The Trump investigation, the Legislature, the Colorado shooting

Opinion editor’s note: Star Tribune Opinion publishes letters of readers online and in print every day. To contribute, click here.


I rise to applaud U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland’s appointment of Jack Smith as special counsel to lead ongoing investigations into Trump (“Special Counsel to Lead Trump Probes,” Nov. 19 ). Smith brings a remarkable record of judicial achievement to this difficult task, including having overseen the extraordinary complexity of prosecutions within the International Court of Justice in The Hague to rectify the ravages of war crimes in Kosovo and thereby ensure security daily of their citizenship. Through this public history, we can discern evidence of Smith as a man who embodies both patience and judicial perseverance: a passion for justice driven by the certainty of resilience, as measured by his record of carrying a and again the justice required in its proper conclusion. .

By making this appointment, Garland sends a clear message to the citizens of this country, a message that should not be ignored: that corruption and criminality, both domestically and internationally, will never be tolerated. Furthermore, perceived offenses will be examined fully and without favor, as measured by those old lead weights that swing back and forth, attached to that ancient scale that the jurors testify to every and each of the American courtrooms.

I can think of no more hopeful Thanksgiving message than this: the sunrise on our mutual blessings, that rich bounty, the visible fruits of American democracy!

Judith Monson, St. Paul


Perhaps the most paradoxical statement in recent memory is Garland’s explanation for appointing a special counsel to investigate Donald Trump’s retention of government documents at his Mar-a-Lago home and his role in the 6/6 riot. January at the Capitol. While it tells us that it did so to avoid any claim that its Justice Department investigations were “politically motivated,” in the same sentence the article says that “Trump’s ad … running on the presidency in 2024, along with the possibility of President Joe Biden also running, asked [Garland] take what he described as an “extraordinary” step.

After the House Select Committee spent nearly two years investigating Trump’s role in the Jan. 6 riots, including numerous public hearings, it has yet to issue a report or announce findings. Similarly, the FBI has been investigating Trump’s possible mishandling of government documents for several months. No criminal charges have been brought against Trump in any of these investigations. So do we really have to put Americans through what we experienced during Robert Mueller’s investigation that lasted two years at a cost of more than $30 million and resulted in no criminal findings against Trump?

Unless, of course, the goal of the investigation is to damage Trump’s bid to return to the White House. While this may be a welcome relief to many, I prefer to achieve this result through the free running of our political process, without outside interference from any source. This is politics done right.

Ronald Haskvitz, Golden Valley


Well, our almost exclusive Supreme Court Justice and current Attorney General has appeared in a press conference. Don’t be surprised if he acts, as usual, ridiculously about the rule of law.

To talk about a “candidate” running for office as if he is not corrupt, dangerous and a thief is hard to digest. Imagine if Al Capone, robbing banks and stealing people’s money, decides to run for office and we have to leave him alone for the “public interest”? Or, have a special prosecutor investigate while he’s touring the country robbing banks!

Well, there have been sitting congressmen accused of corruption and we have survived for the public good. Mr AG, there seems to be no rule of law these days. We challenge Congress, subpoenas, grand jury testimony, etc. What are you doing as Attorney General?

As a lifelong Democrat who has supported candidates at every level since Lyndon B. Johnson, I am considering becoming an independent now. I can’t hear the same verb over and over again, when nothing happens. The “public” knows very well what has happened during the last six years and it is not pretty. In fact, there are some pretty serious allegations: emoluments clause breached, classified documents stolen, insurgency fueled and election rigged are just a small sample.

My faith in the justice system is unwavering these days. So, my inclination to become independent is growing day by day. Democrats, watch out for the “public interest” as it may kick you in the face.

Paul J. Bartone, Eden Prairie


Everyone in Minnesota, no matter where they live or how they live, deserves access to high-quality child care. Child care is infrastructure: without a safe and reliable place to send children during the day, large numbers of adults cannot participate in the workforce. It’s also education: our brain grows to 80% of its adult size in the first few years of life. We need to support children and families during this crucial developmental time and adequately compensate the domestic workers who do this important work.

The child care system in Minnesota needs and deserves to be publicly funded. At our center, we spend nearly 90% of our tuition on staff salaries and benefits, so we cannot afford higher wages for our staff without putting a price on families without care. This allows us to raise funds for things like facility repairs and classroom supplies. We have incredibly thin margins and struggle to maintain affordable and competitive wages.

We need to recognize childcare for the public good it is and support the most vulnerable and disempowered members of our community, our children. We are counting on the new Minnesota Legislature to lead the way. You have the opportunity to make universal child care, in which all families have access to affordable child care, and teachers earning equal wages to K-12 educators, a reality by fully funding child care . My big hope is that we see action this year. All of our communities will be better for it.

Lily Crooks, Minneapolis


The article “Attorney General: Lunch Shaming Is Not Legal Under Minnesota Law” (Nov. 19) highlighted that 124 Minnesota school districts have policies in place that appear to violate state law that prohibits shaming students who are behind in lunch payments. Already saddled with thousands of dollars in unpaid lunch fees this year, schools are resorting to providing “a substandard alternative meal” for needy students, embarrassing them in front of their friends. Fortunately, Keith Ellison wants to make schools comply with the law. However, we need to solve the bigger problem that schools don’t have the money to provide lunches, and neither do too many parents.

Take the budget surplus and pay for all the students’ meals. No need for poverty proof, just feed them all and totally eliminate the problem of who deserves to eat and who doesn’t. We all know the link between hunger and school performance. We cannot risk losing any more of the learning success these children should have but have lost to the pandemic. To our legislators and Governor Tim Walz: Use some of our surplus money and feed our children!

Mary Susan Brock, St. Paul


Another day, another mass shooting (“Colorado attack should prompt action,” editorial, Nov. 22). I cannot fathom the immense heartbreak that all the families and friends of people who have been injured or killed by gun violence, and not just mass shootings, have suffered over the past few years. I cannot suggest a solution to this problem that has not already been suggested. We need change on multiple levels to address our fascination with guns, our access to guns, and our problems with gun violence. What I can do is not vote for anyone who doesn’t support gun control. enough is enough

Marilyn Condoluci, Crystal


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