Prof. Jonathan Turley: “The Current Legal Case for Impeachment Is Not Just Woefully Inadequate But Dangerous”

Democrat Professor defies impeachment hearing with viral speech against impeachment.

jonathan turley
George Washington University Law School Professor Jonathan Turley (C-Span)

The House Judiciary Committee called in four constitutional lawyers to testify before Congress as part of the House Judiciary Committee’s hearing into President Donald Trump. Republican witness George Washington University Law School Professor spoke against impeachment at the hearing on Wednesday.


Watch the speech below via C-Span.

One of the witnesses Wednesday, Professor Jonathan Turley, a registered Democrat, was chosen as the Republican witness to appear in front of the impeachment panel Wednesday. Turley admits openly that he voted for President Clinton and Obama and that he has been critical of President Trump’s policies.

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Jonathan Turley spoke, I would like to start, perhaps incongruously, with a statement of three irrelevant facts. First, I am not a supporter of President Trump. I voted against him in 2016 and I have previously voted for Presidents Clinton and Obama. Second, I have been highly critical of President Trump, his policies, and his rhetoric, in dozens of columns. Third, I have repeatedly criticized his raising of the investigation of the Hunter Biden matter with the Ukrainian president. These points are not meant to curry favor or approval. Rather they are meant to drive home a simple point: 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. To put it simply, I hold no brief for President Trump. My personal and political views of President Trump, however, are irrelevant to my impeachment testimony, as they should be to your impeachment vote. Today, my only concern is the integrity and coherence of the constitutional standard and process of impeachment. 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.

“I am concerned about lowering impeachment standards to fit a paucity of evidence and an abundance of anger. 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.7 That does not bode well for future presidents who are working in a country often sharply and, at times, bitterly divided,” Turley continued.


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