Will There Be Witnesses? Awaiting a Senate Vote – The New York Times

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To the Editor:

Re “Bolton’s Account Fuels Senate Push to Call Witnesses” (front page, Jan. 28):

Let’s do some simple math here. John Bolton’s “tell all” manuscript was provided to the White House on Dec. 30. The members of the legal team representing this president were certain to have either read it or were briefed upon its contents, yet weeks later they marched into the Senate trial and continued along their merry way lying in front of the entire nation.

Are there four G.O.P. senators with a spine?

Steve Himmelman
Chicago

To the Editor:

When I read that “a handful of Republicans appeared to be moving closer to joining Democrats in a vote to subpoena Mr. Bolton,” I cannot help but wonder what would happen if a large bloc of Republican senators chose not to march in lock step with everything Trump. We keep hearing about four possible Republicans who might breach the barriers. Where are those others who reportedly have contempt for President Trump? Could Mr. Trump and Mitch McConnell inflict damage on, say, 20 or more senators?

There is an Ethiopian proverb that states, “When spiders unite, they can tie down a lion.”

Sandra Allik
Cambridge, Mass.

To the Editor:

Re “John Roberts Can Call Witnesses to Trump’s Trial. Will He?,” by Neal K. Katyal, Joshua A. Geltzer and Mickey Edwards (Op-Ed, nytimes.com, Jan. 27):

If Chief Justice John Roberts can call witnesses in the impeachment trial, rather than calling John Bolton, why not call Donald Trump to the witness stand?

Peter Gordon
Great Neck, N.Y.

To the Editor:

Re “New York’s New Bail Laws Harm Public Safety” (Op-Ed, nytimes.com, Jan. 23):

The New York City police commissioner, Dermot Shea, has joined the chorus of people stoking fear about recent reforms that correct our unjust money bail system.

Contrary to his belief, New York does have an over-incarceration problem. For decades, the Police Department’s “broken windows” policing tactics have funneled hundreds of thousands of innocent people, particularly young men of color, into the criminal legal system. The scales of justice have been tipped heavily in favor of the rich, who have been able to buy their freedom while poor people have languished in jail for years.

Commissioner Shea also calls for judges to hold people in jail based on a guess as to who might commit a future crime; this encourages fear and bias to drive critical decisions about a person’s life.

Like the commissioner, we want New Yorkers to thrive and feel safe. But a knee-jerk, lock-’em-up approach will not prevent crime. Instead of incarcerating people who are merely accused of a crime, we need to prioritize community investments in education, housing, rehabilitation and our mental health systems to truly make our communities safe.

Donna Lieberman
New York
The writer is executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union.