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  1. Opinion

Watching the public impeachment testimony and seeing different things

Here’s what readers had to say in Friday’s letters to the editor.

An incomplete crime is a crime

The impeachment inquiry: new evidence cited | Nov. 14

Watching the impeachment inquiry, I was struck by the GOP repetition of the defense that since the military aid was delivered and the Ukrainians didn’t start the demanded investigations, no bribery was committed. Republicans ignore the fact that the attempted solicitation of a bribe was exposed before the Ukrainian president could comply with the demand by holding an interview with CNN. Suppose somebody enters a bank, gives the teller a bag and demands the teller fill it with money. Then the police arrive before the teller has finished filling the bag. Does anybody think the thief could go free if he just said, “Oh, never mind,” and tried to walk away? That is exactly what happened here.

Gregg Niemi, Tampa

Impeach over this nonsense?

Top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine William Taylor [ JOSE LUIS MAGANA | AP ]

Ambassador William Taylor testified that an aide told him that he had overheard a troubling phone call between Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, and President Donald Trump. For this nonsense they want to impeach the president of the United States? Are you kidding me?

John Waitman, Tarpon Springs

Let them all testify

The first day of public testimony during the impeachment inquiry gives us, the people, a better understanding what the impeachment is all about. The Republicans keep saying they cannot bring on counter-witnesses. Let’s be honest. We cannot hear what information Mick Mulvaney, John Bolton or Rudy Giuliani might have because the White House is blocking them from appearing. If President Donald Trump is innocent of any wrongdoing, why would the White House do this?

Burton McDaniel, Sun City Center

High crimes, misdemeanors

President Donald Trump [ EVAN VUCCI | AP ]

There is a great deal of difference between a sexual encounter in the Oval Office and a threat to our democracy. Using the power of his position to solicit investigations by a foreign government into a political rival is a flagrant abuse of office. President Donald Trump has shown disrespect for our Congress, our State Department and our electoral process. Republicans who cannot see this are promoting chaos and criminality in our federal government.

Mable Patterson, Riverview

Moral judgment is required

I was stunned to hear a member of Congress say that government employees should do as they are told without question. That line of defense was determined to be invalid at Nuremberg. Government employees must use their moral judgment. They cannot hide behind the fallacious principle of “just following orders.”

Johnnie Fernandez, Tampa

Real evidence vs. hearsay

Only in Congress is “hearsay” evidence better than direct or factual evidence. The new evidence cited by Ambassador William Taylor is hearsay as a staffer told him that he overheard a phone conversation. No actual facts have been presented to support an impeachment.

Daniel Ledet, Sun City Center