The House Offers More Passion Than Proof In The Push For Impeachment

Below is my column in the Hill newspaper on continuing rise of rage over reason in the consideration of this rush impeachment. Chairman Jerry Nadler has suggested that his committee may simply move directly to articles of impeachment this week. This rocket docket for impeachment is baffling when you have a record that is incomplete and conflicted. With Johnson, Nixon, and Clinton, the records in the House contained widely accepted criminal acts and extensive records. This record is a short as the schedule set by the Democratic leadership.

Here is the column:

The most dangerous place for an academic is often between the House and the impeachment of an American president. I knew that going into the first hearing of the House Judiciary Committee on the impeachment of Donald Trump. After all, Alexander Hamilton that impeachment would often occur in an environment of “agitated passions.” Yet I remained a tad naive in hoping that an academic discussion on the history and standards of it might offer a brief hiatus from hateful rhetoric on both sides.

In my testimony Wednesday, I lamented that, as in the impeachment of President Clinton from 1998 to 1999, there is an intense “rancor and rage” and “stifling intolerance” that blinds people to opposing views. My call for greater civility and dialogue may have been the least successful argument I made to the committee. Before I finished my testimony, my home and office were inundated with threatening messages and demands that I be fired from George Washington University for arguing that, while a case for impeachment can be made, it has not been made on this record.

Some of the most heated attacks came from Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee. Representative Eric Swalwell of California attacked me for defending my client, Judge Thomas Porteous, in the last impeachment trial and noted that I lost that case. Swalwell pointed out that I said Porteous had not been charged with a crime for any conduct, which is an obviously material point for any impeachment defense.

Not all Democrats supported such scorched earth tactics. One senior Democrat on the committee apologized to me afterward for the attack from Swalwell. Yet many others relished seeing my representations of an accused federal judge being used to attack my credibility, even as they claimed to defend the rule of law. Indeed, Rachel Maddow lambasted me on MSNBC for defending the judge, who was accused but never charged with taking bribes, and referring to him as a “moocher” for the allegations that he accepted free lunches and whether such gratuities, which were not barred at the time, would constitute impeachable offenses.

Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank expanded on this theme of attacking my past argument. Despite 52 pages of my detailed testimony, more than twice the length of all the other witnesses combined, on the cases and history of impeachment, he described it as being “primarily emotional and political.” Milbank claimed that I contradicted my testimony in a 2013 hearing when I presented “exactly the opposite case against President Obama” by saying “it would be ‘very dangerous’ to the balance of powers not to hold Obama accountable for assuming powers ‘very similar’ to the ‘right of the king’ to essentially stand above the law.”

But I was not speaking of an impeachment then. It was a discussion of the separation of powers and the need for Congress to fight against unilateral executive actions, the very issue that Democrats raise against Trump. I did not call for Obama to be impeached, but that is par for the course in the echo chamber today in which the facts must conform to the frenzy. It was unsettling to see the embrace of a false narrative that I “contradicted” my testimony from the Clinton impeachment, a false narrative fueled by the concluding remarks of Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler of New York quoting from my 1998 testimony. Notably, neither Swalwell nor Nadler allowed me to respond to those or any other attacks. It was then picked up eagerly by others, despite being a demonstrably false narrative.

In my testimony Wednesday, I stated repeatedly, as I did 21 years ago, that a president can be impeached for noncriminal acts, including abuse of power. I made that point no fewer that a dozen times in analyzing the case against Trump and, from the first day of the Ukraine scandal, I have made that argument both on air and in print. Yet various news publications still excitedly reported that, in an opinion piece I wrote for the Washington Post five years ago, I said, “While there is a high bar for what constitutes grounds for impeachment, an offense does not have to be indictable,” and it could include “serious misconduct or a violation of public trust.”

That is precisely what I have said regarding Trump. You just need to prove abuse of power. My objection is not that you cannot impeach Trump for abuse of power but that this record is comparably thin compared to past impeachments and contains conflicts, contradictions, and gaps including various witnesses not subpoenaed. I suggested that Democrats drop the arbitrary schedule of a vote by the end of December and complete their case and this record before voting on any articles of impeachment. In my view, they have not proven abuse of power in this incomplete record.

