Regardless of where you stand on President Donald Trump’s impeachment process, Trump attorney Alan Dershowitz’s Wednesday argument should be scorned (“GOP pushes for a swift acquittal,” front page, Jan. 30). His argument — that if the president thinks having himself as president is in the national interest, anything he does to maintain that position is not impeachable — is laughable.
Prior to the 1972 election, the war in Vietnam and the civil unrest in the United States were at their peak. Voters were strongly divided among those who loved former President Richard Nixon, and those who loathed him. There was a rumor that Nixon had the Rand Corporation do a study on whether he could suspend the election. (It’s a good thing there was no social media at the time!)
Of course, Nixon tried no such thing. However, if the Dershowitz argument were valid, there would be no reason why Nixon could not have suspended the election.
It’s too bad, really; Dershowitz had a career as a distinguished, even brilliant, career as a law professor. In one five-minute answer, he trashed his reputation with an assertion that would have been dismissed in 30 seconds in a classroom discussion.
Gary L. Brisbin, Fridley
It’s happened here — and recently
Regarding the reader’s letter on voter fraud (“This old thing, again?” Jan. 30) where he states, “Indeed, the only voting fraud scandals of recent years have involved Republican operatives, like that doofus in North Carolina with his absentee ballot scam,” I guess that with the reader not living in the metro area he had not heard of these issues:
In October 2019, Hennepin County prosecutors charged a man with 13 counts of voter fraud in Ilhan Omar’s district in the 2018 election. (Opinion editor’s note: He was charged with helping 13 people submit absentee ballots by forging his father’s signature as a witness to those votes. He allegedly said he forged the signatures because as a noncitizen, he couldn’t act as a witness, but his father could.)
In February 2019, a Hennepin County resident was charged with purposely voting twice in the 2017 general election, later saying she did so because she liked a Democratic candidate for Minneapolis City Council, where she did not live. In one of the cases, she was vouched for by someone admitting to not knowing where she lived.
Having voters prove who they are and where they live to me is not insulting and will help to improve election integrity.
Mike McLean, Richfield
Klobuchar, make things right
It has come to light in the last few days that a gross miscarriage of justice was most likely visited upon Myon Burrell, a fellow citizen of Minnesota (“Flaws found in case Klobuchar has cited,” Jan. 29). As a 16-year-old, Burrell was charged and subsequently convicted of murder by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office under the watch of then-County Attorney Amy Klobuchar. According to a thorough investigation by Associated Press reporters, Burrell may have been falsely convicted of a crime that he did not commit.
This story is heartbreaking on several levels: for the family of Tyesha Edwards, the 11-year-old who died from a stray bullet; for Burrell and his family, caged as a young man and still in prison close to 18 years later; and for us, his fellow citizens, facing this case as another example of a long pattern of perversion in our criminal justice system.
Klobuchar ought to use the power that she currently has as a sitting U.S. senator to personally call for the immediate release of her now-constituent, Burrell, pending a new trial.
Sen. Klobuchar is seeking the most powerful office in our nation. She is hoping to replace the current president, a man who lacks the maturity to admit to his mistakes. Klobuchar has an opportunity to demonstrate that she is a woman who possesses this maturity, admit that a mistake may have been made and begin to redress this egregious harm. She would be wise to see the value of this action, for herself and for her chances in the upcoming nomination process, and help free this apparently innocent man.
Richard Cousins, Edina
• • •
The possibility that Burrell has twice been wrongly convicted of the 2002 murder of Edwards raises sadly familiar questions about the role of race in our nation’s justice system (“Controversial 2003 case disqualifies Klobuchar, family says,” Jan. 30). But the Associated Press report published the previous day, which goes into details of the gang-related shooting and the sketchy police use of informants, hardly mentions Klobuchar, other than that she was county attorney at the time of Burrell’s first trial, and had left that office by the time of his second trial. The Klobuchar campaign has stated that any new evidence should be immediately reviewed by the court.
It is a horrific tragedy that Edwards lost her life that day, and the tragedy is compounded if Burrell, only 16 at the time of the shooting, has lost much of his life to prison if the new evidence shows he is innocent.
But the headlines now beaming across the country about Klobuchar’s role in this case are misleading at best, and to call for Sen. Klobuchar to withdraw from the presidential campaign is absurd. We Democrats excel at going after our own — Sen. Bernie Sanders is a sexist! Sen. Elizabeth Warren snubbed Bernie! If we keep it up, we’ll take down every single candidate we have, just like we took down Sen. Kamala Harris, and we’ll be assured of four more years of an openly racist president who makes a mockery of our justice system every day.
Susan Lenfestey, Minneapolis
Carve out a vet exception, at least
I was conscripted by our government in ’69. Three months later, I was on a hilltop overlooking Laos and the Ho Chi Minh Trail. In front of me was a German shepherd and his handler, behind me 90 soldiers, an infantry company. Everyone of us bet our lives on that dog to keep us from being ambushed or booby-trapped. More than 58,200 of us died there, and many returned with lifelong scars. I moved to a farm with three high school friends who had just got out of the service. A friend, another vet, gave me a puppy, and she was with me the next 16 years. Certainly she was an emotional support animal that kept me grounded.
In today’s world a veteran has to jump through many hoops, and it costs thousands to get a trained service dog. Emotional support animals fill a void but are only allowed on planes and for housing by federal law (“Yes, tighten rules for animals on airplanes,” editorial, Jan. 29). I’ve seen vets with ESA dogs get turned away from veteran clubs, restaurants and other public places.
It’s not too late for society to accept combat veterans with support animals.
Jim Goudy, Austin, Minn.
No mark on history, but on ourselves
It is indeed rare for any person to have the chance to change society through a fortuitous combination of talent, perseverance and timing — “Kobe Bryant (and eight others), and thoughts about legacy,” Opinion Exchange, Jan. 29. And seldom do any of us have a chance to engage in some action together that leaves a mark on history. But each of us will have opportunities to act with kindness toward others. These small acts of grace by all of us can change the lives of others for that day and beyond and may, taken together, even change our corner of society.
What better legacy is there to leave to our children and to our fellow citizens?
Michael W. McNabb, Lakeville
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