Turley Testifies In House Judiciary Committee On Trump Executive Privilege Assertions

I will be testifying this before the House Judiciary Committee on President Donald Trump’s assertion of executive privilege and congressional oversight. The Hearing will be held 10 a.m. on Wednesday, May 15th, in Room 2141 in the Rayburn House Office Building. My testimony is linked available below.

I will be testifying with three other expert witnesses: Professor Kate Shaw, Yeshiva University; Paul Rosenzweig, Senior Fellow, R Street Institute; and Professor Neil Kinkopf, Georgia State University.

My testimony was greatly improved by the edition of my long-standing litigation co-counsel Thomas Huff. I also want to thank my assistant Seth Tate.

Here is my testimony:

68 thoughts on “Turley Testifies In House Judiciary Committee On Trump Executive Privilege Assertions”

  1. Turley really didn’t have to do this. But he did anyway — I think because he cares about the law. And there are people around like Turley who actually care about the law. A thank goodness for that.

  2. Dear Democrats,

    As you wallow in TDS like swine in slop be encouraged! Trump is packing the US Courts and we know that means endless hours of electroconvulsive shock treatments.

    Blue chip my arssszzz. Justice Kavanaugh sends Cory “I am Spartan” Booker his regards.


    Senate confirms controversial 9th Circuit pick without blue slips

    The Senate on Wednesday confirmed a controversial nominee to the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals over the objections of both home-state senators.

    Senators voted 52-45 on Kenneth Lee’s nomination to the influential appeals court, giving President Trump his 40th circuit judge since taking office.

    Lee’s confirmation came despite neither Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, nor Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), a 2020 contender, returning a blue slip on his nomination.
    The blue-slip rule — a precedent upheld by Senate tradition — has historically allowed a home-state senator to stop a lower-court nominee by refusing to return the blue slip to the Judiciary Committee. How strictly the precedent is upheld is decided by the committee chairman, and enforcement has varied depending on who wields the gavel.
    Lee is the fifth appeals judge this year to be confirmed without a blue slip returned from both home-state senators. Before 2019, no appeals judge had been confirmed without a blue slip returned from at least one home-state senator.
    Feinstein said the vote on Lee marked the first time that the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee’s blue slip has been ignored.
    “Lee repeatedly failed to turn over more than 75 controversial writings and submitted many only after we identified them. Lee took controversial positions in these writings on race, civil rights and voting rights. His lack of candor with the committee should concern all senators,” Feinstein wrote in a tweet.
    Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) knocked Lee ahead of the vote, saying he is an example of a Trump nominee who wants to “turn the clock backwards.”
    “His past writings reveal shocking positions on race and diversity, affirmative action, educational opportunity, women’s reproductive freedom. He once wrote that multiculturalism is a ‘malodorous sickness’ and that sexism … to be ‘irrelevant pouting.’ That’s a man who should be on the bench?” Schumer asked.
    Lee has come under fire for his college writings on issues like sexual assault and AIDS.
    In a 1994 law review article he wrote that “a scientific explanation exists for the higher incidence of AIDS in the gay community. Homosexuals are more promiscuous than heterosexuals, and thus their risk factor increases exponentially.”
    During his confirmation hearing, Lee said he was “embarrassed” by the article.
    In a 1995 article, he questioned why a women would keep working for a man that had assaulted her writing that if “a lecherous professor grabs a student’s breast, the last thing she would do is continue to accompany him on another trip – let alone four more trips – just so she can hold on to a part-time job.”
    Lee apologized for his writings on sexual assault, saying during his confirmation hearing that at the time he didn’t understand workplace dynamics.
    Democrats faced long odds for defeating Lee’s nomination. With a 53 seats, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) can lose as many as three GOP senators and still confirm a nominee by letting Vice President Pence break a tie.
    McConnell views circuit court judges as his top priority and said in 2017 that he didn’t believe opposition from a home-state senator should be enough to effectively veto an appeals court pick.
    “In addition to a ‘unanimously well qualified’ rating from the ABA and a favorable report from the Judiciary Committee, Mr. Lee has earned the especially high esteem of one of our own colleagues. The junior Senator from Arkansas attended law school with the nominee,” McConnell said of Lee, referring to Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.).
    Judicial nominations have become a focal point for controversy during the Trump presidency, with Republicans setting a record for how quickly they have confirmed appeals court judges.
    In 2013, Democrats nixed the 60-vote filibuster for lower court and executive nominations. Republicans got rid of the same roadblock for Supreme Court judges in 2017 to confirm Justice Neil Gorsuch.
    But Democrats have fumed over the decision to confirm circuit court judges over the objections of mostly Democratic home-state senators.
    Democrats were able to defeat the nomination of Ryan Bounds to the 9th Circuit last year when Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) warned that he couldn’t support the pick over his writings on race.
    But Republicans held a narrower 51-seat majority at the time. Scott signaled earlier this year that he would support Lee’s nomination.
    Scott told McClatchy in March that he had “confidence” in Lee as an appeals court judge.
    “I have not heard so far anything that would cause me to turn in an opposite direction,” he said.


