While law professor Jonathan Turley was giving testimony before the impeachment hearing of President Trump on Wednesday, Dec. 4, his home and office were “inundated with threatening messages” and demands for his dismissal from his workplace.
Turley was the sole witness for the GOP at the impeachment hearing and although he was the only witness allowed for Republicans, he had made the assertion he didn’t vote for the president.
“My call for greater civility and dialogue may have been the least successful argument I made to the committee. Before I finished my testimony, my home and office were inundated with threatening messages and demands that I be fired from George Washington University for arguing that, while a case for impeachment can be made, it has not been made on this record,” Turley wrote in an op-ed for The Hill on Thursday.
“In my testimony Wednesday, I stated repeatedly, as I did 21 years ago, that a president can be impeached for noncriminal acts, including abuse of power. I made that point no fewer than a dozen times in analyzing the case against Trump and, from the first day of the Ukraine scandal, I have made that argument both on air and in print. Yet various news publications still excitedly reported that, in an opinion piece I wrote for the Washington Post five years ago, I said, “While there is a high bar for what constitutes grounds for impeachment, an offense does not have to be indictable,” and it could include “serious misconduct or a violation of public trust.”
The three other legal scholars that gave testimony on Wednesday had all agreed that the president should be impeached. They were all handpicked by Democrats, with just one pick—Turley— allowed by Republicans.
“My objection is not that you cannot impeach Trump for abuse of power but that this record is comparably thin compared to past impeachments and contains conflicts, contradictions, and gaps, including various witnesses not subpoenaed,” Turley said. “I suggested that Democrats drop the arbitrary schedule of a vote by the end of December and complete their case and this record before voting on any articles of impeachment,” he added. “In my view, they have not proven abuse of power in this incomplete record.”
“What we leave in the wake of this scandal will shape our democracy for generations to come. These “agitated passions” will not be a substitute for proof in an impeachment. We currently have too much of the former and too little of the latter,” said Turley.