This law professor taught Democrats a lesson. The only question was whether they’re willing to learn.
George Washington University’s Jonathan Turley is generally considered a liberal. But he was the sole member of Wednesday’s parade of scholars to testify before the House Judiciary Committee’s impeachment hearing who was selected by the Republican side, according to the Washington Examiner.
It didn’t take long for a listener to find out why they wanted him.
Though Turley acknowledged at the very beginning of his testimony that he’s no supporter of President Donald Trump, and admitted he hadn’t voted for Trump in the 2016 election, he quickly made it clear that he’s opposed to impeaching the president.
And in 10 minutes of erudite speaking, he made it just as clear why any thinking person would be, too:
The Democratic case, such at it is, built on the shaky foundation of Trump’s July 25 phone conversation with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, is simply not strong enough to justify the impact of impeachment on the government.
“It’s not wrong because President Trump is right. His call was anything but perfect,” Turley said.
“It’s not wrong because the House has no legitimate reason to investigate the Ukrainian controversy. It’s not wrong because we’re in an election year — there is no good time for an impeachment.
“No. It’s wrong because this is not how you impeach an American president.
“This case is not a case of the unknowable, it’s a case of the peripheral.”
Check it out here. Turley’s “it’s not wrong” constructions start about the 5:20 mark, but just skipping to that and stopping would be a missed opportunity. It’s not often that a 10-minute video is worth every second, but this is one of them:
Comparing the proceedings against Trump to impeachments or near-impeachments of Presidents Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, Turley said the current situation is most similar to the proceedings against Johnson back in 1868.
The Nixon and Clinton proceedings both involved accusations of actual crimes, Turley said. But in Johnson’s case, he said, the crimes were manufactured by the president’s Radical Republican political opponents. Turley has argued repeatedly that Democrats are doing something similar.
(Actually, in Trump’s case, Democrats haven’t seem to have even settled on a crime yet, preferring to leave the topic to focus groups until they find out what Americans will go for.)
The Democratic determination to rush headlong into impeaching a president just because of political differences will have ramifications for the future that could damage the country permanently, Turley suggested.
“President Trump will not be our last president, and what we leave in the wake of this scandal will shape our democracy for generations to come,” Turley said.
“I’m concerned about lowering impeachment standards to fit a paucity of evidence and an abundance of anger. I believe this impeachment not only fails to satisfy the standard of past impeachments but would create a dangerous precedent for future impeachments.”
Those weren’t the only highlights of Turley’s testimony. Many of his other comments justified the Republican decision to select him, too. Check out a few here.
This is a must-watch discussion. pic.twitter.com/DpJqh9XJkf
— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) December 4, 2019
“If you accept all of their presumptions, it would be obstruction. But impeachments have to be based on proof, not presumptions.” -Professor Jonathan Turley #ImpeachingHearings #ImpeachmentHearing pic.twitter.com/6X216XXz7w
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) December 4, 2019
Constitutional law expert Jonathan Turley brings the ???:
“If you make a high crime and misdemeanor out of going to the courts, it is an abuse of power. It’s YOUR abuse of power. You’re doing precisely what you are criticizing the President for doing.” pic.twitter.com/MMzvelcEnn
— Trump War Room (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@TrumpWarRoom) December 4, 2019
Solid stuff all around, but that opening statement really started it off.
By the time it was over, there was no question that this professor had taught Democrats a lesson — if they were willing to learn.
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