The Second Impeachment: ‘President Trump Betrayed His Country’


Readers discuss whether Congress should be spending its time on impeachment and how Mike Pence, Mitch McConnell and Liz Cheney have responded to efforts to remove the president.

Credit…Oliver Contreras for The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Trump Impeached Again” (, Jan. 13):

President Trump betrayed his country.

He launched a coup to overturn an election, cultivated rage among his supporters with false claims of voter fraud and then incited a deadly insurrection. He sought to disrupt Congress’s certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory and intimidate officials into overturning the will of the people.

He not only directed supporters to the Capitol, but later told them “we love you, you’re very special” after these domestic terrorists had shed blood at the citadel of American democracy. He still has no remorse.

Mr. Trump’s treasonous actions demand that he not only be impeached by the House, but also convicted by the Senate and disqualified from ever again holding a position of public trust.

Stephen A. Silver

San Francisco

To the Editor:

I listened Wednesday to the disingenuous cries of House Republicans for national unity. To them I say, national unity is in your hands. Stand up and tell the nation that you and President Trump have been lying about the election, that it was honest and that Joe Biden is the duly elected president. Promise to swear allegiance to President Biden and work with your Democratic colleagues to help all Americans.

Say this forcefully and clearly, and the major divide in the country about the election will go away.

Michael Hecht

Clifton, N.J.

To the Editor:

Many Republicans in Congress are objecting to the second impeachment of President Trump based on their concern that this will further divide the country. Ironically, these are the same members of Congress who objected to the certification of the Electoral College vote, which was one of the most undemocratic and divisive acts they could take.

Leslie Goldfarb

Charlotte, N.C.

To the Editor:

Re “G.O.P. Leaders Begin to Break With Trump” (front page, Jan. 13):

I thought it was impossible for Mitch McConnell to get more opportunistic and craven, but I was wrong.

Now he thinks impeachment is a good idea because it will help the G.O.P. sever all ties with President Trump? Now that he has gotten his judges and his tax cuts and cuts to regulation, and done his Big Business masters’ bidding, Mr. Trump is expendable. Not to mention Mr. Trump’s radioactive effect on fund-raising after the disaster at the Capitol.

It has a certain karma to it. This is, after all, how Mr. Trump has always treated everyone he has used and abused over the past 40 years. “Use ’em up and throw ’em away.”

Sandi Campbell

Siler City, N.C.

To the Editor:

On Monday, President Trump met with Vice President Mike Pence for over an hour. This was their first meeting since Mr. Trump sicced his mob of rioters to march on the Capitol while vilifying the vice president for his failure to shield him from electoral failure and disgrace. The mob obliged by chanting Mr. Pence’s name and constructing a makeshift gallows.

The meeting between these two men was described in the media as a “good conversation.” What might we all have sacrificed to have been a fly in the vice president’s hair so we might have garnered a much more authentic depiction of their interaction?

Gerald Amada

San Rafael, Calif.

To the Editor:

As a lifelong Democrat, I remember the times that Representative Liz Cheney’s words struck me like fingernails on a chalkboard. But as I read her call for impeaching President Trump, I can only say that she said it best of all. I salute her.

Maribeth Sands

Concord, Calif.

To the Editor:

“G.O.P.’s ‘1776 Moment’: How Lawmakers Fanned the Flames of the Riot” (news article, Jan. 12) makes clear that several Republican representatives should join President Trump in the impeachment dock.

Representative Mo Brooks told the crowd before going to the Capitol that they should start “kicking ass” and urged them to “fight for America.” Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert, before the surging crowd, referred to the day as Republicans’ “1776 moment.” All three were inciting the crowd to commit violence against the government, in violation of their oath of office.

What they did amounted to treason.

Ronald L. Hirsch

Great Barrington, Mass.

To the Editor:

Even though the pandemic has intensified, and millions of families and small business are suffering, the Democratic leadership seems ready to make punishing a defeated enemy its first priority. President Trump richly deserves impeachment, but if the Democrats take impeachment proceedings beyond Jan. 20, the media and the public will be forced to focus on Mr. Trump for weeks or even months. Nor is the outcome of an impeachment trial assured in advance.

If Democrats go through with their plan to spend half their days on impeachment and the other half on Joe Biden’s agenda when the new Congress convenes, they risk creating a lasting image of themselves as failing to give their full attention to the nation’s urgent problems. Democratic leaders should want all eyes to be on President Biden and the new Congress as they bring relief and hope to America, not on Donald Trump.

Larry Shiner

Springfield, Ill.

To the Editor:

Democrats can chew gum and walk at that same time. There is no reason that President Trump and his cronies can’t pay for their crimes while Congress, at the same time, ensures safe and swift distribution of vaccines and actively pursues legislation that moves the country forward. This is not an either/or situation. Votes count right now, or time will dissipate passion and zeal.

Evelyn Wolfson

Wayland, Mass.

To the Editor:

President Trump’s failure to immediately respond to requests for reinforcements while he was watching televised attacks against Congress constitutes a dereliction of duty warranting impeachment, if not also criminal prosecution, even without any statements he made to the mob earlier.

John L. Diamond

Chilmark, Mass.

The writer is a professor of law at the University of California, Hastings College of Law.