This morning I will be testifying at the House Judiciary Committee in the opening hearing into the impeachment of President Donald J. Trump. My testimony is available below.

It has been roughly 20 years since I testified at the same hearing in the impeachment of President William J. Clinton and roughly 10 years since I was lead counsel at the last Senate impeachment trial (with my co-lead counsel Daniel Schwartz).

The hearing will be held at 10:00 am in 1100 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515. It is open to the public.

I have the pleasure of appearing with three esteemed academics:

Noah Feldman, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law and Director, Julis-Rabinowitz Program on Jewish and Israeli Law at Harvard Law School

Pamela S. Karlan, Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Professor of Public Interest Law and Co-Director, Supreme Court Litigation Clinic at Stanford Law School

Michael Gerhardt, Burton Craige Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence at The University of North Carolina School of Law

Here is my testimony:



    The GOP’s lone witness at the table on Wednesday, George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, is a veteran of these hearings. As he noted in his opening statement, he also testified at President Bill Clinton’s impeachment hearings.
    And Turley clearly came prepared. His opening statement numbered 53 pages — significantly longer than the other witnesses’ — and contained extensive, detailed footnotes.

    Perhaps his strongest argument came at the top, when he said that he has very little regard for Trump, even as he doesn’t believe Trump should be impeached.
    Turley warns House Democrats on impeaching Trump

    “First, I am not a supporter of President Trump. I voted against him in 2016 and I have previously voted for Presidents Clinton and Obama,” Turley said in his written statement. “Second, I have been highly critical of President Trump, his policies and his rhetoric, in dozens of columns. Third, I have repeatedly criticized his raising of the investigation of the Hunter Biden matter with the Ukrainian president.”

    Turley even said, contradicting Trump, that Trump’s July 25 call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky “was anything but perfect.” He added in his written statement that Trump’s “reference to the Bidens was highly inappropriate.” He even admitted the House had a legitimate reason to investigate the Ukraine situation. But he said impeachment wasn’t warranted based on current evidence.

    Turley’s advocacy for a president he doesn’t support was a noted contrast to the other three witnesses, all of whom, as the White House quickly noted, had publicly disparaged Trump in the past. Some suggested Democrats should have invited witnesses who didn’t appear so ideologically opposed to Trump.

    Turley argued in his briefer verbal statement that impeachment was not a remedy for political anger, nor was it likely to reduce it.

    Turley did give Democrats some arguments, though, including when he suggested if a Ukraine quid pro quo was directly tied to Trump, it could be impeachable.

    “In fact, non-crimes have been part of past impeachments; it’s just that they’ve never gone up alone or primarily as the basis of impeachment,” Turley said. “That’s the problem here. If you prove a quid pro quo, then you might have an impeachable offense.”

    One argument Turley kept coming back to seemed to be one that Republicans will run with, even though it had some key flaws. He repeatedly suggested that this impeachment process would set a record for speed.

    Edited from: “The Fix: 5 Takeaways From The Judiciary Committee’s First Impeachment Hearing”

    Today’s Washington Post

  2. Breaking News:

    Drudge is reporting Rep Nadler isn’t putting up with any more sh*t!

    Tells aids he’s full of it already!

  3. Mr Turley, thank you for being a supporter of the Constitution, reason and law – and perhaps even more for being a rare voice of intellectual honesty in this nation divided by unreasoning rage.

      1. Peter, you continue to say things that make no sense because you refuse to educate yourself. Turley is center left and is not a Trump fan. The law is supposed to remain the same no matter whose ox is being gored.

        1. Turley testified that the inquiry was unfair to Trump and that he should not be impeached bc principal actors in the crime like Trump, Pompeo, Mulvaney, Bolton, etc. did not testify. Yes, they did not. Why? Bc Trump forbid it. Just like Trump withheld all evidence requests by the Democrats. It takes a special type of Chutzpah or stupidity to accept that obstruction of justice as a defense. Wouldn’t you agree?

          Turley humiliated himself time and again today. He’s a horrible lawyer and a terrible American. But he sure got his face time on TV. An utter disgrace of a man. If you can deign to call him a man.

          1. you totally missed his point. but you didnt really listen did you rychslaks? just came here to heap on some insults for the professor’s wise and good faith remarks

            you discredit the side you espouse

          2. Darrin R, the Democrats were holding a kangaroo court where the Republicans could not provide witnesses. The hearings were initially in secret where the Democrats leaked only what they wanted. The nature of the hearings held by Democrats was similar to the hearings one expects from dictatorial regimes. We have a legal system and as Turley said the Democrats could have gone to the courts to have them adjudicate the dispute which is what Trump had to do when fulfilling his Presidential duties.

            What you are saying is that one side is above the law. That is not what this country is founded upon.

            Though Turley is center left and I am on the other side I respect him because whether I agree with his view of the law he acts the same for all. You obviously do not understand how an advanced constitutional government functions or how our legal system functions so you can keep spouting what you do or you can pick up a book and learn.

