Analysis after the Judiciary Committee impeachment hearing
Harvard Law School professor Noah Feldman, Stanford Law School professor Pamela Karlan, University of North Carolina Law School professor Michael Gerhardt and George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley are sworn in before testifying during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on Dec. 4, 2019.Alex Brandon / AP
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The House Judiciary Committee kicked off its first hearing of the impeachment inquiry on Wednesday with an exploration of the constitutional grounds for impeachment, including what constitutes bribery, high crimes and misdemeanors and whether President Donald Trump's actions meet those definitions.
The witnesses included Harvard law professor Noah Feldman; Stanford law professor Pamela Karlan; University of North Carolina law professor Michael Gerhardt; and George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley. The first three witnesses were asked to testify by the committee's Democrats, and Turley was called by the panel's Republican members.
“There’s so much rage over reason” said Prof. Turley&he’s right. In this country you’re innocent until proven guilty,unless you’re @realdonaldtrump in a Dem-controlled House.This sham is wrong. POTUS did nothing wrong &the dems know it-they are trying to stop another win in 2020.
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."