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Lawmakers must hold a lawless president accountable

In “GOP needs a soul cleansing” (Ideas, Oct. 6), Michael A. Cohen expressed a basic solution to our problem. Lawmakers in the Senate must hold a lawless president accountable. America aspires to lofty goals that provide security and possibility. Somehow the negativity of “American carnage” has permeated the country’s spirit. Donald Trump claims that he alone can fix it. He has spent his time destroying our civility and trampling on the Constitution, but fortunately there is a solution, and it lies with Republican senators.

I was told many years ago by a US senator that he wanted to become a senator because it was the world’s most exclusive club. The membership should include having a backbone and not becoming a moral pygmy.

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The civic lessons we learned in grammar school should be obvious to every legislator. The law requires that the Trump administration ends. The Founding Fathers saw him coming and provided a clear process to derail this runaway train.

It’s time to act in the name of justice. I studied hard to pass the bar exam. What was the point if our nation’s lawmakers ignore the high crimes and misdemeanors that are right in front of them?

Steven A. Ludsin

East Hampton, N.Y.

Our country is being threatened from within

When the planes crashed into the twin towers on Sept. 11, 2001, the members of Congress asked the American people to find the courage to stand up to our enemies. Many people answered the call by enlisting in the armed services to go to a foreign country and fight to protect our freedoms and our way of life. Their sacrifice is one that can never be repaid.

Our Constitution and freedoms are once again being threatened. This time, ironically, it is from someone within our democracy. Yet there is a large group of US representatives and senators who do not have the courage to do what so many Americans were asked to do 18 years ago: Stand up and fight for our freedoms, our democracy, our very way of life. Apparently, they are afraid that our president might get mad at them and say nasty things about them on Twitter. They may even have to show a little backbone and perhaps risk losing an election.

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There is only one word to describe this kind of cowardice: pathetic.

David Wilson

Orange, N.H.

Clutching power, GOP lets our democracy slip through its fingers

In their unconditional support for President Trump, Republican lawmakers are disregarding perhaps their most important constitutional responsibility: to check the executive branch. Evidence released to the public so far should at least be troubling them that this president is out of bounds.

If he did break the law, and then got a total pass, the damage Trump could do is scary, not to mention the precedent it sets for future presidents who may feel unencumbered by Congress. Why else would Republicans do this except to hold on to their own power at the expense of our precious, and apparently vulnerable, democracy?

If Trump is guilty and gets no penalty, he becomes empowered. If he then goes rogue on us, the fact that lawmakers were not doing their jobs, and for their own political sake, is something history will not forgive. In saving themselves, they put us all at risk.

Jim Donlon

Holderness, N.H.

Open the process to a full vote, Madame Speaker

By all means, let’s have an impeachment inquiry of Donald Trump, but let’s do it not with a decision by a single member of Congress, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who stands third in line for the presidency, but with a full vote of all 435 members of the House of Representatives (“Biden calls for Trump’s impeachment,” Page A1, Oct. 10). Let every one of our distinguished representatives register his or her vote in public, just as the two most recent such inquiries, those of Presidents Nixon and Clinton, began.

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Why has the speaker truncated the process? Is she afraid the House will not follow her dictate? Is she afraid that a full vote to authorize an impeachment inquiry, a vote that would grant certain investigative rights to the Republican minority — rights that due process requires even if the rules of the House do not, rights that only her majority members now enjoy — will gum up her design?

Come on, Madame Speaker, do the right thing. Our fraught politics needs due process and full participation. Otherwise, knowledgeable independents will smell the Democratic flop sweat of fear and defeat.

Paul Bloustein

Cincinnati