However, rather than address the specific concerns I raised over this incomplete record and process, critics have substituted a false attack to suggest that I had contradicted my earlier testimony during the Clinton impeachment. They reported breathlessly that I said in that hearing, “If you decide that certain acts do not rise to impeachable offenses, you will expand the space for executive conduct.” What they left out is that, in my testimony then and again this week, I stressed that the certain act in question was perjury. The issue in the Clinton case was whether perjury was an impeachable offense. Most Democratic members of Congress, including Nadler, maintained back then that perjury did not meet the level of an impeachable offense if the subject was an affair with an intern.

I maintained in the Clinton testimony, and still maintain in my Trump testimony, that perjury on any subject by a sitting president is clearly impeachable. Indeed, as I stated Wednesday, that is the contrast between this inquiry and three prior impeachment controversies. In those earlier inquiries, the commission of criminal acts by Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton were clearly established. With Johnson, the House effectively created a trapdoor crime and he knowingly jumped through it. The problem was that the law, the Tenure of Office Act, was presumptively unconstitutional and the impeachment was narrowly built around that dubious criminal act. With Nixon, there were a host of alleged criminal acts, and dozens of officials would be convicted. With Clinton, there was an act of perjury that even his supporters acknowledged was a felony.

While obviously presented in a false context, the quotation of my Clinton testimony only highlights the glaring contrast of those who opposed the Clinton impeachment but now insist the case is made to impeach Trump. I have maintained that they both could be removed, one for a crime and one for a noncrime. The difference is that the Clinton crime was accepted by Democrats. Indeed, a judge reaffirmed that Clinton committed perjury, a crime for which thousands of other citizens have been jailed. Yet the calls for showing that “no one is above the law” went silent with Clinton.

As I stated Wednesday, I believe the Clinton case is relevant today and my position remains the same. I do not believe a crime has been proven over the Ukraine controversy, though I said such crimes might be proven with a more thorough investigation. Instead, Democrats have argued that they do not actually have to prove the elements of crimes such as bribery and extortion to use those in drafting articles of impeachment. In the Clinton impeachment, the crime was clearly established and widely recognized.

As I said 21 years ago, a president can still be impeached for abuse of power without a crime, and that includes Trump. But that makes it more important to complete and strengthen the record of such an offense, as well as other possible offenses. I remain concerned that we are lowering impeachment standards to fit a paucity of evidence and an abundance of anger. Trump will not be our last president. What we leave in the wake of this scandal will shape our democracy for generations to come. These “agitated passions” will not be a substitute for proof in an impeachment. We currently have too much of the former and too little of the latter.

Jonathan Turley is the chair of public interest law at George Washington University and served as the last lead counsel in a Senate impeachment trial. He testified as a Republican witness in House Judiciary Committee hearing in the Trump impeachment inquiry. Follow him @JonathanTurley.

150 thoughts on “The House Offers More Passion Than Proof In The Push For Impeachment”



    December 25, 2019


    Resolved, That Donald John Trump, President of the United States, is impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors, and that the following article of impeachment be exhibited to the United States Senate:
    Articles of impeachment exhibited by the House of Representatives of the United States of America in the name of itself and of the people of the United States of America, against Donald John Trump, President of the United States of America, in maintenance and support of its impeachment against him for high crimes and misdemeanors.


    Congress Suffers From Inoperable and Terminal Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS).

    Wherefore, Donald John Trump, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial, and removal from office and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.

    Speaker of the United States House of Representatives,

    Nancy Pelosi



  2. Turley says: “My objection is not that you cannot impeach Trump for abuse of power but that this record is comparably thin compared to past impeachments and contains conflicts, contradictions, and gaps including various witnesses not subpoenaed.” Of course, you fail to identify which conflicts, contradictions and gaps you are referring to.