  4. To whom do I report the fact that my dog is happily wagging his tail and seems quite happy?

    My understanding is that the happiness of pets is a critical element of the body politic in regards to whether an abuse of power crosses the high crimes and misdemeanors threshold or not and it’s my constitutional duty to report Bailey’s feelings on the current state of affairs.

    Is this one of those things that Hand of the King, Jared, is in charge of?

    1. I’d like to report I seen a K9 cop with an old fashion big ole German Shepard turned loose on a bad guy & the dog was crewing the crap out of him & wagging his tail just like my GS’s when their happy.

      I’m sensing the K9 GS was saying come on man fight back more you puzzy I’m lovin my job. lol:)

  5. I don’t know about you folks, but I love Better Call Saul…

    I’m looking forward to 2040, when it gets reimaged as Time to Talk to Turley.

    Ashton Kutcher should be ready to transition into his veteran actor phase by then, doncha think?

  6. You are a republican hack. At the impeachment hearing, you say there is not enough evidence to impeachment, ignoring that Trump has obstructed the ability to get that evidence. Where did you get your law degree: a Wheaties box ?

    1. Anonymous the Stupid you obviously didn’t listen to what Turley said. Go to the Internet and educate yourself.

        1. To Anonymous the Stupid. There may be more than one anonymous but that is the alias you chose. Your comment demonstrated a lack of intellect. That, in its best form, is what we see from Anonymous the Stupid so if you are unhappy with the designation pick a name with a stable picture attached so one can recognize who you are. That will leave Anonymous the Stupid all alone.

    2. you didn’t get his point. but you didn’t really listen, did you.

      Congress has a right to demand information but their right to receive it is not supreme above all other branches.

      POTUS has a right to make claims of executive privilege —- maybe right or wrong– and then the third branch the judiciary has a role in mediating those claims via due process. and possibly rejecting his claims, and compelling the witnesses and documents etc. but the Democrats are in a hurry and so they have answered the alleged abuse of power with an abuse of power of their own.

    3. If you would have done some home work, you would know where he received his law degree. What he is saying is the House of Representatives need to compel the witnesses to testify. They can do that by going to court. The court can approve or reject the request. If the court approves the request for witnesses and the witnesses do not should up, then the House can impeach. This process is applies to witnesses as well as requested material. As president, Trump has the right to deny witnesses and material while he is under impeachment or not. This is why we have three branches of government. Two branches over rules one. Currently, we do not have 2 over 1. The House is saying it has more power than the president and the president should comply. This has never been done before. If the house has more power than one branch of the government then why would we need the other two. The Democrats are saying they have the sole power to impeach the President. This is true, but they need to follow the correct process. In the Democrat’s eyes, if President is under an impeachment, the House of Representative can request information or witnesses and if it is not given, then they can impeach. If that is true whenever the House wants information, they will place a President in the impeachment box to always get the information. That is why this does not make sense. It does not matter which side you are on, the process is flawed.

  7. Professor Turley, I felt compelled to comment even though I seldom involve myself in reaction to most of political discourse. It was clear today that YOU were an advocate for the Constitution and its’ Principles. Sadly, I cannot say the same for the other panel members. Any past and current students of yours have clearly received an honest and true education in Constitutional Law. I fear that many students have not been so blessed.

  8. 1998 Turley argued that President Clinton should be impeached because he had “deprived himself of the perceived legitimacy to govern” with his conduct. Thus it seems oral sex triggers impeachment but abuses of power involving national security don’t. OK….totally non-partisan.

  9. I ran across this on the internet…. but alas, I cannot find who authored it.

    Can anyone help?

    “While there’s a high bar for what constitutes grounds for impeachment, an offense does not have to be indictable. Serious misconduct or a violation of public trust is enough. Madison saw impeachment as “defending the community against the incapacity, negligence or perfidy of the chief magistrate.” And the founders emphasized that impeachments were about what happened in the political arena: involving “political crimes and misdemeanors” and resulting in “political punishments.”

  10. Darren:

    Let’s put you on that dais after today’s testimony. Would you vote to impeach if you were a Dim in a vulnerable distinct? And that was the lead stuff which is presumably your best stuff.

    1. That poses a conundrum.

      Would I vote to impeach? The answer is no but the question is constrained by the status of being a democrat in a vulnerable district. It becomes a cart before the horse case.

      Would I be in a rational frame of mind if somehow I chose to become a democrat politician? I would propose the answer would be a definite NO given my opposition to what the party now stands for. So by extension would I make a rational decision on whether to continue this charade with the hearings? That certainly cannot be guaranteed, and probably more likely another bad decision would follow in voting to impeach. It usually follows that while good minds tend to make rational decisions, irrational minds tend to make bad decisions.

