Donald Trump Jr. has asked that we discuss Jonathan Turley

I know I should be talking about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who, earlier today, officially requested that committee chairs in the House of Representatives proceed with articles of impeachment against Donald Trump before exchanging heated words with Sinclair Broadcasting’s James Rosen, but I just noticed that Donald Trump Jr. was upset that “virtually no mainstream outlet is covering any part of Professor Turley’s testimony” in front of the House Judiciary Committee yesterday, so I thought that I’d spend a few minutes talking about the good professor instead. [For what it’s worth, Donald Trump Jr. is lying when he says that virtually no mainstream news agencies covered Turley’s testimony yesterday. They did. All of them. And James Rosen had to leave Fox News in 2017 amid multiple charges of sexual harassment. Oh, and Sinclair Broadcasting is a known propaganda arm of Donald Trump’s Republican Party.]

OK, so yesterday members of the House Judiciary Committee heard testimony from four law professors on the constitutional basis for impeachment. Three of them were in agreement that Donald Trump’s abuse of power, as documented during the House Intelligence Committee’s inquiry, rose to the level of being impeachable. These three constitutional law scholars were; Stanford’s Pamela Karlan, Harvard’s Noah Feldman, and the University of North Carolina’s Michael Gerhardt. And, if you follow those links, you can hear highlights of what each of these esteemed legal scholars had to say on the subject of impeachment, what the founders of our country had in mind when they gave Congress the power to remove a president from office, and how Donald Trump’s behavior in the Ukraine case should be interpreted through the lens of the Constitution.

But, as I said at the outset, there were four professors on the panel, and the fourth, George Washington University’s Jonathan Turley, was the outlier, essentially arguing that we don’t yet have enough information to impeach Donald Trump. Well, here, because Donald Trump Jr. asked us to talk about Turley, are a few things about the professor that I found interesting.

I should add that, while Turley said quite a bit, the major thrust of his argument seemed to be that a president can’t be impeached unless he’s been found guilty of a crime… a theory which none of the other professors, by the way, agreed with.

2. Turley argued that you can’t impeach for obstruction without first waiting for the courts to weigh in. That, however, isn’t a thing…

1. In 2014, Turley acknowledged as much, writing in the Washington Post that impeachable offenses don’t have to involve a violation of criminal law, which is the opposite of what he’s saying now…

3. Even Fox News’s Judge Napolitano thinks Turley’s argument is ridiculous…

4. Turley, for what it’s worth, is a friend of Trump Attorney General William Barr, and has defended his actions in office…

5. Turley was hired by Speaker Boehner to fight the implementation of Obamacare…

6. While Turley doesn’t feel as though Trump’s behavior warrants impeachment, he felt as though Clinton’s conduct did in ’98…

7. Turley, when defending a judge who had been impeached for bribery in 2010, used similar arguments to those he’s now using to defend Donald Trump. The judge he defended was eventually convicted unanimously by the Senate…

So, yeah, Trump supporters are trying to make the case that Turley is acting in good faith, and not a Republican schill. The truth, however, is that he’s been carrying water for the Republicans for years, pushing for the impeachment of Clinton on the basis that his actions were unpresidential, trying to overturn Obamacare, and now helping to defend Donald Trump. His arguments are specious. His motives are clear. It was a pathetic attempt to give Republicans a fig leaf to hide behind, and even Judge Napolitano, who Donald Trump once called brilliant, knowns it.

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22 Comments

  1. Jean Henry
    Posted December 5, 2019 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    I was giving Turley a break until he talked about alack of evidence without mentioning that those who could provide the direct evidence he felt necessary for impeachment were blocked from testifying by the President. Still I’ll give him his point re needing more time. I just don’t think more time to investigate was on the table. How long to Kenneth Starr take on the Clinton thing? It felt like forever.

    Nancy Pelosi was amazing today. She is 79. She has lived through some major shifts in expectations for women. Any woman over 30 knows that deep cultural shit gets internalized and whispers to you not to speak your mind, even when you know better. She seems to have worked through all of it. She’s so savvy. Strong and even keeled. It was a really stupid question. And a really great answer.

    Cue HW to call her a hysteric shrill POS. Or maybe Bob. One never knows these days.

  2. Jean Henry
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Trump tweet to HW:
    “Do not believe any article or story you read or see that uses “anonymous sources” having to do with trade or any other subject. Only accept information if it has an actual living name on it.”

  3. Frosted Flakes
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    “the major thrust of his argument seemed to be that a president can’t be impeached unless he’s been found guilty of a crime… a theory which none of the other professors, by the way, agreed with.”—Mark

    It is wildly ridiculous thing to assert, Mark. Almost as ridiculous as using that same ridiculous misrepresentation to, in the next paragraph, pretend to show that Turley is inconsistent by offering a prior instance where Turley is “contradicting” your ridiculous misrepresentation of him here.

    “Ought not” does not imply “cannot” it actually implies “can”.

    “Can” does not imply “ought to”.

    Turley is offering his opinion on whether or not we ought to impeach. As he should. It feels extremely creepy when pro-impeachment types incessantly point out that impeachment is not legal process. It should feel creepy because I think there is something creepy happening— It follows the logic of a naturalistic fallacy. Just as “ought” does not follow from “is”, our decision to impeach should not follow from our actual capacity to impeach.

