Incomplete Impeachment: Jonathan Turley Sees No Proof of Abuse of Power by Trump


On Friday’s Battleground State Report with Michael Patrick Leahy and Doug Kellett – a one-hour radio show from Star News Digital Media in the early stages of national weekend syndication roll out – host Leahy reviewed Jonathan Turley’s statements as they pertain to the current impeachment proceedings. He reviewed evidence that Turley believes the Democrats have no proof of abuse of power and should complete their case before filing articles of impeachment.

Leahy said:

So we’ll see which of the three stooges show up in the hearings in House judiciary committee on Monday. I want to continue with this piece by Jonathan Turley. Very very good constitutional law expert and professor at George Washington University, who as he was testifying in the judiciary committee on Wednesday, all the left wing nut jobs Robespierre French Revolution mob was calling his employer and saying, ‘Fire the guy! Fire the guy!’ because he’s supporting the rule of law.

Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank Turley wrote, expanding on the theme of attacking my past argument despite 52 pages of my detailed testimony more than twice the length of all the other witnesses combined on the cases and history of impeachment.

He described it as being ‘primarily emotional and political.’ Milbank claimed that I contradicted my testimony in a 2013 hearing when I presented ‘exactly the opposite case against President Obama.’ By saying, ‘It would be very dangerous to the balance of powers not to hold Obama accountable for assuming powers very similar to the right of the King to essentially stand above the law.’

But Turley writes, I was not speaking of impeachment then. It was a discussion of the separation of powers and the need for Congress to fight against unilateral executive actions. The very issue that Democrats raised against Trump. You know Jimmy, these unilateral executive actions are like the executive orders like the DACA thing.

You know where they let unaccompanied children stay in the United States in violation of statute. There’s no statute that Obama passed and just wrote an executive order because he has a pen and a phone. Right? And that’s what Turley was writing about. Here’s what Turley continues to write. I did not call for Obama to be impeached but that is par for the course in the echo chamber today in which the facts must conform to the frenzy.

It was unsettling to see the embrace of a false narrative that I ‘contradicted my testimony from the Clinton impeachment’. A false narrative concluded by the remarks of committee chairman Jerry Nadler of New York quoting from my 1998 testimony. Notably, neither Swalwell nor Nadler allowed me to respond to those or any other attacks.

It was then picked up equally by others despite a demonstratively false narrative. So, Jonathan Turley has just realized that Democrats are liars. (Tidwell chuckles) You know? And they are aided and abetted by the mainstream media. He’s a good guy but I think it’s a little late to come to the party on that one. I’ve known that for a long time. Haven’t you Jimmy?

So Turley continues, in my testimony on Wednesday, I stated repeatedly as I did 21 years ago that a President can be impeached for non-criminal acts including abuse of power. I made that point no fewer than a dozen times in analyzing the case against Trump. And from the first day of the Ukraine scandal, I have made that argument both on-air and in print.

Yet, various news publications still excitedly report that in an opinion piece I wrote for the Washington Post five years ago I said, ‘While there is a high bar for what constituents grounds for impeachment, an offense does not have to be indictable. And it could include, ‘serious misconduct or a violation of public trust.’ That is precisely what I’ve said regarding Trump. You just need to prove abuse of power.

My objection is not that you cannot impeach Trump for abuse of power but that this record is comparably thin compared to past impeachments and contains conflicts, contradictions, and gaps regarding various witnesses not subpoenaed.

I suggested, Turley says, that Democrats drop the arbitrary schedule of a vote by the end of December and complete their case and this record before voting on any articles of impeachment. In my view, they have not proven abuse of power in this incomplete record.

Listen to the full show here:

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Tune in every Friday morning and listen to The Battleground State Report with Michael Patrick Leahy and Doug Kellett.
Photo “Jonathan Turley” by MSNBC. CC BY 3.0.




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