  11. Dear Jonathan,

    I almost felt intimate with your intellectual processes today, so much so that you demonstrated the courage to be vulnerable in a manner modernity would qualify you as a loser…I sent you a Tweet earlier around noon…on Dogs and Men…GoldenDoodles and Old English Sheepdogs…. There is nothing so beautiful than the purity of a legal mind when it is pure…no danger to the corrupted intentions as big than independence of thinking when it is sincere…in the earlier morning part of your testimony today, you expressed so much independence, that your commentaries sometimes favored the President against the Democrats…and sometimes vice-versa…But then came the afternoon moment…the less “glorious” interaction with House Representative Ken Buck from Colorado….And from a “populist” perspective…you might have been shredded to pieces…but not at all…in fact your vulnerability simply underlined your true commitment to being an ethical, devoted legal mind…no matter the consequences…your vulnerabilty only betrayed your masculinity in you commitment to preserve intellectual and cerebral integrity. Your sons should be proud of you today. Representative Buck of Colorado was faithful to his duties as “defense attorney” and you were faithful to the difficult task of being a man integral to the purity of intellectual legal thought…it might have felt a less glorious moment than the earlier day…but I would like to claim it was an Ode to the Quality of Masculinity…no matter how it may bruise feminism…I sure hope your GlodenDoodle is proud of you tonight.

  12. You have disgraced yourself with your testimony and appear once more to be shamelessly positioning yourself as a candidate for the next Supreme Court vacancy.

        1. YN ON:

          “Get real just once.”

          You don’t actually think the best lawyers are on the bench do you? Those robed souls fall into two categories: rich ones who want the power or medicocre ones who can’t put up with the hassles of private practice. In both cases, they are politically connected or have rabbis who are. They know enough law to sound proficient and spend their time covering their arses to keep their jobs. The great lawyers are sunning themselves on some river, cape or island, letting their associates do the work and keeping big clients or referring lawyers happy.

          Boy, do you have a lot to learn about the legal profession.

          1. A little professional jealousy seeping out of your demented mind. As for your take on the justices, it seems to describe the rethuglican appointments to a T.

      1. i also suspect…. He wouldnt want the hassle. Just earlier today people were manufacturing wicked defamations of the good professor here out of thin air. imagine if he actually tried to extend his public service into an article iii judgeship.

        keep him in academia where he’s doing great work, i say, one of the few!

    1. “You have disgraced yourself with your testimony and appear once more to be shamelessly positioning yourself as a candidate for the next Supreme Court vacancy.”

      Peter, this demonstrates how little you know about the positions of the people involved.

  13. What a liar you are Mr. Turley. Take your republican head out of you butt…learn how to tell the truth! Incompetant as you are. Stay off tv you suck.

  14. Dear Jonathan,

    I almost felt intimate with your intellectual processes today, so much so that you demostrated the courage to be vulnerable in a manner modernity would qualify you as a loser…I sent you a Tweet earlier around noon…on Dogs and Men…GoldenDoodles and Old English Sheepdogs….There is nothing so beautiful than the purity of a legal mind when it is pure…no danger to the corrupted intentions as big than independence of thinking when it is sincere…in the earlier morning part of your testimony today, you expressed so much independence, that your commentaries sometimes favored the President against the Democrats…and sometimes vice-versa…But then came the afternoon moment…the less glorious interaction with House Representative Ken Buck from Colorado….and from a “populist” perspective…you might have been shredded to pieces…but not at all…in fact your vulnerability simply underlined your true commitment to being an ethical, devoted legal mind…no matter the consequences…you vulnerlabilty only betrayed your masculinity in you commitment to preserve intellectual and cerebral integrity. Your sons should proud of you. Repo Buck of Colorado was faithfull to his duties as “defense attorney” and you were faithful to the difficulttask of being a man integral to the purity of intellectual legal thought…it might have felt a less glorious moment than the earlier day…but I would likew to claim it was an ode to the quality of Masculinity…no matter how it may bruise feinism…I sure hope your GlodenDoodle is proud of you tonight.

  15. Professor-despite your stellar legal background, you find yourself firmly ensconced alongside the mean-spirited, disingenuous Republicans. You are defending the indefensible, the liars, the cheats and those that are tearing this country apart. Shame on you.

    1. Anonymous – considering the Independents are swinging to the Republicans and the Republicans are not wavering, I would say the Democrats are losing this one.

      1. The difference between Turley’s comments and those of the others is that the others referred directly to the Constitution to support their positions. They covered process, reasons for impeachment, and repercussions if Trump is allowed to continue acting above the law. Turley, selectively focused on process. He stated he did not agree that there were enough grounds for impeachment but only that, no backup. Turley is a legal technician who took one stance and built his presence around that. That’s not much better than the average courtroom brawler. That’s why Camila Harris couldn’t make it. One trick pony. The interesting thing about the law is that a good technician can successfully argue black is white and vise versa. Turley is a good reference point for one facet of a multifaceted condition. His weakness illustrates the weakness of the Republican argument. But, the Senate will bury it and Trump will maintain that he was innocent and can do anything he wants. There is the law and then there is this festering carbuncle Trump. What an achievement if the law could save American and the world from this sore.

