In his Nov. 1 Friday Opinion column, Michael Gerson described how he is “sinking into cynicism” because of the “shallow, shoddy excuses for an unfit president” being made by the Republican Party. He wrote that for the Republicans, “The details of the case for impeachment . . . will not finally matter. Fearing the revolt of their base . . . Senate Republicans (with one admirable exception, Utah’s Mitt Romney) have already chosen their final position: acquittal.” Mr. Gerson wrote that Republican senators “could recover a proper outrage at public corruption (and) . . . recall why they entered public service in the first place and choose to pay the cost of conscience.”

These last words recall those of Thomas More in Robert Bolt’s magnificent play, “A Man for All Seasons.” When mocked for relying on his conscience to refuse to carry out an order of King Henry VIII, which he believed wrong, More replies, “I believe when statesmen forsake their own private conscience for the sake of their public duties, they lead their country by a short route to chaos.” In this case, we have statesmen forsaking their consciences for accepting the orders of our own Henry VIII, President  Trump. And chaos clearly abounds.

Benjamin L. Palumbo, Arlington

The Nov. 2 editorialThe questions that need answering” identified important issues that should be addressed in the upcoming impeachment proceeding and possible Senate trial. I believe two additional matters of paramount concern must be addressed in the near future.

1.  President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo should answer the following question: Mr. Pompeo said the United States has occasionally used private citizens to further U.S. foreign policy objectives. I recall that attorney James Donovan helped negotiate the prisoner exchange involving Russian spy Rudolf Abel and American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers. Identify with specificity the U.S. foreign policy objectives that Rudolph W. Giuliani was attempting to advance in Ukraine that warranted the delegation of State Department employees and the secretary of energy to work with him.

2. Mr. Trump and Attorney General William P. Barr should answer the following question: The president asked a foreign country, Ukraine, to investigate two U.S. citizens. Is the United States investigating the former vice president and/or his son? If yes, for what crimes are they being investigated? If no, explain why it is appropriate to ask a foreign country to investigate them.

Joel M. Cockrell, Damascus