Constitutional scholar and George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley told lawmakers on Wednesday during the Trump impeachment inquiry hearing that it would be an abuse of their power to impeach President Trump.
Appearing before the House Judiciary Committee, Turley accused lawmakers of doing “precisely” what they’re condemning Trump for doing and urged the committee to respect the separation of powers during the process or risk abusing their positions.
“I can’t emphasize this enough and I’ll say it just one more time: If you impeach a president, if you make a high crime and misdemeanor out of going to the courts; it is an abuse of power,” Turley said. “It’s your abuse of power.”
“You’re doing precisely what you’re criticizing the president for doing. We have a third branch that deals with conflicts at the other two branches, and what comes out of there, what you do with it, is the very definition of legitimacy,” Turley added.
Turley, the only witness called by Republicans to testify on Wednesday, argued against impeaching the president. He said impeachments against former Presidents Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon came after clear, undeniable crimes were committed.
“The record does not establish obstruction in this case,” Turley said.
Stanford Law professor Pamela Karlan, Harvard Law professor and Bloomberg columnist Noah Feldman and University of North Carolina Law professor Michael Gerhardt were called by Democrats on the committee, and they said Trump's actions were impeachable.
Fox News’ Andrew O’Reilly contributed to this report.