“Agitated Passions”: A Response To Chairman Nadler Et Al.

In the wake of yesterday’s hearing, my office and home have been inundated with threats from people irate over the fact that I would question the sufficiency of this record for impeachment. There has also been a couple of facially false narratives that have been aired and are being widely disseminated without any apparent fact checking or analysis. I have addressed one historical point separately. In recognition of Sen. Pat Moynihan’s view that “everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts,” I have published a column on these attacks: Hill Column

It is an ironic moment. President Donald Trump wants a fast impeachment. I do not blame him. He knows, and I believe the Democratic leadership know, that this will easily collapse. I encouraged that the case be strengthened to address deficiencies.

I do have an opinion and offered an extensive analysis to support it. That is my opinion with which many can honest disagree. However, these attacks are more evidence of the “passions” that have out-stripped the proof in this controversy. Hence, the column today.

Just for the record, here is my actual testimony:

199 thoughts on ““Agitated Passions”: A Response To Chairman Nadler Et Al.”

    1. ” Al zheimer says:
      December 5, 2019 at 6:28 PM

      Jonathan Turley should be our atty general. ”

      Hell No!

      I should be AG!

      Obama/Hillary/the Bushes/etc…/etc….they’d all be in GetMo , in cuffs & orange jumpsuits,under the NDAA,( enemy combatants..they don’t get a Lawyer Lindsay Graham), etc. & as bad as I hate Turley’s buddy, John Yoo & his Tortured Memo he maybe called upon.

      Come on Turley has failed to clean it up so far because most likely fear…. you’ve got a chicken coop or a cattle feed lot , wither you like it or not every once in a while you have to stop, put your big boy boots on & clean out the sshit that’s built up over time.

      Turley won’t/can’t & it’s looking more like Trump is even puzzin out on cleaning out the Augean Stables … IE: Welcome to Civil War, like it or not. Yea, that’ll suck, enjoy the entertainment.

      Regarless it looks as if things will blow beyond our control.

      BTW: I’m looking for a story from last week or so, Lisa Page, aka her comments about her rank at the DOJ.

      Post if you find it, I’ll fill in the blanks if I don’t find it 1st. TIA.

      1. What Trump should have done on his 1st day was 1st send in the Marines/Army & dumped all the govt documents. Almost 100%

        Once the people know they’ll take it from here,… still today.

      2. I’m glad I seen this post I made last night again.

        I was thinking about it & a couple other posts seemed to me today a bit over bearing, but this one also has at least part of the correct aim.

        What was it, 4, 5 or so years back Hillary Clinton received a “subpoena” for info & what happens, she & her people deletes & destroys all the info they could, bleach bit the computer/s & smash the I phones with hammer, have the FBI/DOJ/AG/Courts aid/abet in covering up her/their crimes & hand out immunity like candy to kids at Christmas……..

        4 or 5 Ph’in years & not a Damn One of them has even been charged let alone thrown into prison!

        What Govt, What Justice System? I don’t see one.

        And what, I’m supposed to be the odd one by being enraged at the crap they are attacking us citizens with this TDS impeachment, & their try to destroy the economy, the nation & start a civil war that they are way past the middle part of their plan.


        1. The reason why there were no charges is that they did nothing wrong. If you wanted to YOU could look up procedures that are used to secure communications equipment but you won’t. It you looked it up it would go against the persecution complex today’s conservatives have. Over and over again the right wing media tries to tie you guts up in knots by taking one grain of reality (old phones must be physically destroyed) and turning it in to something nefarious. Want to know why they do that? Because they know there is no way people like you are going to look it up for themselves. As long as you’re pissed off at Democrats you won’t have time to see how Republicans are letting corporations run over your ass.

          1. Mark,

            1st of all if you’ve noticed many of my post call out All Anti-USA Trash, Dims & Rinos etc.

            Many of them, including the Clintons, Sen McConnell/Wife should already be in prison for selling out USA interest to the Commie Chinese.

