Politics - News Analysis
Turley: Trump Defense Unwise and Shortsighted
The Republicans had a bad first day.
You know things are going poorly in your trial when your own expert witness says that your primary defense to impeachment is bullshit.
Yet that is exactly what has happened to the Republicans. The House Republicans called Constitutional Law Professor Jonathon Turley during the impeachment hearings in the House. In the House, Turley argued that the case had yet to be sufficiently developed to vote on impeachment.
But on Tuesday Turley blasted the Republicans claim that impeachment required proof of a specific crime and that abuse of power is not a sufficient offense upon which impeachment can be based. Turley said this is especially so where Trump has blocked access to all witnesses and documents:
“In this impeachment, the House has decided to go forward on the narrowest articles with the thinnest record of a presidential impeachment in history. However, many senators may be legitimately leery of buying what the White House is selling with its categorical approach. There is a vast array of harmful and corrupt acts that a president can commit outside the criminal code.
… The developing defense by the White House is also a mistake. It would again ‘expand the space for executive conduct’ by reducing the definition of impeachable conduct to the criminal code. It is an argument that is as politically unwise as it is constitutionally shortsighted.”
When your primary legal defense is shot down by your own legal expert, you know you have had a very bad day.
If the Republicans would consider allowing witnesses at the “trial” of Donald Trump, the Democrats might consider calling professor Turley themselves. There is nothing more devastating than having the other side lectured by their own witness.
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