  3. Cindy B.,
    Paul Newman was one of a kind.
    Ted Cassidy ( Lurch of the Adams Family), was his opponent in the “discussion” about “the rules”.
    He died following heart surgery years ago, maybe late 1970s or early 1980s.
    I think he was in his 40s.
    I’ve probably watched that movie 5-10 times; one of my favorites.

    1. Tom…Thanks…interesting. One of our dinner guests years ago claimed to have “discovered” Newman.
      Yes…..Great film!

      1. Another “trivia fact” about the movie, Cindy……a friend knew the former CEO of Pinkerton’s Detective Agency ( since absorbed by Fortune Brands, I think).
        Once at dinner, he mentioned that the producers of Butch Cassidy and T S Kid” approached Pinkerton’s for permission to use their name in the movie ( those were “Pinkerton Men” trailing Butch and Sundance).
        They didn’t get permission, and the name “Pinkerton” was never used in the movie.

          1. Cindy B.,
            He didn’t give the reason, but I assumed since the pursued ( Newman and Redford) were ” the good guys”, and the team that pursued them ( Pinkerton Men) we’re less sympathetic characters (working for the Big Bad Railroad), that the company didn’t want their name associated with the posse.

    1. It was good of you to post this video which once again demonstrates how wrong Anon has been. I suppose Anon will simply ignore and turn off the video or lie about what he has said.

        1. Anonymous, did I say something wrong? Why don’t you get your army of anonymous together. Between the lot of you joining all your resources there might be a halfwit.

          1. Allan, by “very typical,” Anonymous may have meant that your post was consist with the high quality of your other thoughtful posts, but that he’s just not comfortable complementing you, for some reason.

            1. James, Alan inhabits a “Doctor StrangeLove” time-warp where communism is still the most God-awful menace. So if Alan thinks you’re ‘soft’ on communism, he feels perfectly entitled to claim you’re ‘lying’ in the current debate. Alan feels that communists must be destroyed by any dirty trick.

              1. P. Shill:

                I would think collectivism is a “God-awful menace.” Lest you doubt it, a quick junket (I’m in for $5) to Venezuela might disabuse you.

                1. Mespo, no one gave you the memo? Not a single liberal in the United States thinks Venezuela is cool in any way. It’s just a Fox News myth that takes root in little, vacant minds.

    2. Hysterical how JT mentions legal cases, names of US Courts, decisions therein, effortlessly as if he were articulating the days of the week and his phone number and home address without batting an eye. Yet, no doubt, no “member” of the House Judiciary Committee, had a passing familiarity, never mind a fluid understanding like JT, with at least one of those legal decisions.

      We don’t watch the news at home but I am willing to bet that everything JT said landed on deaf ears but the members probably ran for CNN, the most disrespected, laughable, news media company, and apoplectically declared JT supported everything the HJC is doing.

      Hang em by their toenails

  4. Perspective is everything. Pity Pelosi did not follow through. Constitutional crisis or lack of spine? So much for her being a leader.




    Barr confronts Pelosi: ‘Madam Speaker, did you bring handcuffs?’

    Attorney General William Barr asked Speaker Nancy Pelosi whether she planned to arrest him when he appeared on the west front of the Capitol to commemorate the National Peace Officers Memorial service on Wednesday.

    Barr, who was on a platform with congressional leaders as they awaited President Trump’s arrival, approached Speaker Pelosi and shook her hand, a bystander said. Apparently joking, he said loudly: “Madam Speaker, did you bring your handcuffs?”

    The bystander said: “The speaker, not missing a beat, smiled and indicated to the attorney general that the House sergeant at arms was present at the ceremony should an arrest be necessary. The attorney general chuckled and walked away.”


