I was disappointed but not surprised that Congressman Pete Stauber seemed not to respond directly to a News Tribune reporter’s question about the overwhelming evidence of President Donald Trump’s alleged effort to extort a political favor from the Ukrainian president in return for releasing almost $400 million of U.S. aid (“Stauber addresses impeachment,” Dec. 8).

Instead, Stauber pivoted to the Republican canard about “secret” and “staged by Democrats” House proceedings prior to the public phase of the impeachment inquiry. He also complained about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi setting an arbitrary deadline of an impeachment vote by Christmas instead of focusing on getting the facts. Stauber should instead ask Trump about the facts, because Trump has refused to allow testimony from those closest to him, those “in the loop,” as described in E.U. ambassador Gordon Sondland’s public testimony.

I wish the News Tribune would have asked Stauber his opinion of Trump inserting himself into the military justice system by pardoning two Army officers, one convicted in a court-martial murder and the other about to stand trial for murder. The situation includes the restoration of rank and the return of a SEAL Trident pin to Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher after his conviction for posing with a dead body and bringing dishonor on the Service. I’m almost certain Stauber would have responded that it was totally constitutional for Trump to do what he did, and he’d be correct. I also believe Stauber has a much better understanding of the military and the Uniformed Code of Military Justice than Trump has. I’d like to know Pete Stauber’s opinion on the wisdom of Trump’s action.

Glen Backman

Duluth