5-minute member round of questioning begins
The staff questioning round has concluded, and the five-minute member round is beginning. The committee is still expected to break for votes at around 1:30 p.m.
Turley says rushing impeachment could 'leave half the country behind'
Turley gave a measured dissent from the other witnesses, focusing on the Democrats' impeachment inquiry schedule. He argued that Democrats have not gathered enough evidence and said impeachments should inherently be protracted to give the public time to understand the process.
"Impeachments require a certain period of saturation and maturation," Turley said. "If you rush this impeachment, you’re going to leave half of the country behind."
Turley argued that the impeachment inquiry into Nixon, who resigned before a removal vote, is the "gold standard" because it lasted long enough for the public to catch up.
He said that Democrats have to build a stronger record of evidence, adding that theirs is "one of the thinnest records ever to go forward."
Trump closes NATO by yawning at impeachment hearing: 'It'll be boring'
President Donald Trump closed out his trip to London for the annual North Atlantic Treaty Organization meeting Wednesday with a focus on his political problems back home: the House impeachment inquiry.
"It's a joke," Trump told reporters during a meeting with Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte.
"I watched Hannity, Sean Hannity. I watched Laura Ingraham. I watched Tucker Carlson. I watched a lot of other legal scholars, frankly, I watched some people with great legal talent and highly respected. Alan Dershowitz and many more, many more. I watched a very terrific former special prosecutor you know Ken. And Ken is a talented man and a smart man," Trump said, rattling off Fox News hosts and guests like Ken Starr who frequently appear on the cable network. "And I will tell you it is a uniform statement that I think pretty much right down the road, that what they are doing is a very bad thing for our country. It is of no merit."
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Turley takes issue with bribery, obstruction allegations against Trump
Turley takes issue with his colleagues’ view that Trump committed bribery in his dealings with Ukraine.
Responding to questions from Collins, Turley referred to the writings of Founding Fathers James Madison and George Mason as well as several Supreme Court rulings.
"You shouldn’t just take my word for it," he said. "Look to see how it’s defined by the United States Supreme Court."
Turley also said that "the record does not establish obstruction in this case" and, reiterating points made in his opening statement, criticized the hurried pace of the inquiry against Trump.
"Fast is not good for impeachment," he said.
Hearing gavels back in
The House Judiciary Committee concluded the short break at about 12:29 p.m. and now begin the 45-minute question period for the Republicans. The House heads to vote at around 1:30 p.m., so another break is expected around then.
Who is Norm Eisen, the lawyer doing the questioning for the Judiciary Committee?
The lawyer leading the questioning of the witnesses in the House Judiciary Committee's impeachment inquiry is Norman Eisen, a former ethics official in the Obama administration and a longtime Trump critic.
The panel's Democratic leadership announced it was hiring Eisen as one of two "oversight counsels" in February. The pair was retained to consult on "oversight and policy issues within the committee's jurisdiction." A Harvard Law School graduate and former classmate of Barack Obama, Eisen spent over a decade in private practice in Washington, D.C., before co-founding Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a watchdog group, in 2003.
In 2009, Eisen was named special counsel for ethics and government reform in the Obama White House, and is credited with the decision to put the White House visitor logs online. He was later named ambassador to the Czech Republic by Obama.
Eisen has been a frequent critic of the Trump administration's ethical standards, and represented CREW in a court battle charging that the president was violating the Constitution's emoluments clause. In 2018, he and two other lawyers wrote an article arguing that Trump had obstructed justice in the Mueller investigation — a charge Mueller addressed in his report by saying it was not clear that Trump did not obstruct justice.