Last week’s hearings in Washington were difficult to watch. The witnesses were not known to be Democrats or Republicans; they were Americans. Americans that worked for the U.S. State Department, former National Security Adviser John Bolton or Mike Pence, definitely not “never Trumpers.” Some of these officials ignored instructions from the Trump administration that they should not appear at the hearings. These are officials who have worked effectively for us under both Democrat and Republican presidents, and they are quite disturbed by what they had been seeing and hearing over the past several months regarding Ukraine.

During her testimony one witness was assailed because she was perhaps too emotional. Another, an American veteran who has won a Purple Heart in combat, was subject to innuendo that perhaps he had dual loyalties because he was born in Russia before his family immigrated to the U.S. when he was a young child. These folks deserved better. The Republican members of Congress merely follow the lead of Trump. Perhaps “deplorable” is the right word in this situation.

So the president can lie about people, demean and embarrass them. He can lie to the American public about anything he wants. He knows he can, and he uses that to his advantage, but he cannot solicit aid in an election from officials of a foreign country — period. I’m waiting for Republicans who used to be about “the rule of law” to come to their senses. I haven’t given up.

Terry Beals, Bakersfield