        1. “They covered process, reasons for impeachment, and repercussions if Trump is allowed to continue acting above the law. Turley, selectively focused on process.”
          Er … Ivan … the law is process. You know like Due Process. All the rest you heard from the other three “academics” was opinion from partisans whose opinions don’t matter.

          “Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace;
          When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive.”
          ~Proverbs 17:28 (KJV)

  16. Prof Karlan’s remarks about Barron said it all to me…a snarky and presumptuous remark unbecoming a law professor.

  17. In reading the Twitter comments pertaining to this article, and the vitriol and viciousness of the tone, it shows how today’s American politicians are the disease vector for much of the metastatic anger in society.

    Of all that is unworthy of people upending their lives and well being over, politics is one of the least noble or necessary.

    But as long as politicians have people who are angered and motivated to do their bidding, they can receive relevance and support. The truth of the matter is closer to the idea that they are actually unnecessary for people to lead fruitful lives, for society to advance itself both socially and technologically, and simply put for the world to go around. In fact we would be better off without them, considering the cost/benefit and damage they ultimately do.

    People should stop looking to politicians to provide for their wants and desires. You are better off doing it yourself or encouraging others to participate in your goal or business. At least in that cause you have the ability to control your destiny to a more secure degree. Unless you have sufficient money or influence to bribe a politician directly (I mean give them a campaign contribution of a high amount of money) you’re just a flea on the dog to them. Take charge and responsibility for your own life. Don’t let them control you.

    1. Disagree. Politicians aren’t inducing people to utter malicious drivel (though I assume David Brock like entities are behind many Twitter accounts). This is what they wish to do.

      And, we cannot do without organs of government and elected officials to run them. We need better elected officials. And, for that, we need a better culture.

      1. It’s too easy to buy our government with how it is structured: 1 Rep per 800,000 people is not a system that’s meant to work. It invites corruption and apathy. We need to go back to 1 per 25,000.

        1. Citizens, residents, including illegals estimated or what? The Constitution says persons. That means each must have a way of being identified to weed out the illegal ten million but let’s try it another way using the ipresent system.

          2010 308 million including all categories.

          Number of Representatives at present 435

          Per Representative. 708,000 balanced to account for each states differences. or other divisions are not included. US Census itself has 17 different methods.

          The choice is, approximately factor the birth and death rate so each State has the appropriate percentage

          from 708,000 with the other items factored in

          – to infinite depending on whose counting the ballots.

          and then give full credibility to states like Florida with their gold star program less to states like California who haven’t a clue but have been found to go for the amount which gives them the most federal subsidies.

          let Visa and MC cntract for the job.

    2. Twitter banned Andy Ngo for stating truth that Chelsea Clinton didn’t like recently

      he had to take down the true statements to get reinstated.


      the “frightful five” now dominate speech and commerce via their massive internet oligopoly.

      they suppress speech with editorial control of it and then try and pretend they don’t, because they want section 230 immunity from lawsuits from people damaged by other user’s defamations etc.

    3. Darren, The most upsetting part of Prof. Turley’s testimony was that even the family dog Luna was angry.
      I don’t think he specified what side of the issue(s) Luna was on, and I hope he clarifies this in a future column.

            1. I customized a printout of the chart, Mr. Schulte. At the “Unbridled Rage” extreme on the chart, I immediately wrote ( Natacha) next to it.
              I’ve added few more names after reading some of the comments.

  18. God bless you, Professor Turley. Your speech at the Judiciary Committee hearing on the impeachment was impeccable. I am a Republican who voted for President Trump, but each time I have listened to you speak, I have been educated and instructed in your goodness and forthrightness with your respect for truth. You are a man of honor and integrity and we are very blessed to have gifted people, as yourself, in this Country who respect the integrity of the United States Constitution as the Founders set forth. Thank you for attempting to save the “rules of engagement” for future impeachments, if any.

    1. Carol,

      I like P Turley, but just like today he makes a lot of mistakes. I do to.

      I just don’t have the staff or the energy to go line by line the problems with JT comments today. Some I liked.

      All & all he did far better then the other so called Noble Experts.

      And the comments on the blog here today, I lost track. Let’s see, Those with TDS were calling JT a rapist, a pedo, a MAGAT, a Russian & god knows what else, zero facts, just baseless slander. LOL:)

      What a joke the TDS kids need some new names & tricks to use as they are just boring at this point.

      Wow, Kamala & Nadler all within 24 hours.


  19. Did you really just argue that the House shouldn’t impeach because they have not been able to gather enough evidence?

    Considering the White House is defying congressional subpoenas for documents and many of the people involved are ignoring lawful subpoenas, is it your position then that the House needs to exert its authority to enforce those procedures by attempting to physically drag these people in front of Congress? Because otherwise it seems like you are saying that the president can place themselves above the law by simply ignoring Congressional authority.

