alleged abuses of power will no longer be part of the Trump administration, either via impeachment and conviction — highly unlikely as long as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) remains in office — or by being voted out of office by a fed-up electorate, which is much more likely. Apparently, self-preservation isn’t enough to persuade our nominal attorney general to say “no” to such aberrant behavior by his erratic boss.

Douglas A. Heydon, Washington

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