Republicans were permitted to only choose one lawyer to appear at proceedings on Wednesday Dec. 4, however, it had to be someone approved by the Democrats.
The chosen one was Jonathan Turley, a George Washington University law professor. He has reservations about the Democrats’ rationale for removing the president of the United States, Donald Trump, from office, and he used former president Barack Obama as an example.
Turley, in his opening statement, said the impeachment hearing sets a “dangerous precedent” and is “woefully inadequate.”
“President Trump will not be our last president and what we leave in the wake of this scandal will shape our democracy for generations to come,” said Turley, “I’m concerned about lowering impeachment standards to fit a paucity of evidence and an abundance of anger.”
“If the House proceeds solely on the Ukrainian allegations, this impeachment would stand out among modern impeachments as the shortest proceeding, with the thinnest evidentiary record, and the narrowest grounds ever used to impeach a president,” Turley said.
Turley mentioned that Barack Obama had refused, during his tenure as president, to give evidence to Congress concerning the Fast and Furious program through which assault weapons were sold to Mexican drug cartels, allegedly as a method for tracking the criminals.
The program was a total failure, after 2,000 guns sold through the program, they couldn’t be tracked, and they began turning up at murder scenes on both sides of the border. U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was one of the casualties, with at least 20 other deaths and violent crimes linked to the guns sold through the Justice program.
Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) questioned Turley during Wednesday’s hearing and asked if it would be considered an abuse of power by the House “if we just say the facts don’t matter.”
“I think so,” Turley responded. “Part of the problem is that to bring a couple of these Articles [of Impeachment], you have to contradict the position of President Obama. President Obama withheld evidence from Congress in Fast and Furious, an investigation, a rather moronic program that led to the death of a federal agent. President Obama gave a sweeping argument that he was not only not going to give evidence to this body but that a court had absolutely no role in determining whether he could withhold the evidence.”
Democratic New York Rep. Jerry Nadler opened Wednesday’s hearing against the president by stating, “The facts before us are undisputed,” about the claim that Trump has committed impeachable offenses.