Republicans’ witness offered opposing view, saying that the impeachment process was being rushed.
Constitutional scholars Noah Feldman of Harvard University, Pamela Karlan of Stanford University, Michael Gerhardt of the University of North Carolina, and Jonathan Turley of George Washington University are sworn in to testify on Capitol Hill Wednesday in Washington DC. Impeachment experts testified before the House judiciary committee on Wednesday that Donald Trump’s misconduct offered a textbook case of impeachable offenses as prescribed by the constitution and applied over the course of US history.
If what we’re talking about is not impeachable, then nothing is impeachable, said witness Michael Gerhardt, a University of North Carolina law professor.
Four constitutional scholars, including three called by Democrats and one called by Republicans, became the first witnesses to testify in a second round of public impeachment hearings beginning on Wednesday and expected to last until late next week. The hearings are the last stop before the proceedings could move to the House floor for a vote to impeach, or not to impeach, Trump, which could take place before a holiday break beginning on 20 December. The committee chairman, Jerry Nadler, said that Trump was the first president to engage in conduct that met all three criteria for impeachment contemplated by the framers of the constitution: abuse of power, betrayal of national security, and interference in the conduct of elections.
Never before has a president engaged in a course of conduct that included all the acts that most concerned the framers, Nadler said.
Nadler was echoed by witnesses including Gerhardt.
If Congress fails to impeach here, then the impeachment process has lost all meaning, and, along with that, our constitution’s carefully crafted safeguards against the establishment of a king on American soil, Gerhardt said.
The witness called by Republicans, George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, offered an opposing view, saying that the impeachment process was being rushed.
We are all mad and where has it taken us ? Turley said. Will a slipshod impeachment make us less mad or will it only give an invitation for the madness to follow in every future administration ?
As the new high-stakes phase of the impeachment inquiry began, Republicans resorted to procedural objections and high-temperature harangues in an effort to protect Trump. The Republican side lodged a series of rapid-fire interruptions and parliamentary inquiries as the hearing began, interrupting the first witnesses and leading Nadler to resort repeatedly to his gavel. The Georgia congressman Doug Collins, the top Republican on the committee, accused Democrats of moving to impeach Trump because you just don’t like the guy.
The American people is [sic] really gonna look at this and say, ‘Huh ? What are we doing ?’ Collins said.
In his opening remarks, the ranking member laced into the Democrats for pursuing what he called a simple railroad job – and then mocked the legal scholars sitting before him.
We’ve got law professors here, he said sarcastically. What a start to a party.
Democrats accuse Trump of misusing the powers of his office for personal gain by pressuring Ukraine to manufacture negative headlines about Joe Biden, Trump’s political rival. Trump also stands accused of obstructing a congressional investigation by ordering subordinates not to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry. The charges are laid out in a 300-page report referred to the judiciary committee late on Tuesday by Adam Schiff’s intelligence committee, which has led the process to this point.