Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) of the House Judiciary Committee and his counsel used their 45 minutes of allotted time to repeat talking points heard since the beginning of the House impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.
Their statements focused on alleged bribery by the president — and alleged obstruction of Congress by the withholding of documents.
When GOP Ranking Member Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) took over, he questioned law professor and constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley (shown above right) of George Washington University.
Turley was direct in saying the bribery case was not legitimate.
“This is not bribery,” he said, as he further called the bribery theory “flawed as much now as in the 18th century” when the Founders debated it.
On impeachment in general, he stated, “That dog won’t hunt” and referred to the case of McDonald vs. U.S., in which the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously rejected a “boundless interpretation” of the issues at hand in front of the committee.
In defending that high court decision, Turley said, “These crimes have meaning … This isn’t improvisational jazz. Close enough is not good enough.”
The George Washington University professor again brought up the 1868 impeachment of President Andrew Johnson as an example of an impeachment that went out of control. He compared it to a “trap door” in which Johnson, and by implication President Donald Trump, was charged with crimes in a congressional set-up.
Turley called it “a perfect storm” of congressional hurry and partisanship in impeaching Johnson and Trump.
In making his point, Turley called out the Dems on the Judiciary Committee, noting their “abuse of power. You’re doing exactly what you’re accusing the president of doing.”
Turley’s testimony is all the more remarkable because he must know the social, financial, and career risk he is taking in opposing impeachment. D.C. is a very social world — and only those who toe the liberal line get the greatest social perks.
If Turley got them before — he can expect the cold shoulder now.
He will lose party invitations, book contracts, speaking engagements. When he does get an invitation to speak, leftist demonstrators will likely show up to try to stop his speech. His academic career may even stall — and ostracism in the faculty lounge is all but guaranteed, in my view.
But still, he told the truth.
That took real courage.
Turley went on to point that the obstruction of Congress charge has no historical relevance.
While the Obama administration strongly asserted its right to withhold documents when it came to the “Fast and Furious” case, and the Dems agreed with him, Turley said that by comparison, Attorney General Bill Barr has given Congress the most wide-ranging tranche of documents in modern memory.
This includes such documents as the transcript of the July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky, which could easily be withheld under executive privilege.
At that point, Paul Taylor, the GOP’s counsel, took over the questioning of Professor Turley.
It’s interesting to note the media coverage of these impeachment proceedings and anti-Trump hearings so far, by the way. All of the major media outlets, including Fox News, have taken a pro-impeachment trend in their analysis.
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This leaves conservatives, Republicans, and other Trump supporters devoid of major broadcast and cable television media advocacy — while the Left and the Dems have the media and the message on this specific coverage practically all to themselves.
To this analyst, that means there is an opening in the market — a big one.