    My question is, Jon, what are Democrats supposed to do when Trump commands all of these witnesses, such as Bolton, Pompeo, et al, not to cooperate, and when he directs agencies not to produce records? Go to Court, get an order, have Trump appeal it, go to the intermediate appellate court, have Trump lose, appeal again, and then wait to see whether the SCOTUS grants certiorari? How long will that take, but more importantly, WHERE IS THE LEGAL AUTHORITY TO REFUSE TO COOPERATE WITH A CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATION IN THE FIRST PLACE.? IF TRUMP HAS NOTHING TO HIDE AND DID NOTHING WRONG, WHY NOT COOPERATE? None of the Republicans has any substantive basis to criticize the Democrats. They don’t defend Trump’s conduct, because there is no defense, so they attack witnesses, they attack the process, and keep rehashing the “no obstruction…no collusion” mantra, as well as: “the Deep State has always been out to get Trump”. Trump was invited to have counsel participate, but he refused.

    The Democrats have enough to impeach. They do not need to exhaust every single possible witness or document to make a prima facie case, and, as you admit, there need not be conduct meeting a criminal statutory standard. For purposes of equity, at the Senate trial, Trump should not be allowed to call any witness he directed not to appear, nor should he be allowed to produce any documents he refused to produce in response to a Congressional subpoena. If he gets away with cheating to win and leveraging U.S. aid to an ally in exchange for help for his campaign, then it’s Katie bar the door for the future, and the U.S. Presidency will be for sale.

    My worry, as an American patriot, is that we don’t know what little schemes Russia has cooked up for 2020. Russia has an ally in the White House that they help put there, and he’s done everything possible to pay them back, including trying to finger Ukraine for Russia’s interference with the 2016 election. I worry, too, why Moscow Mitch McConnell won’t even call the Election Security bill for a vote. Is he in on the fix that’s coming? What else can we conclude as to why he won’t help take steps to prevent cheating in 2020?

    1. natasha:

      “My question is, Jon, what are Democrats supposed to do when Trump commands all of these witnesses, such as Bolton, Pompeo, et al, not to cooperate, and when he directs agencies not to produce records? Go to Court, get an order, have Trump appeal it, go to the intermediate appellate court, have Trump lose, appeal again, and then wait to see whether the SCOTUS grants certiorari? How long will that take, but more importantly, WHERE IS THE LEGAL AUTHORITY TO REFUSE TO COOPERATE WITH A CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATION IN THE FIRST PLACE.? IF TRUMP HAS NOTHING TO HIDE AND DID NOTHING WRONG, WHY NOT COOPERATE?”


      No lawyer would ask this series of questions. You fundamentally misunderstand due process, separation of powers, executive privilege, democracy … just about everything. Sorry.

      1. So, I ask again: WHERE IS THE LEGAL AUTHORITY TO REFUSE TO COOPERATE WITH A CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATION? Cite the statute, Constitutional provision or case law that gives Trump this authority.

        Answer the question. Pivoting to attack me is not an answer, it is a Kellyanne strategy.

        1. He’s pointing out the obvious, which is that you don’t know any law. The President is contesting the subpoenas, which is his right.

        2. Natacha, your questions are perfectly legit. 20 years ago Bill Clinton actually sat for a full deposition regarding his sex life. And throughout that whole impeachment drive, Clinton never publicly said what he thought of Ken Starr or the Republican impeachment sponsors.

          20 years ago Republicans kept referring to “rule of law” regarding the impeachment drive. But this time around, Republicans are actually siding with Vladimir Putin to put out the false narrative that ‘Ukraine was meddling in our election’. Yesterday, on Meet The Press, Ted Cruz aggressively parroted that message in a totally shameless manner with no regards to facts.

          1. “20 years ago Bill Clinton actually sat for a full deposition regarding his sex life.”

            no, Peter, no. Pay attention. Stop engaging in water sports supplied by ClintonNewsNetwork and WahPee. With the bewildering increasing use of fake names Peter, one wonders whether your princess brain is even conducting any electrical currents. That fake tiara aint helping you either

            Clinton sat for a Q n A about how to define the word “is” and the declension of the verb “rape”.