  5. Will the House Judiciary Committee also bring in Karl Marx to testify on the Communist Manifesto?

    We know that after a whipsawing dissertation and convoluted semantic machinations, the empathetic, collectivist, redistributionist postilion will be tightly ensconced, when in reality the right to an attorney is defined by uninfringed privilege, without which there is no right to an attorney.

    Did Professor Turley ever win the lawsuit for John Boehner against “overreach” by Obongo or was that just another machination?

    1. There is absolutely no reason for a House Judiciary Committee! The only judiciary committee that is necessary is the Senate, the entire Senate with every State participating as Equals as they are Constitutionally assembled by Article 1 Section 3 of the Constitution, not as the Parties would like to assemble Congress according to their Political Monopoly House Rules Version of the Constitution!

      You people blow my mind with your ignorance of the Fundamental Principles of Republican Government our Country’s Confederated Republic is Based Upon!

  6. You can see Turley’s testimony on youtube. He flat out told the committee that they will lose if they take Barr to court. Turley also said that if Barr acceded to the Dems demand that he release grand jury material, that he would have opposed Barr’s nomination because Barr would be breaking the law to appease the Dems.

  7. Olly,
    Over the past c. 2 years, my scroll function on several devices has burned up from necessary use here in plowing through/ past the clutter.
    Mespo is correct that there’s a lot more “scrollable” material here in the recent past.
    And that is not just in terms of overall volume, but also the percentage of junk has increased as well.

    1. And that is not just in terms of overall volume, but also the percentage of junk has increased as well.

      I agree. This is supposedly a legal blog. Our host posts articles that usually involve some area of the law and without fail, it devolves into partisan bickering. At one time, Mike Appleton was a frequent contributor to this blog. While I didn’t always agree with his opinions, he usually supported them with legal theory.

      I believe the junk has increased because a few people on here enjoy engaging it. It’s tempting, and I admit to engaging it at times, but for the most part scrolling is the best option. I used to like being in JT’s top 5 of contributors. Now I look at that list and I don’t want my name on it at all. To be on that list now, one would have to be involved in the junk business. Just like progressivism in government, the junk will dominate if we abandon the law.

      1. OLLY………What was/is the mission of this blog?
        Would Professor Turley prefer an attorneys-only policy for commenting?
        I would sincerely like to know, and want to respect whatever rules there may be.
        Thank you.

        1. What was/is the mission of this blog?

          If you look at the Turley bio, a reasonable person would conclude his blog has civil discussion of the law as its fundamental mission. The fact it is an open blog clearly demonstrates he believes discussion of the law is not just for legal professionals. As far as rules go, Tom’s video was pretty accurate…1, 2, 3 go! 🙂

          1. mespo……….Hubby says the same thing! I, myself, love being around attorneys, listening to them argue and yes, bloviate, (if they know the law).
            Reminds me of those early days of law school when David and his best friend would spend every afternoon in our little run down rent house in Waco, studying aloud and arguing what they had learned that day. I loved it.
            (My brother’s an attorney, too)

            1. Cindy:

              I think “hubby” might agree that as time goes by every lawyer comes to realize that we endlessly quibble about issues that most regular people handle easily every day. Doesn’t mean we don’t take on and handle big issues or provide valuable services, merely that regular folks have plenty of sense, too. We can learn from them like they learn from us. Every profession builds a bubble to insulate “us” from “them.” Our job is to be able to break through our bubble to help “them.” It’s the essence of selfless good lawyering. We know that all that truly stands between freedom and tyranny in this country is a good lawyer with an honest client before a fair jury presided over by a honorable judge.

    2. Uh, hate to tell you guys, but as is the case on almost any thread on this site, comments from the right dominate and one of the most prolific posters of long cut and pastes that are barely relevant to the subject – if at all – is on the right, and I believe he started this particular conversation. So who are you all complaining about?

      1. Anon,
        I’ve referred to the list of c. 15 or so people named here by L4B as her staunch allies/ supporters.
        I had never really tracked the number and volume of left-wing/ right-wing commentators here, but she has gone through that list at least twice in the past.
        To those on the left, it appears that these threads are dominated by the right, and to those on the right, the comments appear to be mostly from the left.
        The same type of thing goes on with the observations about Prof. Turley; depending on who is “making the call”, JT is either “a leftist”, or a “conservative”.😉

        1. Tom –

          This is not as hard as you’re trying to make it.