            And I know it’s narrative you’re interested in not facts.

            Just keep pounding the table.

            Regardless there has to be a deal of some sort, not the clerks, but Top Heads have to Roll here in the Fed Govt.

            Just like after WW2, these govts didn’t want to kill every German at the Nuremberg Trials, as was the case then the judges/govts knew a bunch of the Top Heads had to pay the bill.

            Who will it be you people drive under President Trump’s feet to pay your tap?

  1. Professor Turley,
    I pray you read the comments on this post of yours not as a eulogy of your public life, but rather as an exhortation to stay the course. Your principled testimony yesterday will be as enduring as anything in the historical records. I assure you that despite the threats, you have gained supporters that will stand with you as we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

    1. It was refreshing to hear a Democrat speak truth and not lies about Trump. Maybe you should consider #walkaway. You seem to have more morals and logic than the Demons out there.

      1. Thanks Barbara. I registered Independent several years ago after being a lifelong Republican. I’m not walking away from that decision.

  2. Professor Turley,

    I was so impressed with your thoughtful, non-biased, and non-passionate testimony yesterday. It is my opinion that this country is currently embroiled in a non-shooting(as yet!) civil war, and the conflict is being fueled by self-indulgent democrat leaders who care not about what is good for the country. It is important that someone like yourself can present the facts in a cool, calm, non-biased manner, but it appears that few of the democrat politicians will listen to your voice of reason. The country is heading down an unknown path that can only be harmful to the republic. I fear we are on a runaway train and I thank you for attempting to bring the train to a halt.

  3. It’s a shame, no matter how unfortunately predictable, that Professor Turley has to go through Trump treatment by the press and the Dems simply for presenting a countervailing point of view to the desired narrative.

    I thought his testimony was fair and balanced, well-constructed and considered, thoughtful and insightful. Moreover, he was consistently respectful and collegial in addressing the differences between his views and the others—certainly an example that is instructive in these times. His conduct, presentation and opinion are deserving of respect regardless of whether or not you agree with his conclusions. As we’re talking about a possible impeachment and the overturning of the electoral will of the people, it seems to me that a fair and open-minded people should welcome and be desirous of differing viewpoints but, then again, perhaps these are not fair and open-minded times.

    In the end, I can’t help but wonder, if you put the shoe on the other foot, why this treatment by the press and Dems of Turley doesn’t constitute obstruction of justice and witness tampering. After all, who’s going to want to testify from a pro-Trump position when they know what’s in store for them? Isn’t that the argument so reflexively and breathlessly posited?

    Naturally, that must be a conspiracy theory if only because one-way streets are intentionally designed to be one-way streets.

    My thoughts on the impeachment below:

    The Dems are conducting an impeachment inquiry hoping to impart enough correct angle to the two currently parallel lines of law and fact regarding impeachment so that they hopefully intersect sometime soon. Unfortunately for them, they are nowhere close to that aim.

    On law, it’s a matter of interpretation as to what constitutes an impeachable offense—Section 4, Article Two: treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors. This is hardly a matter of settled law. On one hand, an argument can be made that all impeachable offenses must have a criminal underpinning of a sufficiently serious nature. On the other hand, some have argued that an impeachable offense should simply be whatever Congress says it is. It seems clear that this latter definition is precisely what the Founders did not intend but it could also be argued that this is what happens when the Constitution meets a politician at cross-purposes.

    I digress but what is clear is that, while the pathway is murky, the country could benefit from SCOTUS defining exactly what constitutes an impeachable offense because, as of now, we have an impeachment inquiry spawned by a whistleblower with every indicia of partisan bias filing a more than likely statutorily and constitutionally deficient complaint as a basis for impeachment. This raises the additional issue of what constitutes a sufficient predicate for the House to initiate an impeachment inquiry. If Article I oversight authority is a sufficient predicate in and of itself, then it can be credibly argued that we no longer have de facto co-equal branches of government.