    1. F.L. Speaking, I think Turkey’s point was that there is a legal right to challenge subpeonas, and that it is improper to call that “an abuse of power”.
      I think he went farther than that and said that if Congress called a challenge to subpeonas an abuse of power, that would be an abuse of power by Congress.

      1. So it’s a straw man? Nobody is calling it abuse of power. Obstruction and Contempt of Congress are their own impeachable offenses. Abuse of power hinges on whether the investigations Trump asked for were for his personal gain, or on behalf of the national interest. The preponderance of evidence suggests the former, and no credible evidence has been presented to suggest the latter.

        Also, I’m not sure it’s accurate to say that there is a legal right to challenge a Congressional subpoena; or it’s certainly a highly dubious argument. Congress has the sole power of Impeachment, which is a political process, so all Congressional subpoenas regarding the Impeachment process are facially valid under Congress’s Constitutional authority. Considering that exhausting all appeals could take much longer than any reasonable time frame for Congress to exercise its authority, at a certain point they may need to conclude the appeals are being made in bad faith, at which point their options are to exercise their own authority to enforce them, or to take them as evidence of contempt and obstruction.

        1. Frank Lee,
          You might want to review cases where presidents has invoked executive privilege as an objection to subpeonas.
          And how those issues were resolved in court decisions. I think the Nixon tape SCOTUS decision was brought up today, but it’s hardly the only example.
          You may have missed the part where Turley said that the House has had two months to go to court to enforce the subpeonas, rather than fast track a quickie impeachment ( not his words; my version of what he essentially was saying).
          I don’t know how you see the ability to challenge a subpeona as a “straw man argument” when that is an established right.

          1. https://www.rcfp.org/journals/fast-furious-and-executive-pr/
            A more recent case of using Executive Privilege in challenging subpeonas involved the “Fast and Furious” issue.
            I didn’t see 100% of today’s testimony, but it seems likely that this case might have been mentioned.
            I think a number of conflicts like this are resolved with compromise agreements between disputing parties/ branches. But if both sides dig in their heels, the courts will step in and make a decision.

            1. This has been asked and answered. Congress HAS been going through the courts, not for 2 months, but since subpoenas were issued for the Mueller report, and for Trump’s tax records.

              And while these conflicts are typically resolved with a compromise, Trump will not accept any compromise, and has not presented valid legal arguments according to every court decision regarding subpoenas thusfar. Taken together with the urgency of the matter, the Article 1 Branch is within its right to exercise its own authority. See below for the absurdity of the argument that Congress may be charged with abuse of power. It’s not a statutorily legal argument.

              1. …so at the end of the day Turley is not giving a legal opinion here, but his personal opinion that it’s poor form. But then Trump has also demonstrated poor form on any cooperation into oversight or investigations since the Mueller report was launched, so the question becomes at what point do you stop assuming that maybe this time he’ll act in good faith when he has yet to demonstrate any good faith at all?

                1. What Turley pointed out was that the process is an important part of legal proceedings, especially when you’re seeking to throw a president out of office.
                  There have also been multiple complaints from minority members of the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees about various aspects of how this impeachment process is being conducted by the majority.
                  On the political side of this, it doesn’t help that there have been calls for Trump’s impeachment that started before he was even inaugurated. That makes avoidance of a sloppy, haphazard process even more important.

                  1. And the counterargument to that is that Republicans were always going to complain unless they get 100% of what they want, which in this case seems to be that if they can’t shut it down entirely, they want to drag it out as long as possible, which is also bad process and bad for the country.

                2. Frank Lee Speaking – at the end of the day, all attorneys give their personal opinion based on their legal knowledge. Now, Trump cooperated with the Mueller people, more than I would have. However, when the train is barreling down the track there is no reason to throw yourself under it.

                  1. Paul…Trump’s lack of cooperation is what got him in trouble, and why Mueller ended up walking right up to the line of saying he would have indicted Trump for obstruction if Trump wasn’t president without actually saying it because DoJ policy and his own internal ethics prohibited it.

                    If Trump didn’t know about Manafort’s dealings with Kilimnik, then there was really nothing to hide. Remember, Mueller’s investigation started as an investigation into Russia’s attempts to influence our election – which is something that everyone should have supported, especially the President.

                    1. Frank Lee Speaking – remember when Obama decided that Russian interference was not a problem?

                    2. Frank L., presuming facts is easy. Proving them is the hard part.

                      Stop presuming and start listing the facts with the requisit proof.

                  2. ” However, when the train is barreling down the track there is no reason to throw yourself under it.”

                    Paul, just be careful that the Clintons aren’t nearby. They might push you into it.

