George Washington University Professor Jonathan Turley began his testimony Wednesday by admitting that he voted against President Donald Trump — then immediately laid out the case against impeachment in this particular instance.
Turley began his testimony by declaring what he called “an irrelevant fact.” “I’m not a supporter of President Trump. I voted against him,” he explained. “My personal views of President Trump are as irrelevant to my impeachment testimony as they should be to your impeachment vote.”
“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 continued, raising the concern that this impeachment could set a dangerous precedent. “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.”
Turley went on to offer comparisons between the current proceedings and historical impeachments, saying that the closest comparison was in former President Andrew Johnson. “It is not a model this committee or an association that this committee should relish,” Turley continued. “In that case, a group of opponents of the president called the Radical Republicans created a trapdoor crime in order to impeach the president. They even defined it as a high misdemeanor.”
WATCH → Legal expert testifying before Nadler’s Judiciary Committee says this would be the first impeachment in history without compelling evidence of a crime and that the record is inadequate to impeach a President. pic.twitter.com/TfkR6DSJbD
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) December 4, 2019
Turley also noted that Johnson’s impeachment was also rushed in much the same manner as he believed Trump’s impeachment to be. (RELATED: ‘Vive Le Resistance!’ — Democrats Stack First Judiciary Hearing With Anti-Trump Lawyers)
Prof. Turley: “Proceeding to a vote on this incomplete record is a dangerous precedent to set for this country. Removing a sitting President is not supposed to be easy or fast. It is meant to be thorough and complete. This is neither.”
— Rep. Doug Collins (@RepDougCollins) December 4, 2019
Turley concluded by noting that political tensions were high. “I get it. You’re mad. The president is mad. My Republican friends are mad. My Democratic friends are mad. My wife is mad. My kids are mad. Even my dog seems mad,” Turley laughed. “And Luna is a goldendoodle and they don’t get mad. So we’re all mad. Where has that taken us? Will a slipshod impeachment make us less mad?”
Conceding his own concerns about the content of President Donald Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Turley concluded that while an investigation might be warranted, continuing down the road toward impeachment was still ill-advised. “This is not how you impeach an American president,” he said.