FEC chair Ellen Weintraub states, “the law is pretty clear. ... It is absolutely illegal for anyone to solicit, accept, or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with any election in the United States.” So let’s talk about solicitation (asking for something) as it relates to quid pro quo (receiving something in return). Per justia.com, “All that is required is that the individual encourage or convince another in some way to commit a crime. This can take the form of a request, suggestion or encouragement to complete the crime. It can also involve commanding, forcing, or inducing the other person to commit the crime. As soon as any of these occurs, the crime of solicitation has been completed.”
Therefore the blanket defense “there was no quid pro quo,” of Trump’s actions in asking the Ukrainian government to investigate his political opponent, is moot. Trump did not have to receive anything for his request to be illegal. Take a simple analogy – solicitation of murder for hire. The murder doesn’t have to take place for the solicitation (request) to be illegal.
It doesn’t matter the individual’s party affiliation or position of power. Illegal is illegal.
Jennifer Pedrali, Meridian
I just finished Dano Savino’s monthly post to the Statesman. As usual Dano impugns anyone critical of Donald Trump. I have no reason to doubt Dano’s patriotism, which must be every bit as fervent as his dedication to Donald Trump. That is why I hope Dano can share just the slightest smidgen of evidence that Trump is not a Kremlin agent. I have been diligently searching for such evidence for more than two years without the least bit of luck. In fact, the only evidence I find overwhelmingly suggests that he might or must be, wittingly or not. So please Dano, ease my mind. If not Dano someone else, please. Maybe Jim Risch?
Jerry Quick, Boise
In a recent article, Trump says McConnell told him that Trump’s July 25 call to the Ukraine president is “the most innocent phone call” that he’s read. Why didn’t McConnell say that instead of Trump saying he said it? What McConnell did say is that instead of focusing on the impeachment proceedings, “We’ll stay focused on the the American people’s business.” “Stay focused?” When were they focused on accomplishing the American people’s business? In August, huge protest rallies were held, calling on lawmakers to tighten gun control following mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton. In response, McConnell told the American people that Trump was going to introduce new gun control laws (which, of course, hasn’t happened).... “but it wasn’t that simple,” meaning that making the purchase of assault rifles illegal wasn’t the answer. We needed to improve: monitoring of gun sales, reporting background checks, finding people who are planning a mass shooting, etc. That’s like saying it’s not that simple to keep criminals from breaking into your house to rob and/or assault you. You can use and improve many different kinds of cameras, alarms, regular door locks, digital door locks, deadbolt door locks but then not lock the doors.
Donna Schmelzenbach, Nampa
Snake River dams
Why are we letting a bunch of wheat farmers hold the Snake River salmon and steelhead habitat hostage? There are miles of pristine spawning habitat with no adult fish.The reason is the 108 miles of slack water caused by the four lower Snake River dams killing the majority of the salmon and steelhead smolt trying to reach the ocean. Every bargeload of wheat that goes downriver is subsidized to the tune of $21,000 by us taxpayers. If this subsidy were revoked, the wheat farmers would use the railroad. Wheat is all that is now being barged downriver. The Port of Lewiston is bankrupt.
The four lower dams have absorbed millions and millions of dollars in gimmicks that were supposed to solve the problem. None have worked. When will the guides, outfitters and sport/commercial/First Nations fisheries folks rise up in defense of the fish? Where are you young people? This is your legacy.
Odos Lowery, Boise