To the Editor: Imagine the legal system deprived of the ability to compel witnesses to appear. Without this ability, courts would grind to a halt and prosecuting wrongdoers would be impossible. Yet, this is exactly what is happening thanks to our former President.

First, Mr. Trump stalled, obfuscated and thwarted any attempt by Robert Mueller to appear for a deposition, referring to such an appearance as "a perjury trap". The former president then ordered his cabinet members, senior advisers and former associates to defy Congressional subpoenas in the wake of Mr. Mueller's report and again during his first impeachment trial.

After inciting a violent insurrection, Mr. Trump once more asked those with direct and indirect knowledge of his activities related to the insurrection to ignore subpoenas, and many have honored his wishes.

And, just this past week, Mr. Trump and two of his children, Ivanka and Don Jr., have publicly stated that they intend to defy subpoenas issued by the New York Attorney General in connection with the tax-evasion case against the Trump Organization.

If all these actions go unpunished, the subpoena and rule of law are effectively dead. No reluctant witness could ever again be compelled to answer a subpoena; they would simply need to cite the "Trump precedent."

JOSEPH CANNISI

Retired 28-year DOT Employee

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