Government/Politics

Constitutional scholar will criticize Democrats at impeachment hearing, saying they are ‘lowering the standards’

Law professor and constitutional expert Jonathan Turley, who is scheduled to be one of four legal experts testifying Wednesday before the House Judiciary Committee’s opening impeachment inquiry, is expected to critique Democrats over the process.

Turley will testify that he is a staunch critic of President Donald Trump’s policies and demeanor, but that Democrats’ impeachment case against him is “woefully inadequate,” the Washington Times reported.

“One can oppose President Trump’s policies or actions but still conclude that the current legal case for impeachment is not just woefully inadequate, but in some respects, dangerous, as the basis for the impeachment of an American president,” Turley will say, according to his prepared opening statement.



Turley, a professor at George Washington University Law School, is the only one of the four witnesses called by Republicans. The other three are known critics of the president including one, Harvard Law professor Noah Feldman, who has twice called for impeaching the president in the past, the first time just two months after Trump was inaugurated.

Turley also testified during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. And he served as an attorney during the Senate’s impeachment trial, where he represented Democrat-appointed federal Judge G. Thomas Porteous, Jr.

In his opening statement, Turley will criticize House Democrats for the rush to impeach Trump on what he describes as flimsy evidence while warning them that they are setting a dangerous precedent for a partisan impeachment.

“I am concerned about lowering impeachment standards to fit a paucity of evidence and an abundance of anger,” he says.




“If the House proceeds solely on the Ukrainian allegations, this impeachment would stand out among modern impeachments as the shortest proceeding, with the thinnest evidentiary record, and the narrowest grounds ever used to impeach a president,” he adds.

The Georgetown professor also notes that he believes the impeachment stems from a hyper-partisan political environment that will not be calmed or repaired by a hasty impeachment.

“We are all mad and where has it taken us? Will a slipshod impeachment make us less mad or will it only give an invitation for the madness to follow in every future administration? That is why this is wrong,” he says.

The impeachment case stems from a July 25 phone call in which Mr. Trump pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for a “favor” in investigating former Vice President Joseph R. Biden and Ukraine meddling in the 2016 election, the Times reported.




A whistleblower, who is believed to be a CIA official assigned to the White House, said the president was abusing his power for personal gain on the call, including withholding nearly $00 million of U.S. military aid from Ukraine as leverage.

The aid was eventually passed along and Ukrainian government officials reportedly have stated they did not know it had even been delayed.

A rough transcript of the call the White House released in late September did not show the president present a quid pro quo deal for the investigations, the Times said.

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