            To Rape

            Infinitive: to rape
            Gerund: raping
            Past participle: raped
            Simple past: raped

            I rape
            you rape
            he/she/it rapes
            we rape
            they rape
            you rape

            I raped
            you raped
            he/she/it raped
            we raped
            they raped
            you raped

            I will rape
            you will rape
            he/she/it will rape
            we will rape
            they will rape
            you will rape

            Conditional Present:
            I would rape
            you would rape
            he/she/it would rape
            we would rape
            they would rape
            you would rape

            Perfect Present:
            I would have raped
            you would have raped
            he/she/it would have raped
            we would have raped
            they would have raped
            you would have raped
            Positive Negative

            (you) rape
            (we) let’s rape
            (you) rape

            1. Trojan, Turley’s appearance last week as an expert witness created an opportunity to draw new commenters to this blog. But one look at ‘your’ comments is going to tell visitors all they need to know about Johnathan Turley’s blog.

              1. One wonders ……nerds……Trumpsters……right wing pinheads

                oh the fun we have in tracking your expansive vocabulary of 25 words

                wait till you get our bill

        3. Natacha:
          Okay “counselor” you want the basis for executive privilege, here’s a case every first year law school student knows:

          Chief Justice Burger, writing for the majority in US v. Nixon noted: “Whatever the nature of the privilege of confidentiality of Presidential communications in the exercise of Art. II powers, the privilege can be said to derive from the supremacy of each branch within its own assigned area of constitutional duties. Certain powers and privileges flow from the nature of enumerated powers; the protection of the confidentiality of Presidential communications has similar constitutional underpinnings. United States v. Nixon, 418 U.S. 683 (1974) (Supreme Court opinion at FindLaw)

    2. natch your remarks are not patriotic they are slanderous of our legitimate leadership

      in fact to the extent that the modest dirty tricks the Russians did play in the last election cycle, people like you have stupidly amplified the likely-intended effects of discrediting our elections as such, by relentlessly pushing the false notion that the election itself was invalid

      so the biggest allies Putin has had in all this are fools like you

      i hate to have to use strong language against you but you’ve consistently ignored this notion and I”m sick of reading your slanderous gargabe against the POTUS as you prattle on and on

      it should be obvious now that the Russian intel strategy was a fork, that is, an attack against both sides, by giving a little bit of “help” to both sides, the small number of FB ads for trump on the one hand, and the phony pee pee dossier disinformation intended to help hillary, on the other hand. Then, regardless of which should win, the loser might be tempted to cry “russian spies ruined the election,” thus to discredit our electoral system as such

      the net effect would be destabilization of America in either consequence.

      if you play chess the concept of a fork is fundamental. i realize the Russians are better at chess than us but maybe you can look that one up on the internet

      1. btw i think they call destabilization operations “active measures” in the Russian intel toolbox.

        the irony of all this is that they concocted one that by sucking in the FBI, amplified the effects of it

        clever, a trick used sometimes by virus designers
        although they probably never expected it to work so well

        in a way it’s like what we call the evidentiary harpoon

        it wounds on the way in, and wounds more if you pull it out

        the meddling created a little bit of harm on the way in,
        and on the way out, the Deep State/ Hillary Team / Dem leadership harmed America even more in the process

      2. How is it slanderous to ask where the hell Trump gets off refusing to cooperate with a Congressional investigation? Where does such authority originate, if it does? There is nothing legitimate about Trump–he cheated to get into the White House. He has no leadership skills. I’m sick of correcting you Trumpsters as to the origins of the Mueller investigation. It was NOT the Steele Dossier. Repeating this lie does not elevate it to the truth. Read the Mueller Report.

        The facebook ads were targeted based on information provided by Trump’s campaign to Russian hackers, directed to key districts they thought they could sway by telling lies about Hillary Clinton. Those are facts. They are the truth. It is cheating, pure and simple, with the help of a foreign government. Polls were correct–Hillary was the choice of most voters. Pollsters did not know what the Russians were up to, BTW, so they didn’t take this into account.

        Fork you, BTW.


