Opinion | Is This the Moment of Reckoning for Donald Trump?

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To the Editor:

Re “Trump Charged With ‘Destabilizing Lies’ in 3 Conspiracies to Overturn His Defeat” (front page, Aug. 2):

I have no sympathy for Donald Trump’s complaint that he will be forced to handle criminal trials while running for president.

No one forced him to engage in the alleged behavior forming the basis of the current charges against him and other likely forthcoming charges: paying hush money to Stormy Daniels; taking and hiding top-secret documents; pushing his Big Lie in an effort to overturn the 2020 election; attempting to get Georgia’s secretary of state to “find” him enough votes to win Georgia.

More to the point, no one is forcing him to run for president, again! I for one wish he would not, wish he would crawl under a rock, wish he would spend the rest of his days in the general population of a prison with no access to the internet or to hamburgers.

I’ve had enough of Mr. Trump for several lifetimes, and if being held accountable for his alleged criminal conduct like every other American hinders his presidential campaign and makes it less likely he’ll be president again, I can only say, “Wonderful!”

John E. Colbert
Arroyo Seco, N.M.

To the Editor:

On Jan. 6, they came ready for war. Some wore military gear and carried firearms, bats, flagpoles and other objects meant to do maximum damage. The fighting was fierce.

The police, the heroes of that day, finally prevailed, but not without numerous casualties. We watched it all in real time. It was a disaster and could have been worse.

In the coming months we will get drawn into legal complexities. Pundits and pollsters will tell us what this all means for the coming election and how it will affect our longstanding democracy. We will hear about fund-raising and fact-checking.

But we need to feel, really feel, the danger we were in on Jan. 6, and that we could still be in if Donald Trump and his allies prevail.

Elliott Miller
Bala Cynwyd, Pa.

To the Editor:

It wasn’t until I learned of this indictment that I realized for just how long I’ve been holding my breath and how frightened I’ve been. Frightened that the former president could get away unscathed; frightened that his unlawful actions set a precedent for lawless leaders to come; frightened that he could pardon himself after his possible re-election in 2024 — the most terrifying thought of all.

No one knows what comes next, but at least for now, I took a huge, beautiful sigh of relief.

Janis Adler
Portland, Ore.

To the Editor:

The most disturbing and dangerous thing about Donald Trump’s indictment for trying to subvert the 2020 election is that so many Americans have succumbed to right-wing propaganda and still support him.

How do you fix that?

Peter McCabe
East Brunswick, N.J.

To the Editor:

Finally, the special counsel Jack Smith has brought an indictment against former President Donald Trump with four counts of conspiracy, fraud and obstruction tied to Jan. 6.

But why did Mr. Smith not include a charge of sedition, a charge the Justice Department successfully brought against other defendants for the insurrection? Only a conviction on a charge of insurrection or sedition would exclude Mr. Trump from serving again as president.

Otherwise, even if convicted of the felonies of this new indictment, Mr. Trump could serve as president while in jail.

James Berkman
Plymouth, Vt.

To the Editor:

After his third indictment and one potentially still to come (Georgia), perhaps it’s time for the former president to begin work on his next best seller: “The Art of the Plea Deal.”

Andrew Roney
Teaneck, N.J.

To the Editor:

With this latest indictment, it is clear that Donald Trump is consumed by legal troubles of an unprecedented magnitude, regardless of the eventual outcomes. At the same time, he is running for president, the most demanding and all-consuming job on earth. Accordingly, something has to give.

Mr. Trump, who is 77 years old, simply cannot devote the care and attention that these conflicting agendas require, however much he’d like to convince us to the contrary.

The prudent, logical and statesmanlike recourse for Mr. Trump would be for him to drop out of the race to focus exclusively on clearing his name, to the extent this is even possible given how deeply ensnared he is in legal proceedings at this point.

However, given his proclivity for grandiosity and claiming to be the victim of deep-state-driven witch hunts, Mr. Trump will more than likely soldier on in his quest for a second term — particularly as he presumably deduces that this is perhaps his only realistic means of avoiding a lengthy stint in prison.

Mark Godes
Chelsea, Mass.

To the Editor:

I’m almost 80 years old. I have no children and never will. However, if I did have kids, regardless of how many, whether boys or girls, I’d name them all Jack Smith.

MacKenzie Allen
Santa Fe, N.M.

Bring Back the Awnings of New York

To the Editor:

Re “Relying on Age-Old Ways to Stay Cool” (news article, July 30):

As your report describes, traditional architecture in European cities provides some relief from the heat. So, too, did the once ubiquitous awnings of New York.

Pedestrians could walk in the shade more easily than now because awnings shielded sidewalks along virtually every commercial street in all the boroughs. One could walk as if in a covered souk, the sun penetrating only at the crossing to the next block.

The first task of a shop owner on a summer morning was to roll out the awning with a hand crank. And small awnings outside the windows of apartment buildings kept the sun out of rooms facing the street.

The awnings disappeared when air-conditioning became dominant. But shade on the street is still desirable in this city, where walking is often the best way of getting to a destination. Shade doesn’t lower the ambient temperature, but getting out of the sun makes us feel considerably cooler.

Nowadays, to shield sidewalks that are hotter than ever, it might be a good idea to bring awnings back — along with the planting of millions more shade trees.

David Gurin
Hillsdale, N.Y.
The writer, a city planner, was a deputy commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation in the Koch administration.

Factory Farming

To the Editor:

Cruelty to animals is not just wrong; it also has a high societal cost. In addition to being grossly inhumane, factory farming is dangerous for workers and economically unstable for farmers, and may breed the next global pandemic, as you have reported in recent weeks.

These hazards flow from the agribusiness factory farming model, which relies on crowding massive numbers of pigs, chickens, turkeys or cows together, mired in their waste under near-constant stress.

While bans on the most intensive confinement methods like cages and crates have been passed in 15 states, these laws — and hundreds of other agricultural regulations — could be undone by the Ending Agricultural Trade Suppression Act, or EATS, an attempt by Big Ag to maintain the cruel status quo.

As Congress drafts the 2023 Farm Bill, the A.S.P.C.A. urges lawmakers to reject the EATS Act. Forcing animals back in cages would be a disaster for animals’ welfare, and our collective well-being.

Daisy Freund
New York
The writer is vice president for farm animal welfare, A.S.P.C.A.

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