          Regular posters (every other day or more):

          Left – Me (Anon), L4D, PHill

          Right – Tom, Allan, Absurd, Mespo, George, Estovir, Olly, Karen, Kurtz, Cindy, Princess Trohar, Jean LaFitte, Michael Aarethun, Ivan, Bill Martin

          So, where’s the “junk” coming from and who’s jamming up the site?

          1. So, where’s the “junk” coming from and who’s jamming up the site?

            Diane, Natacha, YNOT, Mark M., and two or three purveyors of palaeolibertarian / tricorn hat stream-of-consciousness. Isaacbacanovich, Hollywood, and Fishwings appear to have decamped elsewhere.

            1. DSS, Don’t forget David and all the anonymous’s that are multiplying like rats. Then again there have been a whole group of names that come and go. However, Diane alone accounts for more than her share.

              More importantly the left seems to have nothing to say. Look at how Anon repeats his reports that he hasn’t even read nor does he understand while others explain them to him. He should only be counted as half a person because his back is always turned as he runs away.

                1. David B. Benson who seeped out of a pipe under a different name for a short while.

    3. Tom, the purveyor of junk is Estovir! He seems to have total license to post all the crap he wants. Which makes it really hard to find the real debates. Even Tom Nash’s episodes of moral outrage get buried by Estovir. It will be hard to discern ‘who’ or ‘what’ Tom is railing at.

      Though more recently there has been a trend of people posting songs from YouTube. As though the mere title of the song, or look of the song in its YouTube box, is hilariously funny. That too has become a form of clutter that I don’t just blame on Estovir.

      1. Peter has never admitted what the backstory with Estovir is. Maybe he infiltrated Correct-the-Record and posted intramural circulars in some forum.

        1. Tabby, even your deliberately boring, research analyst-like comments get buried under the weight of Estovir’s endless, extraneous posts. And I’m surprised you haven’t noticed that. One imagines you put some degree of work into crafting that pseudo-academic gibberish.

        2. Absurd,
          At least he seems to have discovered that lower- case letters can be used in most sentences.

      2. I mention scrolling past the increased amount of clutter and St.Peter goes off on a tangent about my”moral outrage”, and “who and what I’m railing about”.
        In instances where I have specifically mentioned that he is a sanctimonious puke, it should not be all that difficult even for him to figure out who and what I’m “railing about”.

  8. (music)
    Bye, bye, Miss American Pie…
    Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry…
    Good ol boys in Congress drinking whiskey and rye, singing..
    This will be the day that I dye.

    Dye my hair…
    Red or green….
    DemoCrat or RepubliQen Queen.
    We’re all fags living on the dream…
    —Mitch McConnell

  9. is there a law that says president trump must show his income tax reports ?

    1. mickey:
      Not to the general public. This is law to the effect that certain members of Congress can see them for legitimate oversight purposes.

  10. Where does the President get the privilege to wave Executive Privilege? Where in Article 1 or 2 is the President, or the Executive Branch the President presides over, empowered with any privileges? Where in the Constitution does it give members of Political Parties the right to assemble and exercise Suffrage in any Governing institution? When did the members of The House and the members of the Senate become members of Congress? The members of Congress are the States, and only the States have Suffrage to reach Majority Consensus in Congress, Proportionally in the House and as Equals in the Senate.

    What’s wrong with Congress, and by extension the federal government?

    The Parties have usurped the Power and Authority of the States to assemble and Govern our Country as Members of the Union, the United States, in Congress Assembled!

    Congress cannot reach Majority Consensus by State because of interference and control of Parties which have replaced the Consensus of the States with Bipartisan Consensus between Political Parties in both the House and Senate which no longer have the dual modes of assembly of the People of the States in the House and the States Themselves as Equals in the Senate. This dual modes of assembly of a Bicameral Legislature has been replace with the same mode of assembly for both branches of Congress, both that resemble a poorly constituted and consolidated Senate with modes of Suffrage assigned by Party Affiliation, Not The Member States as Constitutionally mandated by Article 1 of the Constitution.

    In a Confederated Republic assembled into a Bicameral Legislature, the Senate must assemble and represent the Member States, and the House must assemble Representatives of the people of the States Proportionally! The Senate represents the districts, the States, and the House represents the people of the Districts, the States, with corresponding modes of Suffrage to reach Majority Consensus!

    This is the republican Principle which forms our Federal Government!

    Our current embodiment of our Government clearly violates Article 4 Section 4 of the Constitution; “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic Violence.”