    #authoritarianimpulse

  4. EOS
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Yeah, and this too!

    https://babylonbee.com/news/bombshell-report-reveals-trump-been-mooching-off-pences-netflix-account-this-whole-time/?utm_source=PatriotCentral-20191206&utm_medium=ae-email&utm_campaign=PatriotCentral

  5. Bob
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Leave it to Jean to insert gender into every conversation whether it’s relevant or not. As well as repeatedly attacking people who essentially argue the same progressive, feminist, decent points she claims to own. But Jean isn’t really very progressive or nearly as smart as she likes to pretend she is. She’s a tireless Hillary slappy and bland moderate with one point to beat into the ground. Expert cut and paster though. And a shining example of posting from the hip with no regard for spellcheck.

  6. Lynne
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    I find that I like Pelosi more all of the time.

  7. Jean Henry
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Bob– what did gender have to do with my comment? You hate establishment Dems correct. What’s your feeling about Pelosi?

    As always, you add so much to this conversation. Clearly your posts are well measured and crafted and you never shoot from the hip.

  8. Jean Henry
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    As a feminist occasionally I say things that reflect a feminist perspective, especially visa vi a woman in power. I do not believe however that I only speak here from a feminist perspective (which sometimes requires personal restraint). Bob has criticized my posts for being overlong and also for being just a “cut and paster.” And now my poor typing/editing here. Bob does not like what I have to say. I’m fine with that. but it’s also clear that Bob can’t muster up much in the way of a retort. Or any useful information or perspective really.

  9. Jean Henry
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Feminism is a particular critical lens (among many kinds of critical lenses) that one can apply to things political, cultural, ethical and historical. It is not an ideology. It holds a multitude of perspectives and is always evolving. There is and has been no seminal text or leader. It is not fundamentalist. It has no party and no platform. It has no singular political entity that defines it. It’s a movement. Many who feel uncomfortable with feminist voices would like to make it out to be an ideology, but it simply is not that and can not be that. I speak for myself, no one else. I find feminism an interesting way to look at things. I’m sorry so many do not find it compelling. Oh well.

  10. Jean Henry
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    PS– re: “repeatedly attacking people who essentially argue the same progressive, feminist, decent points she claims to own. ”
    For the record, discourse among feminists can be quite confrontational and vigorous and complicated. Critique within the ranks is a constant. Self critique is an essential part of the feminist journey and evolution. The objective of busting up the patriarchy we all live in can not be achieved without feminist critique within the movement itself. If you were in fact a feminist, Bob, you would know that.

  11. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    Turley tore your shit UP. He made the other professors looked like the clowns (in the circus and CIA sense) they are. This is the flimsiest impeachment attempt of all time.

  12. Jean Henry
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    HW– you are so good at parroting the talking points of the right. It’s like watching Fox News.

  13. Sad
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    I agree with HW.

    What will this do but embolden Trump?

    I guess it will help Pete by keeping the senators in Washington and maybe if they drag the Bidens in to testify that will be interesting.

  14. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    It’s not a talking point. I watched Turley destroy the narrative of those obviously biased professors. Anyone can watch it and form their own opinion like I did in realtime. Nothing to do with Fox or anything else.

  15. Sad
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    HW what kind of weed would you recommend for watching the impeachment trial this January?

  16. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    Looks like there is a Peaches and Cream that smells like peaches and mint so there you go. Doubtful you could score some peach/mint tasting bud in time though I would think.

  17. Sad
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    Another downside to the Democrats rush to impeachment, not enough time to stock up on peach mint weed.

    Sigh.

  18. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted December 7, 2019 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Ironically it is you about to get smoked. 53-47 majority = ability to issue subpoenas for testimony about US/Ukraine corruption. Word is much of five billion in aid was disbursed to the embassy’s favorite NGO’s.

    Why is Ukraine Hillary Clinton’s top foreign donor of all countries? Biden, Pelosi, a whole bunch of them are caught with their hands in the cookie jar. How did they get so rich on their salary? You get paid some two hundred grand a year or whatever but since you’ve been in office you’ve made dozens or perhaps hundreds of millions. The adult children get paid, the foundations get paid, everyone gets paid but We The People. That’s where I see this going. Major problems for your people, not for President Trump.

  19. Sad
    Posted December 7, 2019 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    You are a sick puppy.

    At least if you made sense you’d talk about things like the big PREP deal, the jobs numbers, the paid family leave and the Iranian hostage deal. But no…..

    And they aren’t my people. As you can see we are all less in lock step then some political groups. Much to our detriment I’m afraid.

  20. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted December 7, 2019 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Nice non-answer there with a side of ineffectual ad hominem.

  21. Sad
    Posted December 7, 2019 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    I do feel for you now though that the media and the left are attacking Mayor Pete as some sort of corporate slave. A guys got to work. Earn a living. Right?

  22. Sad
    Posted December 7, 2019 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    I’m still really hoping they have the Bidens testify in the impeachment trial in the senate. That would surely take Biden out of contention. Get your people on it HW!

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