                    1. Allan – my understanding is that the Clintons are subletting their wet work to MS-13.

              2. Frank Lee,
                You mentioned the subpeonas like the quest for Trump’s tax records. The discussion we were having involves the issue of subpeonas related to a likely impeachment, not a fishing expedition looking to find something in the tax records.
                The 1974 decision mentioned in the Nixon tape recording case was also related to impeachment, and was therefore not put on hold for years in the court system.
                I don’t know of specific statutes ……I think you brought up something about not having “statutorily” guidance in this issue….but assuming there are not specific statutes, precendents and case law will be the elements under consideration if this gets to the Supreme Court.
                And there are some precedents related to the goals of enforcing or contesting a subpeona. A key point made in yesterday’s testimony was that this impeachment effort is procedurally flawed. A “beat the clock” timeline is not an excuse to drop efforts to enforce subpeonas.
                You appear to believe that Congressional subpeonas are automatically enforcable and not subject to challenge, and that is incorrect.

                1. I’m not making a general argument. I’m making a specific one.

                  In previous cases where this Congress has issued subpoenas, Trump has ignored them and claimed executive branch employees and former employees have total blanket immunity/everything is covered by executive privilege. In instances where they have been challenged, the courts have basically said Trump’s defense is ridiculous, that there is no “fishing expedition”, that Congress does not have to justify its subpoenas (at least in the case of tax records, which applies even more to impeachment proceedings considering Congress has “sole power”), that the 4 justifications given are “facially valid”, and that Branch 3 is not generally in the habit of attempting to restrict Branch 1 in its Constitutional powers to legislate or conduct oversight (which, should it, could also be construed an impeachable abuse of power).

                  So, if you take that in context, in conjunction with the fact that the way enforcing these subpoenas is going that Congress should ultimately win but it may take 6 months or more, and the that there is arguably already enough to impeach just on the call summary the WH released alone, the idea the process is flawed holds very little weight, especially with no attempt by the other side to offer a compromise that would satisfactorily expedite the process.

                  1. In instances where they have been challenged, the courts have basically said…

                    Courts don’t basically say things. They say things specifically. In the instances where the executive and the legislative are in dispute, the judicial branch is decider and the supreme court is the final decider. The executive is not abusing power by defying subpoenas from the legislative. That impeachable abuse of power would not exist unless the executive defied a decision by SCOTUS.

                    1. I was paraphrasing the decisions that have been handed down. And once again, that can be framed as obstruction and contempt rather than abuse of power, which can also be impeachable, and Congress doesn’t need any court to decide that – that decision is solely up to Congress, as related to the context.

                      For example, say a corrupt judiciary sides with a corrupt executive and hands down a dubious legal opinion claiming the executive does not have to obey Congressional subpoenas. That wouldn’t make defying subpoenas less of an impeachable offence or abuse of power; it would simply mean members of the judiciary have now also engaged in impeachable offenses.

                    2. And the legislative branch can impeach members of the judiciary. What is the legal remedy when the legislative branch is corrupt? Let’s say the executive is abusing the power of his office and the legislative branch decides they will give him a standing ovation for taking their article 1 powers away; hypothetically speaking of course. What’s the remedy for that?

                    3. …The final authority rests with the people, Olly, and since it is not reasonable to expect the Article 1 branch to impeach itself en masse, the only remedy left there is for the people to vote in a new Congress that will stand up to a tyrant and reassert itself. I assume this is why sole power of Impeachment was given to the House – they most closely reflect the people, and must all face elections every 2 years. Barring that, you’d hopefully have a revolution on your hands, or might anyway.

                  2. If those in Congress who are advocating impeachment are serious about making a strong case, they’ll need more than second- hand I formation of “presumptions”.
                    Unless impeaching presidents as a political ploy becomes new norm, there are certain procedures that should be followed, certain hurdles to clear.
                    Impeachment can be done quick or it can be done right. If the House majority feels that the testimony and documents of McGahn, Bolton, Pompeo, etc.are vital, they can press their case in court.
                    At one stage of the Mueller investigation , the Trump Administration said it had turned over 1,500,000 pages of documents. From Trump’s perspective, I think that experience made him more inclined to fight tooth and nail against more “Subpeona Cannons” ( that tactic was mentioned as the Democrats gained control of the House, long before the Ukraine issue came out.
                    I’m not sure if you feel that the subpeona power of Congress is absolute and that immediate compliance is mandatory, but a president does have the right to challenge subpeonas.
                    This looks like there will be Articles of Impeachment drawn up, and that they’ll be DOA in the Senate. I think the Democrats have a flimsy, and the Senate might reject even a strong case.
                    But again, if the Democrats are actually serious about making the strongest possible case, they can’t have it both ways; they can’t complain about the White House “obstructing” and depriving them of evidence if they won’t even fight in the courts to get evidence they say is vital.
                    I don’t think that any president would go out of his way to cooperate with an effort to impeach and remove him, and any Congress dealing with any president can expect barriers to achieve their goal.
                    It’s been point out that the impeachment process was not intended to be quick or easy.
                    It’s not realistic for a president to play ball with bitter political enemies out to destroy him. There’ll be charges of “obstruction”, etc. and anger that a president isn’t voluntary delivering whatever Congress demands, but the reality is that when the House acts to impeach a president there’ll be a heck of a fight.

