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Where are the defenders of our republic?

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Dear Editor:

I am 58 years old. I lived through Watergate, Iran-Contra, and the Clinton impeachment. We are now in the most serious crisis this nation has faced in my life. Watergate was a president covering up a criminal break-in by abusing use of the FBI, CIA and IRS. Both parties in Congress worked in defense of the Constitution. It was Republican Howard Baker who asked the famous question "What did the president know, and when did he know it?" Nixon resigned when the Supreme Court, led by Warren Burger, a Nixon appointee, voted unanimously to force Nixon to turn over tapes.

In Iran-Contra, we had Casper Weinberger write in his notes, "I argued strongly that we have an embargo that makes arms sales to Iran illegal and President couldn't violate it and that 'washing' transactions thru Israel wouldn't make it legal. Shultz, Don Regan agreed."

Since the G.H.W. Bush administration, it seems Republicans who stood up for the rule of law and the Constitution are few and far between. Republicans of the 1990s spent $100 million tax dollars for the Whitewater investigation. What did we taxpayers get? An impeachment of Bill Clinton, accused only of lying about an affair. Clinton was acquitted in the Senate. Where are the Republicans of today? We have Mitch McConnell denying that a duly elected president should appoint candidates for a Supreme Court vacancy in the last year of his term. We have a president who lost the popular vote but won the Electoral College vote under a cloud of Russian hacking aided by Wikileaks, who in spite of having a well-documented history of dealings in the Soviet Union and Russia since the 1980s, claims he has no connections to Russia. Rather than release his tax returns to disprove the Russian accusations, he has hired a law firm to certify his lie, as if we should believe anything he, or his lawyers certify. We have a vice president and speaker of the House who rubber-stamp anything Trump says.

Trump appointed Mike Flynn National Security director in spite of being warned about him by the past president. After being told Flynn was compromised by the Russians, Trump waited weeks, during which Flynn attended classified briefings, to ask Flynn to resign "for misleading the vice president." AG Sessions is forced to recuse himself from the Russia investigations after failing to disclose meetings with the Russian ambassador. Now Sessions recommended firing the FBI Director. Trump gets to appoint a new FBI director, who will oversee the Russia investigation. Today, Trump and Tillerson invited the Russian foreign minister into the Oval Office, barring the U.S. press, but allowing the Russian press into the room. I cannot imagine the howls from Mc-Connell and Chaffetz if a President Hillary Clinton did these actions. And I would be right there with them. But now, silence. This is how our republic dies. Where are the Republicans who used to defend country over party?

Joseph McGill
Cedaredge

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