New York attacks the Trump organization

Regarding your editorial “Indicting the Trump Organization” (July 3): The targeting in this investigation of an individual, Donald Trump, for political purposes by the Manhattan District Attorney and the New York State Attorney General is appalling. As a former Chief Legal Officer of the Internal Revenue Service appointed by President Jimmy Carter, I am well aware of the responsibility of those charged with the administration of criminal laws to apply them fairly. The selective use of investigative and prosecutorial powers for partisan political purposes is an abuse of dangerous proportions.

The rules are the same for Democrats and Republicans. The diversion of administrative time and resources for political ends is a departure from the duty to apply the law where it is justified, and not where it is desired.

Stuart E. Seigel

McLean, Virginia.

Your editorial uses a political lens where a more appropriate perspective would have been that of “broken windows,” the crime-fighting strategy attributed to the late James Q. Wilson. When I researched my doctoral thesis under Wilson in 1970, then Detroit (and New York) Police Commissioner Patrick Murphy described bribery over dinner to me as an “illness.” Murphy’s example: If you took a NYPD neighborhood commander – rich after years of monthly payments – back to a street patrol officer, he would still hit stores at his own pace for $ 5 a week.

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