      As an American patriot, you should already know the answer is found in the constitution. And also as an American patriot, you should know why the courts are to settle disputes between the executive and legislative branches.

      Try to put on a neutral patriot hat for a moment and consider this: if the executive branch was forced to comply to every legislative branch subpoena or else be impeached, what would prevent the legislative branch from abusing that power?

      1. well Olly i guess you listened to Turley as he made that very point. well said and repeated!

        1. Thanks Kurtz, but actually that’s US Civics 101 knowledge many of us knew before Turley’s testimony. It was great to hear him make that point in his public statement. Claiming Patriot status and respect for our founding fathers must have poll tested very strongly, as they seem to be the latest Democrat talking point.

      2. Olly, the answer is NOT in the Constitution. Trump has issued a blanket order not to cooperate, and that is obstruction of justice. There could be item-by-item objections on the grounds of privilege, confidentiality, etc, but there is no authority for wholesale refusal to cooperate. Obstruction of justice is just one ground for impeachment, but not the main one.

        1. It is in the separation of powers. The attached document describes the process. There is an embedded link that provides a primer as well. Here is that link:

          Disputes between Congress and the president over the scope of executive privilege are better understood as political battles with legal underpinnings—not as matters of pure law. As such, debates over the scope of executive privilege are likely to play out in the context of negotiations between House Democrats and the Trump administration, with each side making political calculations about what fights are worth having, when it makes sense to fight and when it makes sense to cooperate.

          In the long run, that’s probably a good thing—shifting resolution of interbranch privilege disputes to the courts undermines Congress’s ability to maintain its place as a coequal branch in the constitutional scheme. In the short term, however, the reality is that those eager for House Democrats to obtain information relevant to their oversight efforts in an orderly, timely and clear-cut way are likely to feel some frustration over the next two years. The White House holds a lot of cards in this game.

        2. Sadly, Mr Kurtz and Olly are playing the duck, dodge, and deny game. All that they accuse you (and proponents of impeachment) of they themselves are guilty of. Very sad indeed as now our democracy suffers at the hands of snarky, partisan, denialists. We must keep the faith and lead by example and demand patriotic justice.
          “To thine own self be true”

          1. @ShaftEmily,
            This is not all that difficult. If there is no constitutional basis for what the Trump administration is doing with respect to the subpoenas, then just draft and vote on the articles of impeachment. The Senate will certainly have a witness list that includes some if not all of those subpoenaed by the House. And then some.

            Why are Democrats ducking, dodging and denying that move if their case is so airtight?

    1. A map and a couple of graphs are missing, but Happy Holidays, America!

      “The Taliban are gaining strength. Opium production has quadrupled. Osama bin Laden is dead. Most Afghans live in poverty.”

      “What Did the U.S. Get for $2 Trillion in Afghanistan?”


      All told, the cost of nearly 18 years of war in Afghanistan will amount to more than $2 trillion. Was the money well spent?

      There is little to show for it. The Taliban control much of the country. Afghanistan remains one of the world’s largest sources of refugees and migrants. More than 2,400 American soldiers and more than 38,000 Afghan civilians have died.

      Still, life has improved, particularly in the country’s cities, where opportunities for education have grown. Many more girls are now in school. And democratic institutions have been built — although they are shaky at best.

      Drawing on estimates from Brown University’s Costs of War Project, we assessed how much the United States spent on different aspects of the war and whether that spending achieved its aims.

      $1.5 trillion waging war

      The Taliban control or contest much of the country.

      When President George W. Bush announced the first military action in Afghanistan in the wake of terrorist attacks by Al Qaeda in 2001, he said the goal was to disrupt terrorist operations and attack the Taliban.

      Eighteen years later, the Taliban are steadily getting stronger. They kill Afghan security force members — sometimes hundreds in a week — and defeat government forces in almost every major engagement, except when significant American air support is used against them.

      Al Qaeda’s senior leadership moved to Pakistan, but the group has maintained a presence in Afghanistan and expanded to branches in Yemen, northern Africa, Somalia and Syria.

      The $1.5 trillion in war spending remains opaque, but the Defense Department declassified breakdowns of some of the three most recent years of spending.

