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Impeachment Witness Turley Claims Home, Professorship Threatened during Testimony

Jonathan Turley, professor of law at George Washington University Law School, testifies during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the impeachment inquiry into President Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., December 4, 2019. (Mike Segar/Reuters)

In an opinion article penned Thursday, George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley claimed that his home and office were flooded with “threatening messages and demands that I be fired from George Washington University” over opposing President Trump’s impeachment in congressional testimony Wednesday.

“I remained a tad naive in hoping that an academic discussion on the history and standards of it might offer a brief hiatus from hateful rhetoric on both sides,” Turley, who was called by Republicans as a witness in the House Judiciary Committee’s Wednesday impeachment hearing, wrote in The Hill. “ . . . My call for greater civility and dialogue may have been the least successful argument I made to the committee.”

The office of Christopher Alan Bracey, interim dean of George Washington Law School, did not respond to a request for comment on the threats against Turley.

During testimony, Turley — who clarified that he was not a Trump supporter — urged a measured and cautious approach to impeachment, warning of potential repercussions for future administrations if a less rigorous approach was followed.

“Will a slipshod impeachment make us less mad? Will it only give an invitation for the madness to follow every future administration? That is why this is wrong,” Turley said.

“It is not wrong because President Trump is right — his call was anything but ‘perfect.’ It’s not wrong because the House has no legitimate reason to investigate Ukrainian controversy,” he said. “It’s not wrong because we are 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.”

Thursday, Turley maintained his line of argument.

“As I said 21 years ago, a president can still be impeached for abuse of power without a crime, and that includes Trump. But that makes it more important to complete and strengthen the record of such an offense, as well as other possible offenses. I remain concerned that we are lowering impeachment standards to fit a paucity of evidence and an abundance of anger,” he wrote.

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