News

Law & the Courts

Turley Calls Case for Impeachment ‘Woefully Inadequate,’ Says Trump–Ukraine Call ‘Was Anything But Perfect’

Jonathan Turley, professor of law at George Washington University Law School, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., December 4, 2019. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley, the Republican witness called in Wednesday’s House Judiciary Committee impeachment hearing, dissented from the other witnesses and voiced concerns that “lowering impeachment standards to fit a paucity of evidence and an abundance of anger” would create “a dangerous precedent.”

Turley, who emphasized that he was not a Trump supporter and voted against him in 2016, nevertheless urged a measured and cautious approach to impeachment, warning of potential repercussions for future administrations if a less rigorous approach was followed.

“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,” Turley said in his opening statement. “That does not bode well for future presidents who are working in a country often sharply and at times, bitterly divided.”

Turley’s argument centered on process concerns and the divisive effects of impeachment rather than on the merits of Trump’s behavior.

“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 stated.

“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.”

During his testimony, Turley also took issue with Democrats’ “boundless” definition of bribery and their insistence that Trump’s decision to fight congressional subpoenas in the courts amounts to an abuse of power.

“President Trump has gone … to the courts. He’s allowed to do that — we have three branches, not two,” Turley said. “If you impeach a president, 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 are doing precisely what you’re criticizing the president for doing.”

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Most Popular

The Need to Discuss Black-on-Black Crime

Thomas Abt’s book Bleeding Out (2019) has garnered a fair amount of attention for its proposals to deal with gun violence in mainly black urban neighborhoods. The entire focus of the book is on interventions in high-crime locations to stem the violence, including: hot-spots policing, working with young males at ... Read More

The Need to Discuss Black-on-Black Crime

Thomas Abt’s book Bleeding Out (2019) has garnered a fair amount of attention for its proposals to deal with gun violence in mainly black urban neighborhoods. The entire focus of the book is on interventions in high-crime locations to stem the violence, including: hot-spots policing, working with young males at ... Read More
U.S.

Toward Justice — and Order — in Minneapolis

George Floyd, an unarmed black man, died shortly after being physically restrained by four Minneapolis police officers on Monday. His arrest on suspicion of a non-violent crime (passing a counterfeit $20 bill) was caught on a cellphone video and at least two store surveillance videos. From the videos that are ... Read More
U.S.

Toward Justice — and Order — in Minneapolis

George Floyd, an unarmed black man, died shortly after being physically restrained by four Minneapolis police officers on Monday. His arrest on suspicion of a non-violent crime (passing a counterfeit $20 bill) was caught on a cellphone video and at least two store surveillance videos. From the videos that are ... Read More
U.S.

The Return of the Tea Party

It’s 2009 again, or feels like it. That was when spontaneous, grassroots protests against overweening government sprang up and were widely derided in the media as dangerous and wrong-headed. The protesters then were inveighing against Obamacare; the protesters now are striking out against the coronavirus ... Read More
U.S.

The Return of the Tea Party

It’s 2009 again, or feels like it. That was when spontaneous, grassroots protests against overweening government sprang up and were widely derided in the media as dangerous and wrong-headed. The protesters then were inveighing against Obamacare; the protesters now are striking out against the coronavirus ... Read More
White House

There’s No Fix for Trump’s Bad Tweets

Whether social media have been good or bad for society is an open question. Whether social media have been good or bad for President Trump isn’t as difficult to discern. For even the most sober-minded and introspective figures, Twitter can serve as a dangerous temptation. For a man as capricious and mercurial ... Read More
White House

There’s No Fix for Trump’s Bad Tweets

Whether social media have been good or bad for society is an open question. Whether social media have been good or bad for President Trump isn’t as difficult to discern. For even the most sober-minded and introspective figures, Twitter can serve as a dangerous temptation. For a man as capricious and mercurial ... Read More
Economy & Business

The Spread of the Debt Virus

The current U.S. budget deficit could soon exceed a record $4 trillion. The massive borrowing is being driven both by prior budget profligacy and by a hurried effort by the Donald Trump administration to pump liquidity into a quarantined America. The shutdown has left the country on the cusp of a ... Read More
Economy & Business

The Spread of the Debt Virus

The current U.S. budget deficit could soon exceed a record $4 trillion. The massive borrowing is being driven both by prior budget profligacy and by a hurried effort by the Donald Trump administration to pump liquidity into a quarantined America. The shutdown has left the country on the cusp of a ... Read More