    Circling back to the Dem impeachable offense argument, it eschews the formal Sec 4, Art 2 trifecta but settles on bribery and “abuse of power” in the category of other high crimes and misdemeanors for all the impeachment marbles. Les jeux sont fait.

    Regarding other high crimes and misdemeanors, the word “other” is the most overlooked in the construct in my view. The word “other” requires a linkage or commonality between the catch-all category and the two standards of treason and bribery. In this case, it posits the requirement that high crimes and misdemeanors must be at least of the same or similar level of seriousness; otherwise the Founders would have simply left out the word as it serves no other function. In the Clinton impeachment, for example, it can be argued that there was a clear criminal violation but as it did not rise to the same level of seriousness as treason or bribery and therefore, it can’t be considered an impeachable offense.

    By not acknowledging the lineage between the other terms and advancing a stand-alone, even more amorphous standard such as “abuse of power”, the door is open to boundless (and endlessly biased) interpretation and inferences and, even more deleterious, an open invitation to hyper partisan abuse. Let’s consider some of the “abuses of power” being contemplated:

    – Corrupting the electoral process
    – Betraying the national interestby contravening
    – Subverting US foreign policy by contravening interagency policy (my personal favorite…isn’t there that thing called Article Two?…oh that’s right, that only applies when the President and the majority are of the same partisan stripe)

    This dire-sounding list could go on and the possibilities are endless but the point remains: there are no delineating or limiting principles in sight. That’s why these statements are not backed up by any direct evidence—inference rules the day and wouldn’t it be the strangest coincidence if the inference in play was directly correlated with a given partisan outlook? As a consequence, the majority party can simply read into “abuse of power” anything they want and, in the end, seek to overturn the results of an election via impeachment if they so desire. Is this really the path we want to go down and the precedent we want to set? If so, we may want to reconsider our standing as a democracy.

    Let’s look at the bribery allegation. Essentially bribery can be viewed technically as a quid pro quo that has occurred with corrupt intent and outcome. From an evidentiary standpoint, the Dems need to establish that there was a quid pro quo, that there was corrupt intent and that the action actually took place. Naturally, this is a political process so the Dems don’t need to prove anything; however, just because this is being tried in the court of public opinion does not excuse the Dems from presenting a compelling evidentiary case.

    Unlike treason, the Constitution does not define bribery clearly; however, let’s take a look at the argument that bribery is simply use of office in exchange for something of personal value or gain. Let’s look at it logically in the context in question: any discussion by a President with a foreign nation is marked by the potential for financial /political benefit–either definitively or prospectively. In other words, at least a potential quo is always built in. As per the testimony of the diplomats before the Intelligence Committee, a quid, such as aid that is pre-conditioned, is typically a feature of foreign relations. Thus, a quid pro quo in foreign policy relations is hardly unusual. Finally, a sitting President can almost always be inferred (there’s that word again) to have a potential political and personal benefit (or avoidance of detriment) from foreign policy relations. In the end, you have a rubric that allows for the potential impeachment of any sitting President under that argument. Caveat emptor.

    Whether or not the President raising the Bidens in the call is prudent, appropriate or wise is certainly debatable but debatable is a world apart from impeachable. If an American citizen with no apparent qualifications becomes embroiled with one of the most corrupt companies (and a company under a pre-existing investigation) in a country where the US has had a long standing interest and history in rooting out corruption, then it is certainly well within a President’s prerogative and authority to ask that country to look into the situation. Just because the American citizen in question happens to have the last name of Biden does not alter that equation nor should it. Accordingly, the best case scenario for the Dems would be a case of mixed motives. To that end, any direct testimony (not inferences based on hearsay) that indicated that Trump desired or intended a quid pro quo for the purpose of helping his re-election would certainly be compelling and instructive. That is clearly not the case here; in fact, what emerged from testimony is quite the opposite.

