Legal analyst and Fox News commentator Gregg Jarrett called Wednesday’s hearing before the House Judiciary Committee a “travesty of fairness.”
Jerrold Nadler, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, brought together four law professors—three of them liberal—who are known as detractors of President Trump. During their daylong testimony, the hostility was palpable, he said.
He also summarized what unfolded and what the academics ‘testified.” These are some of the details he gathered:
1-Harvard University law professor Noah Feldman
Noah Feldman’s prejudice and enmity should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed his comments on Twitter against the president, as the White House quickly pointed out.
Feldman had already prejudged Trump’s guilt when he wrote a column two months ago declaring that the president had committed an unconstitutional “quid pro quo” by asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate the conduct of former Vice President Joe Biden.
However, there is no evidence of a quid pro quo anywhere in the record of Trump-Zelenskiy’s July 25 phone call, in fact the transcripts have been made public.
Barely two months into office, Trump publicly questioned whether intelligence agencies might have wiretapped him. The president’s tweet to that effect constituted “the risk of impeachment,” according to the professor.
To this Jarrett added: “Truly, you have to laugh at such a ludicrous claim.”
2-Stanford University law professor Pamela Karlan
Pamela Karlan expressed deep anger from the beginning of the Judiciary Committee hearing when she said she was insulted by a Republican member’s suggestion that scholarly professors had not sufficiently digested all the evidence, especially Schiff’s 300-page report published the night before, which was only approved by Democrats and rejected by Republicans.
Karlan said, without evidence, that Trump had “demanded foreign involvement in our upcoming election.” But how could she know that? She presumed a motive and ascribed it to the president.
Nowhere in the transcript of the Trump-Zelenskiy call is there a demand for anything. Zelenskiy has repeatedly stated that no demand was ever made of him. There is no mention of the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
In contrast, Trump’s interest seemed to focus on Biden’s possible irregularities as vice president when he demanded the dismissal of a prosecutor investigating the Ukrainian natural gas company that paid his son Hunter an exorbitant amount of money each month to serve on its board of directors.
Karlan lost all credibility when she took a boorish stab at President Trump’s teenage son and said, “The Constitution says there can be no titles of nobility … so, while the president can name his son Barron, he can’t make him a baron.”
3- University of North Carolina law professor Michael Gerhardt
Gerhardt accused Trump of attacking the Constitution and compared him to a monarch, resurrecting the Mueller Report as evidence, which proved no collusion of Trump’s campaign with Russia.
Gerhardt boringly moved from point to point as he stumbled through a statement he seemed not to have read beforehand.
He denounced Trump’s exercise of a legally recognized executive privilege as “obstruction,” ignoring that previous presidents, including Barack Obama, had done the same in response to congressional subpoenas.
4- George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley
Jonathan Turley was the only witness the Republicans could call. He was the most serious and objective of the four professors, according to Gregg Jarrett.
The scholar began by making it clear that he is not a supporter of President Trump.
“One can oppose President Trump’s policies or actions but still conclude that the current legal case for impeachment is not just woefully inadequate, but in some respects dangerous as the basis for the impeachment of an American president,” the scholar said.
Turley warned that Congress would further divide and alienate the nation by seeking impeachment without merit.
He also warned that an accelerated impeachment without clear and convincing evidence, especially on the issue of obstruction, would be an abuse of power by Congress. “You’re doing precisely what you’re criticizing the president for doing,” he said.
“Impeachment must be based on proof, not presumptions,” Turley observed. “I don’t see proof of a quid pro quo.” He argued that there is “a paucity of evidence and an abundance of anger” driving Democrats.
President Trump’s action in asking Ukraine to investigate Biden “does not make this a plausible case for bribery,” Turley said.
Lack of support
While House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) seems nervous about not getting the votes needed to support the impeachment from her own party and seems to want to delay the process, President Trump referred to the hearing in a thread on his Twitter account asking them to rush through, suggesting that in the Senate there are more Republicans and they can call the witnesses they want, “The Do Nothing Democrats had a historically bad day yesterday in the House. They have no Impeachment case and are demeaning our Country. But nothing matters to them, they have gone crazy. Therefore I say, if you are going to impeach me, do it now, fast, so we can have a fair…”
“…trial in the Senate, and so that our Country can get back to business. We will have Schiff, the Bidens, Pelosi and many more testify, and will reveal, for the first time, how corrupt our system really is. I was elected to “Clean the Swamp,” and that’s what I am doing!”
…..trial in the Senate, and so that our Country can get back to business. We will have Schiff, the Bidens, Pelosi and many more testify, and will reveal, for the first time, how corrupt our system really is. I was elected to “Clean the Swamp,” and that’s what I am doing!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 5, 2019