    “In a Confederated Republic the Legislature necessarily Predominates”, and the Predominant Branch of the Legislature is the Senate, where the States are assembled as Equals, with Equal Suffrage, Predominates with the power of Concurrence over all Laws and All Treaties, “Foreign Policy”, through their Power to Control the Executive Powers of the President, By and With, the Advice and Consent of the Senate, Provided 2/3 of the Senators Present Concur, which is 2/3 of the States because the States have Equal Suffrage in the Senate, Not The Individual Senators. And by the way, “By and With” means Before and During, Not After. The President must consult the Senate, assembling them if they are not in session, for their advice and consent on every matter before our Country, to receive the States consent and the States advice and direction.

    There are no Executive Privileges, only the States as the Union have any Privileges to exercise any Powers of decision making on all Policy both Foreign and Domestic. This is the United States of America, Not The United Parties, and the States are assembled into Congress to form the Union, the United States, in Congress Assembled!

  11. I read your testimony. It’s good, pithy and spot on, for the most part. (I do disagree with your rendition of the adage that “bad cases make bad law.” I think it better stated that “hard cases make bad law.”) Most of the Dem dolts on that committee won’t or can’t understand it. Indeed, some think Guam will capsize and sink if enough people go to one side of the island. That said, the non-swine on the committee might heed your pearls of wisdom about compromise and discussion but I doubt it. The Dems clearly have the long knives out and we can only hope they wield them as adroitly as they have their other misadventures and promises of Trump wrong-doing. You’re in the unenviable position of telling power that’s it can’t get everything it wants in a bad faith effort to undermine an elected leader. Men of good faith don’t need that admonition and those of bad faith won’t heed it.

    1. An intelligent response on an article / presentation by JT found on this blog. Thanks Mespo

      Darren, please consider requiring nominal paid subscriptions to JT’s blog (e.g. a dollar) for posting comments, or at least require the creation of non-anonymous accounts. Reading the blog as currently available is gratis and all can read it at their leisure.

      The odious, ad hominem, repulsive comments section have become a distraction from the blog. With freedoms of speech come responsibilities. Hate, mayhem, discord should never be given forums


      1. @estovir-Oh yes let’s keep pushing PC in fact let’s charge those estovir feels repulsive. Here’s one for, you take a hike if you can’t deal with free American speech. Those folks who’s speech you find repulsive are usually the folks who have fought in battle for my country.

        1. I doubt Diane or Natacha have ever been in uniform. The smart money says Mark M. and YNOT are still working on their equivalency.

          1. @absurd-I can assure you I have done my time. I’ve also found most of those sentient beings are usually the ones who make the snowballs for others to throw. I have great pride in my country, it’s President no matter who the people elect, our ability to speak up at will and my Brothers and Sisters who offer their lives for our freedom of speech. Some may not see me as a sentient being but I earned my right at free speech. We are all experiencing and suffer the results of these sentient beings.

      2. Estovir:

        Let ’em spew. I have a great scroller on my mouse and I only look for sentient beings in the comment section of which there are few like you. I enjoy good faith, reasoned debate. In the early days of the blog we had just that and like most good things it was small, exclusive and full of wonderful people who acted in good faith but not unanimity of thought. Now we have a much wider “diverse” group with the predictable degradation of debate. Small really is beautiful even if the hippie economists coined the term.

      3. Estovir,
        The only thing I would change is the blog allowing multiple users to use the same name. Other than that, as mespo noted, I scroll through like I do commercials on my DVR.

      4. well you can kiss me goodbye if I have to pay or post under my name. RPC 8.4 requires me not to have a sane opinion about “certain topics” as the price of my license to be a lawyer.

        Of course the loss of my garbage would probably be an improvement and then I would work more and be distracted less so I would gain from it. Maybe I should be IP banned? That would make it easy. I am surely offensive. If not enough, then I need to try harder!

    2. Yes, I agree though I have only had time to scan and read specific parts. This is purely your territory. At the present time it appears Congress is exerting its power, something I agree with, but they seem to be doing so for the wrong reason, political gain, rather than to take more control and do its job. The executive branch would never have been so powerful if Congress functioned correctly. The Supreme Court wouldn’t have gained so much power either but for continued political rivalry where retention of office in Congress appears more important than governing the nation.

      I think one of the ideas of our federalist system was to prevent so much power from accumulating in Washington. If it continues to do so we will have a dictatorship whether it be by a singular strongman or an oligarchy of elites.

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