Merrick Garland, charge more Jan. 6 conspirators or resign

To the editor: I don’t understand why former Trump White House senior officials Mark Meadows and Dan Scavino are getting off the hook for refusing to comply with congressional subpoenas.

To the extent that they’re asserting executive privilege, they’re required to show up and assert that privilege with regard to each question or document request. The same is true of the 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination. The parties can then litigate if they disagree over the scope of the privilege.

In fact, when lawyer John Eastman asserted executive privilege over his emails, the judge in the ensuing litigation found that the asserted privilege was eviscerated by the crime-fraud exception, because you can’t use a privilege to shield a crime.

The U.S. Department of Justice has now put its seal of approval on the distortion and cheapening of executive privilege. I had high hopes for Atty. Gen. Merrick Garland at his confirmation, but he seems to have made timidity the theme of his watch. I hope he resigns soon and lets someone with a stomach for dispute do the job he seems unwilling to do.

Branden Frankel, Arcadia

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To the editor: The House Jan. 6 committee public hearings this week will elicit either glee or disgust from our respective personal ideological positions. Unfortunately, the root cause of the seditious attempt to overturn the 2020 election has not been adequately discussed.

Former President Trump and his sycophants merely identified and then used the legal mechanisms found in the 12th Amendment and Title 3 of the U.S. Code to thwart our usual peaceful transfer of power. Yes, the Trump-inspired Jan. 6 riot was an illegal and clumsy attempt to stop a constitutional process. However, the ability to challenge and discard electoral votes is codified in federal law, and it can happen again.

Once no candidate has the necessary 270 electoral votes to win, the election is handed over to the House of Representatives. Each state House delegation gets one vote, so California (population 39 million) and Wyoming (population 580,000) get one vote each.

Thus, the popular vote and the electoral college vote can be negated by the majority controlling Congress, and the president can be selected by a few legislators. This could all be done without riots or “stolen election” conspiracy theories.

Anyone can use these legal deficiencies in the future. In our divisive society, this is a scary thought.

Herman Galicia, Yucca Valley

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