The ‘Disgraceful Acquittal’ of Donald Trump

To the Editor:

Re “Trump Acquitted” (nytimes.com, Feb. 13):

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:

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:

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
Philadelphia

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

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