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Jonathan Turley: Dems' Impeachment Case Relies on 'Inference'

Jonathan Turley: Dems' Impeachment Case Relies on 'Inference'

George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

By    |   Monday, 09 December 2019 05:47 PM

George Washington University Law School Professor Jonathan Turley on Monday ripped the "impressionistic" House impeachment probe — saying the investigation leaves "too much in the eye of the beholder" — adding that Democrats have built a case "relying on inference."

"I continue to look around scratching my head, wondering why others don't see the obvious gaps and conflicts," Turley, who testified last week in the first hearing of the House Judiciary Committee, said in an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times.

"Yes, we've heard disturbing accounts, but they are surrounded by contested facts."

Turley said that's why he encouraged Democrats last week "to wait and build a more complete case.

"This is the thinnest record of any modern impeachment, as well as arguably the shortest impeachment investigation in history," he said.

Turley, who teaches public interest law, was called by Judiciary Republicans. He also testified in the Clinton impeachment process in 1998.

The most serious impeachable act raised by Democrats, he said, was abuse of power — as in the Clinton probe.

However, with President Donald Trump, "in inexplicably rushing to an impeachment vote, the House is foregoing the subpoenaing of key witnesses who could shed light on potential abuse of power," Turley said.

These include former National Security Adviser John Bolton and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.

"Instead, the Democrats insisted we should go forward on 'inferences' or interpretations rather than delay further," the professor argued, adding that "I just don't see how it clearly establishes a quid pro quo."

Turley also cited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's disclosure that he did not discuss a quid pro quo with Trump involving nearly $400 million in military aid.

"The funds were released on Sept. 11 without apparent action on Ukraine's part," he argued, "without apparent action on Ukraine's part" regarding Trump's alleged request to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

"One can certainly claim that this happened only because Trump got caught," Turley said. "The problem is that such a claim is based on presumption rather than proof.

"It is guaranteed to fail on that basis in the Senate."

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George Washington University Law School Professor Jonathan Turley on Monday ripped the "impressionistic" House impeachment probe - saying the investigation leaves "too much in the eye of the beholder" - adding that Democrats have built a case "relying on inference."
turley, house, judiciary, los angeles times
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2019-47-09
Monday, 09 December 2019 05:47 PM
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