      Most of the money detailed in those breakdowns — about 60 percent each year — went to things like training, fuel, armored vehicles and facilities. Transportation, such as air and sea lifts, took up about 8 percent, or $3 billion to $4 billion a year.

      $10 billion on counternarcotics

      Afghanistan supplies 80 percent of the world’s heroin.

      In a report last year, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction described counternarcotics efforts as a “failure.” Despite billions of dollars to fight opium poppy cultivation, Afghanistan is the source of 80 percent of global illicit opium production.

      Before the war, Afghanistan had almost completely eradicated opium, according to United Nations data from 1996 to 2001, when the Taliban were in power.

      Today, opium cultivation is a major source of income and jobs, as well as revenue for the Taliban. Other than war expenditures, it is Afghanistan’s biggest economic activity.

      $87 billion to train Afghan military and police forces

      Afghan forces can’t support themselves.

      One of the major goals of the American effort has been to train thousands of Afghan troops. Most of American spending on reconstruction has gone to a fund that supports the Afghan Army and police forces through equipment, training and funding.

      But nobody in Afghanistan — not the American military, and not President Ashraf Ghani’s top advisers — thinks Afghan military forces could support themselves.

      The Afghan Army in particular suffers from increasing casualty rates and desertion, which means they have to train new recruits totaling at least a third of their entire force every year.

      President Barack Obama had planned to hand over total responsibility for security to the Afghans by the end of 2014 and to draw down all American forces by 2016. That plan faltered when the Taliban took quick advantage and gained ground.

      The American military had to persuade first President Obama, and then President Trump, to ramp up forces. Some 14,000 U.S. troops remained in the country as of this month.

      $24 billion on economic development

      Most Afghans still live in poverty.

      War-related spending has roughly doubled the size of Afghanistan’s economy since 2007. But it has not translated into a healthy economy.

      A quarter or more of Afghans are unemployed, and the economic gains have trailed off since 2015, when the international military presence began to draw down.

      Overseas investors still balk at Afghanistan’s corruption — among the worst in the world, according to Transparency International, an anticorruption group — and even Afghan companies look for cheaper labor from India and Pakistan.

      Hopes of self-sufficiency in the mineral sector, which the Pentagon boasted could be worth $1 trillion, have been dashed. A few companies from China and elsewhere began investing in mining, but poor security and infrastructure have prevented any significant payout.

      $30 billion on other reconstruction programs

      Much of that money was lost to corruption and failed projects.

      American taxpayers have supported reconstruction efforts that include peacekeeping, refugee assistance and aid for chronic flooding, avalanches and earthquakes.

      Much of that money, the inspector general found, was wasted on programs that were poorly conceived or riddled with corruption.

      American dollars went to build hospitals that treated no patients, to schools that taught no students (and sometimes never existed at all) and to military bases the Afghans found useless and later shuttered.

      The inspector general documented $15.5 billion in waste, fraud and abuse in reconstruction efforts from 2008 through 2017.

      Thanks to American spending, Afghanistan has seen improvements in health and education — but they are scant compared with international norms.

      Afghan maternal mortality remains among the highest in the world, while life expectancy is among the lowest. Most girls still receive little or no schooling, and education for boys is generally poor.

      $500 billion on interest

      The war has been funded with borrowed money.

      To finance war spending, the United States borrowed heavily and will pay more than $600 billion in interest on those loans through 2023. The rest of the debt will take years to repay.

      In addition to the more than $2 trillion the American government has already spent on the war, debt and medical costs will continue long into the future.

      $1.4 trillion on veterans that have fought in post-9/11 wars by 2059

      Medical and disability costs will continue for decades.

      More than $350 billion has already gone to medical and disability care for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. Experts say that more than half of that spending belongs to the Afghanistan effort.

