Letter: Hearings are more than political squabble

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Editor of the Reformer,

I've watched the House Impeachment hearings and heard journalists' comments on the public reaction to the hearings. I believe that Trump's actions are extremely harmful to this country, according to what the witnesses have said, under oath. But worse than that, much worse, is the news from reporters saying that people, especially Republicans, are not watching the hearings, and that generally it's not of great public interest. Wow.

Some of the testimony, and much of the reporting, is about Trump trying to get dirt on the Bidens. And many people say, "So what? Who cares? Of course, everybody does it," or even, "They really didn't prove it." One of the witnesses, Fiona Hill, was a White House advisor on Russian affairs. She said that having Republicans and Democrats squabbling in this way, unable to discuss the problem and seek true evidence plays right into Russian hands. They love it when our government breaks down. We know that Trump and Putin are buddies, and that Putin's government invaded Ukraine and continues its military attack. Congress gave bi-partisan support for military aid to Ukraine to resist this Russian aggression. But witnesses testified that Trump doesn't like Ukraine. Of course he doesn't. He's Putin's buddy.

Republicans, in defense of Trump, accuse Ukraine of interfering in the 2016 election, saying that some Ukrainian officials wrote op-eds favoring Clinton. Is that illegal? They certainly wouldn't want a pal of Putin, who is attacking their country, to be U.S. President. Ukraine's newly-elected president, Volodymyr Zelensky, desperately wanted a White House meeting with President Trump to show the world U.S. backing for Ukraine. He never got it. This is the key point. Trump's many negative actions toward Ukraine contradict and confuse bi-partisan U.S. foreign policy defending Ukraine against Russian aggression. Fiona Hill showed everyone how to turn down the heat when she congratulated a GOP House member who said he'd served in the U.S. military, though his remarks about the hearings were very negative.

I'm sorry this has become a political squabble. Trump's political activities have created a serious problem for bi-partisan U.S. foreign policy toward Russian aggression. That's important. We citizens have to care more about what's happening to our country than to our political party. I hope that Democrats criticizing Republicans for defending Trump in this matter would demand an exposure of the facts if the president were a Democrat.

Thomas W. Graves

Putney, Nov. 24

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