                    1. So let’s take this backwards. Trump may have some bitter political enemies out to destroy him, but I’m not under the impression that applies to most of the house, and especially not the leadership. In fact, the evidence seems to point more toward Democratic leadership reluctantly engaging in the impeachment process, while Trump has for many decades played the victim and painted anyone who has been critical of him as an enemy who is out to destroy him.

                      The main point about subpoenas, considering everything in context, especially the legal arguments being made to avoid handing over documents or having people testify, is that there appears to be no good faith effort or even valid arguments being made on the part of the executive – so the question from the other side is should Congress simply allow the President to manipulate and abuse the legal process for challenging subpoenas in an effort to delay Impeachment and possibly create fatigue and weaken public sentiment?

                      Really, Republicans should not want this either, because if the Senate does convict him, or a chunk of Republicans break off and he is significantly weakened, they should want time to consider another nominee. But, they appear to have pronounced him innocent before any investigation even started.

                      And is far as the evidence is concerned, it’s mostly the Republicans saying more evidence is vital, while blocking attempts to get it, so if Democrats are trying to have their cake and eat it, the Republicans certainly are too.It is possible we could find out more from the people who haven’t testified, but the facts aren’t in dispute, and the Democrats by and large think the facts already in evidence are enough to warrant Impeachment.

                      What is in dispute is whether Trump was acting in his personal interest, or is an incompetent, disengaged conspiracy theorist who actually thought he was acting in the national interest (those are the 2 options, because there’s also no real disagreement among experts that his actions hurt our national interest rather than helped it). If his intent was corrupt, that is definitely impeachable.The second is a much weaker case, but raises a whole other host of issues.

      2. Really, the whole “that would be an abuse of power” argument doesn’t even make sense. The executive would be charging every member of the minority abused power in a complaint to…the judiciary? Under what statute exactly? Abuse of power isn’t a criminal complaint, so that case can only be made in congress. So you’d be suggesting the majority in congress impeach itself? That’s rather absurd.

        1. It’s not absurd that if a subpeona is challenged, that courts are the ones to resolve it.
          I think it was mentioned that there are three branches of government today, although that might have been news to Frank Lee.
          The Democrats pressing the impeachment issue have a choice; go to court to enforce the subpeonas, or skip that to save time and speed through the impeachment process.
          Again, they could have been done that two months ago, as Turley noted.

            1. Hypothetically, let’s say that a case involving a disputed subpeona is resolved by SCOTUS. One side will win and one will lose; e.g., the Court may order compliance with the subpeona, or agree that the subpeonas are not enforcable due to a claim of Executive Privilege of some other reason.
              You don’t need a specific statute to determine the outcome of this kind of a case. In two well- known cases, Nixon (tapes/impeachment) and Obama ( Fast and Furious stonewalling) the attempts to quash the subpeonas were unsuccessful.
              My interpretation of the Turley statement about an abuse of power…..and I’d need to review the record to be sure I’m not misquoting him…..is that this impeachment process is being badly mishandled. You don’t need a statute to agree or disagree with that viewpoint.

              1. While we’re hung up on statutes, where is the statute that prohibits a president from asking for an investigation of a potential political rival?
                Not everything is determined by existing and specific statutes.

                1. Nothing prohibits it, but it’s an abuse of power, which is an impeachable offense.

                  Turley tried to flip that “abuse of power” back on the Congress for not letting the judicial process exhaust itself. But now he’s not talking about abuse of power in the Constitutional sense, he’s talking about it in a broad, abstract sense…he tried to pull a bait and switch.

                  1. Frank Lee, I wrote a response that did not post but just disappeared. I won’t bother retyping it now, but I’ll try to get back to this exchange later.

                    1. Nobody said it was, at least under normal circumstances.

                      What Turley said was, “”If you make a high crime and misdemeanor out of going to the courts, it is an abuse of power. It’s your abuse of power.”

                      What I am saying is that when we talk about abuse of power vis a vis leveraging official state actions for personal gain, that is a high crime and misdemeanor, and an Impeachable offense, while the abuse of power Turley is referring to cannot be considered the same, so he’s not making a legal argument, he’s using the term abuse of power colloquially. It’s a neat trick, but that’s all it is.

                      Beyond that, “going to the courts” is also a misrepresentation, or at least fails to consider context. If the legal process of challenging subpoenas is being used delay and manipulate the impeachment process, then it is not an abuse of power to make a high crime and misdemeanor out of going to the courts.

                    1. Frank:

                      “lmao your rebuttal is “we investigated ourselves and found we did nothing wrong”? bwahahaha!!!!”
                      The OLC is in the DOJ not the WH. They said it and they have to do the charging referral. Keep laughing and I will too when you concede you have no countervailing opinion from any source but your own tuchus.

                      Are you a lawyer or do you just pretend to be, cause its a bad act.