      The final total is unknown, but experts project another trillion dollars in costs over the next 40 years as wounded and disabled veterans age and need more services. -New York Times

  3. Trump should cut Pelosi a check. He has got the 2020 election



    BREAKING: As Impeachment Moves Ahead Trump Surges in Battleground States

    Firehouse/Optimus December Battleground State Poll: As Impeachment Moves Ahead, President Trump Well-Positioned Against Leading Democratic Contenders

    This week we continued our quarterly battleground polling series in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin asking likely 2020 general election voters their political opinions on President Trump, the 2020 presidential election, and impeachment. We polled voters through a combination of live landline, live cell, and peer-to-peer text message to web survey modes from December 3rd to December 5th. A summary of our results is presented below.

    As the impeachment process heats up in Washington, Donald Trump is seeing a boost in support in crucial swing states. Across the board, President Trump is polling well against the Democratic field in each of these battleground states. Notably, Vice President Biden has seen a sharp decline in support in our surveys as he currently runs behind President Trump in each of the three states.

    Key Findings:

    Trump Improves His Lead In Head-to-Head Match-Ups Against Leading Democratic Contenders.
    As the race currently stands, President Trump is in the lead in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin in hypothetical match-ups against former Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Bernie Sanders, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and former Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Across the three states, Trump’s closest contest is against Joe Biden, although the president leads by an average of 6 percentage points against each Democrat.

    In Michigan, Trump is polling ahead of Biden by five percentage points, Sanders by six points, Warren by nine points, Buttigieg by eleven points, and Bloomberg by eleven points. The president consistently runs behind Democratic contenders aged 18-35 but does well among other age cohorts, especially those aged 55 years or older. For example, in a head-to-head contest of Trump against Bernie Sanders, Michiganders aged 18-35 support Sanders over Trump 58% to 34% but those aged 55+ support the president over Sanders 53% to 37%.

    In Pennsylvania, Trump continues to do well against the competition with the president leading Biden by four percentage points, Warren by seven points, Sanders by eleven points, Buttigieg by six points, and Bloomberg by four points. Bloomberg – who performed nearly as well as Vice President Biden in the commonwealth– had his best performance in Pennsylvania, running only four points behind President Trump in the state.

    Wisconsin was President Trump’s best state in this round of battleground polling. Against almost each of his Democratic challengers, President Trump held a double-digit lead. The president is currently running up nine percentage points against Biden, twelve points against Warren, thirteen points against Sanders, eleven points against Buttigieg, and twelve points against Bloomberg. Among non-partisan voters, Wisconsinites favored President Trump by double digits. For example, against Senator Elizabeth Warren, Trump led by over 18 percentage points among non-partisans.

    KEY POINT: Overall, we find President Trump performing well in these crucial 2020 states. While these numbers will fluctuate as the presidential election continues, Trump is well situated to win back these contests.

    Battleground States Trending Trump over Biden.

    likely 2020 general election voters in these battleground states who they would favor in the presidential contest: either President Trump or Vice President Biden. Since that survey, there has been a clear downward trajectory in the Vice President’s performance. As the Democratic primary wages on, Biden has seen a sever drop in the polls. For example, in our March survey, Biden led Trump in Wisconsin by twelve percentage points, in Pennsylvania by seven points, and in Michigan he narrowly to Trump by 0.2 points. In this month’s survey, we found Trump over Biden by nine points in Wisconsin, by four points in Pennsylvania, and five points in Michigan.

    KEY POINT: Although Joe Biden was performing well in head-to-head contests against Trump earlier in the year, the race shows that his lead has disappeared with the president ahead of the former vice president in each of the states.

    Battleground Voters Oppose Impeach and Remove; Support Congressional Democrats Turning Back to Policy Issues.

    In each of these battleground states, we find that a majority of likely 2020 voters do not support the impeachment and removal of President Trump from office. Impeachment and removal is opposed by 50.8% of voters in Michigan, 52.2% of voters in Pennsylvania, and 57.9% of voters in Wisconsin. Non-partisan voters in Michigan (70%) and Wisconsin (61%) oppose impeachment and removal while non-partisan voters in Pennsylvania slightly support it (46.4% to 40.9%). When asked about whether congressional Democrats should be spending their time impeaching Trump or focusing on policy issues, a majority of these battleground state voters choose “focus on policy issues” (MI: 59.4%; PA: 63%; WI: 67.2%).