    This leads to the facts as it relates to bribery in the Trump impeachment quest. About 95% of the testimony was hearsay (inadmissible in court for very sound reasons but as this is a political process and just impeachment…somehow the standards should be lessened…naturally) and that hearsay was indisputably mixed. Some came to believe or presumed that there was a quid pro quo, some did not and saw nothing wrong with the call.

    If you take out all the personal guesses, presumptions, assumptions, beliefs, speculation, policy and process differences, conjecture, opinions and the like, you are left with about 5% of testimony that could be considered direct and relevant. On this front, there is the call transcript and direct testimony from Sondland that President Trump had no desire or intent for a quid pro quo. This was corroborated separately and independently by Sen. Johnson. In addition, there was testimony that Trump did have a pre-existing interest in dealing with Ukrainian corruption and was circumspect regarding foreign aid in general. Lastly, we have multiple public statements from President Zelensky stating he felt no pressure and that there was no quid pro quo. In short, the strongest and highest level of evidence is decidedly exculpatory.

    At the end of the day, the Dems can’t even factually establish there was a quid pro quo (which, in and of itself, is not illegal in any way—if it were, then Joe Biden might just be the first in the queue), let alone corrupt intent, let alone anything that would remotely meet the legal definition of bribery.

    On this basis and I use that term generously, the Dems want to impeach the President? Really?

    I can only invoke the immortal line from John McEnroe:

    You cannot be serious.

    1. In response to your comment, I will also invoke the not-so-immortal words of John McEnroe “You cannot be serious” To be clear, Professor Turley should NOT be receiving threats of any kind. I would also like to know where you come up with the “95%” number when referring to witness testimony as being “hearsay”. I hope it is from a You are doing nothing more than pushing Russian talking points in regards to Ukrainian involvement. I take Professor Turley’s testimony to be much less biased than your comments.

        1. Correction – MMW list the testimony that was hearsay compared with what was proven to be fact. List the proof of the fact. If you list a comment, and it is found to have been part of that circuitous gossip that was started by false gossip, such as that Dr Hill was found guilty of, then it doesn’t count.

          I included a video which briefly summarizes some testimony that was completely disproven. In fact, Dr Hill began her opening statement with false gossip she’d heard about the Republicans on the committee. She claimed that some of them did not believe that Russia engaged in any efforts to affect the 2016 election. (Of course they did. The Trump false dossier was theirs, paid for by the Democrats to meddle in our election.)

          She was shown the report that was signed by everyone, including Republicans, stating that Russia engaged in active measures in our 2016 election. She got called on the carpet because she broadcast a statement that a simple GOOGLE search would have proven to be untrue.

          She got caught spreading false, malicious gossip. Perhaps she thought it was justified because she was bigoted against Republicans. Then, as it turns out, her testimony also had false gossip that she started herself.

  4. Professor Turley, Thank you for being a voice of reason in these crazy times. The contrast between a scholar and three ideologues wrapped in sheepskins was readily apparent yesterday.

  5. ‘passion’ you depict in your commentary is such a benign word…I propose the word ‘hatred’ to describe the motivation of the activities of the Intel and Judiciary Committees, as well as that of 3 of the academic elitists

  6. Prof Turley,

    Short N sweet, write a couple of articles about the Dim Nut Jobs have now turned their madness towards you/your’s & say screw DC, you still have your Right to Self Defence & the 2 Amendment, (Unlike the Proudboys in NYC)

    Then go arm up. Now maybe you understand one of the real reasons for Right to Self Defence against Nut Jobs?

    BTW, I don’t want to give them any ideas, but I’ve had the Nut Jobs attack here before, don’t screw with around them. I’d trust a venomous snake 1st.

    1. Evanston, home of Northwest University, and the anti-booze prohibition movement.

      Expensive real estate though i often wonder why

      So much for equal protection of laws huh? blatantly wrong form of tax allocation

  7. I wish you could hear our story! We too have received death threats for a very serious issue out of the Pacific Northwest the liberals r trying to bury, child sex trafficking!

