Some readers may have difficulty in deciding what punishment is warranted for President Trump’s decision to withhold up $400 million already appropriated by Congress for military aid unless and until Ukraine’s new president agrees to make a public statement that Ukraine would be investigating Joe Biden and his family. Perhaps a local example of this sort of corruption will clear the confusion, so I offer the following hypothetical.
(Editor's Note: The following is a fictional situation the letter writer is using to make his point.) A township board authorizes payment of $50,000 to a contractor whose company had repainted the township hall. The township treasurer, who is running for reelection, advises the contractor that he will not sign the $50,000 check unless and until the contractor sends a letter to the editor of the local newspaper denouncing the treasurer’s political opponent. By chance, the township clerk and a trustee overhear the treasurer’s threat and report it to the county prosecutor.
Just ask yourself: In this scenario, how long would it take for the prosecutor to bring charges, how long would it take the court to find the treasurer guilty, and how many years would the treasurer spend in jail?