Tomorrow’s Impeachment Hearing: What To Know About The GOP Witness, Judiciary GOP Members

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"Impeachment March" by Master Steve Rapport. (CC BY 2.0)

Tomorrow, the House Judiciary Committee will begin the next phase of the impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump with a hearing on what constitutes high crimes and misdemeanors. 

Here’s what you should know about Republicans’ tactics ahead of tomorrow’s hearing:

GOP WITNESS JONATHAN TURLEY’S ARGUMENTS FOR CLINTON IMPEACHMENT UNDERCUT GOP’S DEFENSES OF TRUMP:

Jonathan Turley is a legal scholar and professor at George Washington University Law School. He testified as a constitutional law expert in the Clinton impeachment hearings—and made every effort to justify why Clinton should be impeached.

Now, Republicans are using Turley to defend Trump, but past arguments Turley made for impeachment undermine the crux of the GOP’s defense:

  • Turley testified that impeachment encompasses non-criminal conduct: “It is generally accepted that ‘misdemeanors’ encompasses non-criminal conduct in the sense of ‘misdeeds.’”
  • Turley claimed you can’t grant exceptions regarding high crimes and misdemeanors: “Your function is to find conduct which we cannot tolerate—conduct that is incompatible with the president’s office.”
  • Turley said that a president can have no more privileges than the average American: “You can use all the power for the nation’s benefit, but when you yourself cross the line, when you commit a crime, you can use none of that power.”
  • Turley testified that Clinton’s impeachment was warranted because of accountability: “You can’t commit crimes in office and when you do, you have to answer for it.”

REP. COLLINS, OTHER GOP LAWMAKERS PLEDGED TO OBSTRUCT HEARINGS:

Trump’s allies in Congress are pulling stunts, spewing conspiracy theories, and relying on procedural tricks to obstruct the inquiry and distract from Trump’s bribery scheme.

Rep. Doug Collins, Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, has already threatened to use “a bunch of procedural maneuvers” to obstruct Wednesday’s hearing.

Axios: The House GOP’s Next Impeachment Move

JUDICIARY REPUBLICANS WHO COMPLAINED ABOUT A SUPPOSED LACK OF DUE PROCESS NOW SILENT WHEN TRUMP REFUSES TO SEND HIS LAWYER TO THE HEARING:

  • Rep. Armstrong: “There are rules where the president gets to have his lawyer and those types of things.”
  • Rep. Buck: “House Democrats have been conducting an impeachment inquiry without due process, fairness or transparency for over a month.”
  • Rep. Gaetz: “Right now it’s deeply troubling that you’ve got no due process for the president”
  • Rep. McClintock: “I think it would be to the President’s advantage to have his attorneys there. That’s his right.”
  • Rep. Ratcliffe: “I support the administration’s refusal to tolerate or participate in an investigation that follows no precedent and no due process in a complete violation of the Constitution.”

Originally posted at Impeachment HQ. Re-posted with permission.


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Impeachment HQ is a new rapid response project that serves as a resource to talkers, reporters, and activists on the impeachment proceedings.

The new project is a joint effort from Defend the Republic, a messaging and strategic communications project focused on holding the Trump Administration accountable, and Stand Up America, one of the country’s largest grassroots advocacy organizations and a key group driving grassroots action on impeachment.

The project is led by Zac Petkanas, who was previously the Director of Rapid Response for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, Communications Director to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Senior Adviser to the Democratic National Committee.

The project is also supported by communicators, campaigners, and researchers from both Defend the Republic and Stand Up America—including Ryan Thomas, the Press Secretary for Stand Up America, who leads the communications team.

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