    1. Pigman, the Jupiter pizza pedo ring didn’t work try something new. Such a poor sock puppet name, I guess all the Turley platitudes put a strain on your creativity.

  8. I hope Professor Turley is aware of VDH’s evaluation (‘Dream-Team’ Redux https://tinyurl.com/w3dxja9) of his performance:

    “And the three came off like those talking academic heads in documentaries, who sometimes wish to make the most of their 2 minutes of fame by turning up the volume and animation. Turley, in contrast, is a cool veteran of televised news analysis. His op-eds are sober and judicious. And he is a skilled public debater, who knows how to keep calm and analytical. He quickly eviscerated the three with apologetic ease — and deferential smiles. So whose bright idea was it to allow three partisan mediocrities to gang up against Turley, whose rapier thrusts are well known? Americans love underdog odds, but Turley didn’t even break a sweat in leaving gaping holes in almost every argument advanced by the experts and House panel. He may have given the best solo congressional witness performance in modern memory.”

    Consider yourself complemented, Professor.

  9. Hello Professor Turley,

    I admire your courage. I just Googled your name, and your blog is no longer showing up in searches the way it has the entire time I’ve googled your name to get to your blog. I also heard about the e-mail.

    I just wanted to express my support. I am a law student, and the overwhelming hatred of Trump is all too real. It’s almost a litmus test for some: if you don’t absolutely hate every tiny thing about Trump, somehow you are either a racist or a Russian asset. The Democrats feel like they have almost gone mad.

    I admire your courage, and I enjoy reading your blog. You are always a great voice. Right now, I fear many in the legal community are willing to sacrifice principles and reasoned analysis to destroy Trump. I even had one professor who hates Trump so much he didn’t even want to say his name in class.

    1. dear Josh:
      You are a respectful young man blessed with virtue and good principles. I celebrate the fact, you see the light but understand the darkness. Hurry up with your schooling…there will be a spot on the Supreme Court for you

    2. Josh Freedom of Speech is a wonderful thing but when one deals with those that can only tolerate their own speech things almost always get nasty. Turley did a great job in separating his personal opinion from the law. He is a scholar while the other three didn’t sound like law professors of any merit.

    3. Josh, read the 5th Amendment and Article 1, Section 8, and you’ll soon discover that Americans have lost all of their freedoms from the absolute right to private property without any interference by government and the immunity from taxation for individual welfare, as only taxation for “…general Welfare…” is allowed, to regulation severely restricted to ONLY the “value” of “money” and commerce among states, nations and tribes for the purpose of precluding bias and favor by one state, nation or tribe over another state, nation or tribe – you’ll discover that the entire American welfare state is unconstitutional. That is what the communists (i.e. liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats) fear: The loss of the entire American welfare state, oh, and abortion – the right to murder.

    4. Josh,

      It’d be a shame if everywhere that professor turned was something, a MAGA, marked in his bathroom, favorite restaurant bathroom, all legal & lawful areas, bumber stickers, Trump Train 2020, Trump 2024 No More Sshit, Infowars.com.

      What’s the bible say… something… Those that God wishes to punish he 1st…..

      It’s nice to help people.

  10. Your sense of fairness and concern do the Constitution is why I trust your comments. You bring a respect to the discussion of controversial topics.

  11. I expected you would be a hack and you certainly did not disappoint. Doesn’t excuse ppl calling your office and home of course. I did enjoy reading and watching your peers in the legal field mocking your changes of opinion from 2014 to today, as well as your “analysis” of why impeachment is not justified now.

    1. Sad you are so partisan AMD, you can’t distinguish the greater truth from your ideology…..fortunately for the country, I’m pretty sure you’re in the minority….listen and learn …

    2. My Goodness AnneMarie. An educator should be more judicious in her words. Especially one from North Carolina. I thought southern women were supposed to be charming.

    3. Chuckles. I see you are employed in the public schools of Guilford County. They’re not hiring cream.

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