                    2. DoJ is the executive branch. They rarely if ever reach conclusions that are not favorable to the executive. Especially in a case like this where they were trying to justify something that had already happened.

                      This is even slipperier than the memo justifying enhanced interrogation. Announcements of the investigations were obviously a thing of value. They help create the perception Biden and the DNC are corrupt, which helps galvanize Trump’s base and move people who are undecided toward Trump or convinces them to not vote at all, all of which boosts Trump’s chances in 2020.

                    3. Frank:

                      Okay, you’ve answered both questions, Frank. You’ve got no countervailing opinion from any credible source and you’re no lawyer.

                    4. lol, I’m not going to dig up case law for you, but attacking my credentials is a good indicator you don’t have an argument. FEC has repeatedly stated and courts have affirmed that nonmonetary contributions such as opposition research constitute “a thing of value” and are therefore subject to that statute. An announcement of an investigation for the purposes of weakening your political opponents falls into the same category.

                      You can argue that isn’t what Trump did, but there is at least a case to be made that it is, and the person above was asking a general question about the statute anyway, not specifically about Trump’s case.

                      Of course 52 USC 30121 applies to solicitation of foreign officials, so if you wanted to try and correct me, that would have been your angle. If we were talking about a domestic inquiry, it’s less clear, but I’d start by looking at the Hatch Act.

            2. I assume that Frank Lee disagrees with at least one of the articles of impeachment, “abuse of power”.
              Since Frank asks “under which statute” and says “there isn’t any”, he should have the same “where’s the statute”question when “abuse of power” is grounds for impeachment.

    2. “Considering the White House is defying congressional subpoenas for documents and many of the people involved are ignoring lawful subpoenas, is it your position then that the House needs to exert its authority to enforce those procedures by attempting to physically drag these people in front of Congress?Because otherwise it seems like you are saying that the president can place themselves above the law by simply ignoring Congressional authority.”

      Er … Frank … challenging subpoenas in court IS the Rule of Law. “Co-equal branches,” Frank. Just quietly take it back and tiptoe away.

      1. “Sole power of Impeachment” is also the rule of law, so is Congress’ inherent contempt power.

        The context is important here, and the adage justice delayed is justice denied applies. One of the main reasons behind this impeachment is to protect the integrity of our elections, and delaying it until after the next election or even a few months before does not do that. Nor is inserting another branch into the process over which the House has sole power somehow due process, which applies to legal jeopardy, not political jeopardy anyway.

        Which was the point; Turley’s argument was paradoxical on multiple levels and ultimately not a very good one. He was complaining that Congress had not fully investigated without acknowledging the reason Congress has not fully investigated is because the executive is engaging in an unprecedented level of stonewalling.

        The President cannot claim he did nothing wrong while simultaneously instructing precisely 0 cooperation with Congressional oversight and investigation, then expect to abuse the legal process to delay Congress’ Constitutional powers and responsibilities. He is attempting to manipulate the process to his maximum advantage, and then claiming the process isn’t fair when the co-equal branch of government vested with the sole power of impeachment decides to not let him do that.

        1. Frank,
          In our constitutional system, does the President have the right to not comply with subpoenas from the Legislative branch? If so, what are the legal remedies available? I believe one is to lay out the case for impeachment with whatever evidence they have available. The other is to go through the Judicial branch to get a final decision from SCOTUS for the Executive to comply with the subpoenas. Do I have that correct?

            1. “Yes, but there is a third option..”the long dormant inherent contempt power permits Congress to rely on its own constitutional authority to detain and imprison a contemnor”
              Dream on, Frank. How many divisions does the Congress have?

            1. yeah can you see Pelosi marching up to the White House with a pair of shackles and demanding Trump surrender himself as a “contemnor?”

              We may yet get to see what a real “constitutional crisis” really looks like. Make ready.

              1. Like I said…highly impractical and undesirable, which is why it is never used anymore. But, if it were to be used, you would see it used on people like Don McGahn, John Bolton and Rudy Giuliani, not the president.

                1. “But, if it were to be used, you would see it used on people like Don McGahn, John Bolton and Rudy Giuliani, not the president.”
                  They’d be out before the last tumbler clicked.

                    1. Unless you’re suggesting someone would send in mercenaries, congress would have the power to decide what if any bail there would be.
                      No, Frank, Congress doesn’t do bail and we have something called a writ of habeas corpus that Congress has to honor under pain of contempt of court. So unless the Sgt at Arms wants to go all Joan of Arc on us, they’re out. Again, are you a lawyer ?

                    2. Yikes mespo. Habeas corpus does not apply to the inherent power of compulsion of Congress, and neither does contempt of court, as these are not judicial proceedings, and the compelled is not being criminally accused, nor being put on trial.

                      Congress has in fact issued bail in cases where it has exercised its inherent compulsory power. I’m guessing you didn’t studied these cases in law school. I doubt most lawyers do. Stick to personal injury law.


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