Not much is being said by mainstream media outlets about the opening statement of congressional testimony of George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley.
The professor openly said he does not support President Trump and specifically mentioned that he voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, so it sounds like he would be right on par for someone CNN or others would be happy to cover.
So why the silence?
Their lack of coverage is probably due to him eviscerating the current partisan impeachment effort as a “dangerous precedent” and a congressional “abuse of power.”
“I’m not a supporter of President Trump. I voted against him,” Turley said, per the Western Journal. “My personal views of President Trump are as irrelevant to my impeachment testimony, as they should be to your impeachment vote.”
The professor said Democrats in Congress should look further than President Trump, to future elections and future instances where a congressional majority does not agree with the president.
“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.
There is not enough evidence and certainly not enough due process, Turley argued for this impeachment effort to be legitimate.
“I’m concerned about lowering impeachment standards to fit a paucity of evidence and an abundance of anger,” Turley said via the Western Journal reporting. “I believe this impeachment not only fails to satisfy the standard of past impeachments but would create a dangerous precedent for future impeachments.”
The professor said Trump’s current impeachment process should be compared and contrasted to previous congressional impeachment attempts like Andrew Johnson in 1868, Richard Nixon in 1974 and Bill Clinton in 1998.
“There are three commonalities when you look at these past cases,” he said. “All involved established crimes. This would be the first impeachment in history where there would be considerable debate and, in my view, not compelling evidence of the commission of a crime.”
“This is a facially incomplete and an inadequate record to impeach a president,” Turley argued.
Democratic leaders, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler have tried to argue that Trump has obstructed justice by not fully complying with their witness and document demands.
The legal expert contended that Trump and members of his administration, as part of the co-equal executive branch of government, have every right to allow the courts to decide if they are immune from congressional demands.
Turley said until the president or his administration officials defy a court order, Congress has no right to impeach him for obstructing justice.
“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’re doing precisely what you’re criticizing the president of doing,” he 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.
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) December 4, 2019
Watch the full opening statement below:Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.