Opinion | The ‘Disgraceful Acquittal’ of Donald Trump


To the Editor:

Re “Senate Acquits Trump in Capitol Riot; 7 Republicans Join in Vote to Convict” (front page, Feb. 14):

Forty-three Republican senators put their political party and their careers ahead of the nation and voted to acquit former President Donald J. Trump in his second impeachment trial. These senators have given a green light to future presidents to say and do whatever they wish on their way out the door, including trying to overturn an election through violence.

Although the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, gave an impassioned speech after the vote decrying Mr. Trump’s actions, his assertion that he couldn’t vote to convict Mr. Trump because he is out of office will give a “get out of jail free” card to future presidents.

This vote should haunt the Republican Party for a long time, and history will not treat it kindly. Let’s hope that our democratic institutions survive this disgraceful acquittal.

Edwin Andrews
Malden, Mass.

To the Editor:

If Republican senators chose to acquit former President Donald Trump because they needed to save their political careers, even though they believed he was guilty as charged, that makes me very sad. However, if they voted to acquit because they did not believe he was guilty, that totally terrifies me. God save our democracy, for these senators most certainly will not.

Janice Lilly
Bloomington, Ind.

To the Editor:

Question for senators voting to acquit former President Donald Trump: What would Mr. Trump have to have done for you to vote to convict him?

Richard Rosenthal
New York

To the Editor:

For Mitch McConnell to publicly profess Donald Trump’s guilt, while hiding behind his claim of the unconstitutionality of the impeachment trial, is hypocrisy par excellence from the master of hypocrisy. Mr. McConnell himself refused to call back the Senate to receive the article of impeachment while Mr. Trump was in office, thereby creating the very impediment to conviction he cites.

Given that the House voted to impeach on Jan. 13, and this trial took five days, there would have been time for the trial to reach its conclusion before the change of administration on Jan. 20.

Anne-Marie Corner

To the Editor:

As I closely followed the impeachment trial of the former president, I was horrified watching an angry mob’s brutality inflicted upon the Capitol Police. I was left wondering how these 43 Republicans who voted to acquit Donald Trump can walk through the doors of the Capitol, the scene of the crime, and look into the eyes of the Capitol Police and not feel ashamed. Ashamed that they valued Mr. Trump’s base and lies above the lives of their protectors.

Susan Ferioli
Mahwah, N.J.

To the Editor:

Donald Trump has gotten away with it, again.

How many more times will this man do something nefarious and walk away as though he’s done nothing wrong? He has stiffed people on their fees, groped women, interfered with elections. Worst of all, he incited a rebellion against the United States. Every time, he walks away.

It is said that Mr. Trump may face legal actions from New York and other states for various other questionable actions. Will he walk away from those, too?

Marshall H. Cossman
Grand Blanc, Mich.

To the Editor:

Republicans have cast their lot and made a statement that will haunt them forever. They have shown America that for them, party is more powerful than country, and they let a tyrant get off scot-free. They have learned nothing these last few weeks. A sad, sad day for democracy.

Peter Samton
New York

To the Editor:

Like millions of other Republican voters, I’m committing to vote out every elected G.O.P. official who in any way contributed to Donald Trump’s two acquittals. He remains guilty. The evidence horrifically proved it. They knew it, yet they drank more Trump Kool-Aid; thus, they empower him still. God — and the watching world — forgive us!

We voters will unite to end his tyranny ourselves and throw out all these unconscionable enabling bums in every election hereafter!

A.M. Reed
Lawrence, Kan.

To the Editor:

I think the House impeachment managers made a mistake in not calling witnesses. Their closing arguments, like their arguments over all, were brilliant. But they had them on the run and they let them go. I’m angry and frustrated, but I’m also very proud of the impeachment managers and their noble fight (that’s right, fight) against such overwhelming odds.

Jefferson Parson
Ashland, Ore.

To the Editor:

There was only one question for senators to ask themselves when voting whether to convict: Would the mob have attacked the Capitol with the Congress sitting in session but for Donald Trump’s lies that the election was stolen and his direction that they march on the Capitol?

Representative Liz Cheney answered that question in a statement last month: “The president of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob and lit the flame of their attack. Everything that followed was his doing. None of this would have happened without the president. The president could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. He did not.”

Mr. Trump’s actions in the weeks following the election and on Jan. 6 were an abuse of power unlike anything we have ever seen. It was craven cowardice for Republicans to put Mr. Trump before country.

Mary Ann Lynch
Cape Elizabeth, Maine

To the Editor:

As the Capitol was under attack, did Donald Trump say he loved our Capitol, our senators, our police force, our democracy, our Constitution and our Republic? Or did he say he loved those who beat our police with hockey sticks and flags and fire extinguishers? And loved those who shattered our Capitol windows, doors and monuments with ladders and shields and makeshift ramming devices?

And loved those who ransacked Senate desks and offices? And loved those who pledged, in service of Mr. Trump, to kill our vice president?

Remind me again exactly whom Mr. Trump said he loved.

Erin Scott
Barnegat Light, N.J.

To the Editor:

On this Presidents’ Day weekend, how do we explain the outcome of the impeachment trial to our children and grandchildren. They — and the whole world — have been watching.

Judith Van Hoorn
El Cerrito, Calif.

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