    On those issues, partisans have different issue priorities. In each state, a plurality of Republicans believe that immigration is the most important political issue facing the United States today (MI: 32.6%; PA: 29.9; WI: 26.8) while a plurality of Democrats in Michigan and Wisconsin believe it is health care (MI: 23.3%; WI: 24.3%) and Democrats in Pennsylvania believe it is climate change (22.5%).

    KEY POINT: Battleground state voters favor congressional Democrats turning away from impeachment issues and focusing on policy issues like immigration, health care, and climate change.

    Methodology Summary: The Firehouse/0ptimus survey was conducted 12/3 through 12/5 and interviewed 1,759 likely 2020 general election voters in Wisconsin (N = 610), Michigan (N = 551), and Pennsylvania (N = 598) via live landline (WI: 238; MI: 228; PA: 227), live cellphone (WI: 114; MI: 117; PA: 133), and peer to peer text message to web (WI: 258; MI: 206; PA: 238). Likely voters were identified as those who voted in either the 2016 or 2018 general elections plus additional voters who are expected to vote in the 2020 election as determined by 0ptimus turnout modeling. Each state sample was weighted by age group, gender, education, and political party to reflect the demographic characteristics of the likely voter population within each state. Margins of error vary by question and segment but is generally ± 4.1% in WI, ± 4.3% in MI, and ± 4.3% in PA for the topline results.

    1. there is no such thing as a mortal lock on a nationwide American election. there is only work. the Trump campaign needs to get more organized and far better than it was in 2020. It was actually not very impressive and the candidate himself connected so deeply with voters that he generated enough enthusiasm to overcome the weaknesses of his operation

      this time the operation is very well funded but is it moving better and more proficiently?

      it better!

  4. the following salacious gossip about hunter biden and sex toys IN NO WAY reflects on Joe Biden as a parent or a presidential candidate. IN NO WAY!


    Hunter Biden spent several thousand dollars at a Manhattan strip club during a pair of visits — including one that sent a staffer scrambling to buy a sex toy so strippers could use it on him, sources told The Post on Wednesday.

    1. With all that easy money coming from Burisma, why not drop a few yards at a club? and as for the pegging implication — well, um, not that there’s anything wrong with that, as they used to say on seinfeld.

      Just forget about his gossip! It’s probably a lie. Irrelevant scuttle-butt, so to speak .

    2. Kurtz, does that mean that some of our taxpayer funded aid to Ukraine went to Hunter Biden’s sexual fantasies and activities? That is really f,,,ing the tax payer who pays and gets nothing.

  5. Better than usual column in The Hill. I have to agree and perceive no need to rush.

  6. I welcome (but don’t expect) a reasoned reply from the DNC sycophant sickos who frequent this blog.

    The only ones who matter Re. impeachment are the so-called “independents.” The rest don’t change their stripe much if at all, especially on the DNC side.

    Unequivocal proof the DNC and the media arm the MSM lost their case. (I personally further hope voters punish the DNC in 2020 for the DNC’s abuse of power.)

    Just prior to the public “I HATE TRUMP” (AKA impeachment) hearings, independent support for impeachment peaked around 50%. This is directly because Pelosi and pea brained pscyho guy Schiff completely controlled (lied) about the proceedings.

    Immediately after the public hearings to now, independent support for impeachment dropped to the mid-30s.

    If the public (independents) disapprove, AFAIK the Dems are screwed. Even with almost total media control (the richest man on earth Jeff Bezos, a business friend of the Turkish government, hates Trump, is a rabid “progressive,” and bought the WAPO to push his ultra-liberal agenda), the DNC/MSM have utterly failed to convince thinking independents of anything except that they hate Trump and believe they deserve Trump’s power.



    The report, which spans more than 400 pages, concludes that the top FBI officials running the Russia investigation were not tainted by political bias and that they had information “sufficient to satisfy the low threshhold” needed to begin investigating several Trump associates in 2016, according to people familiar with drafts of the document.

    But it will also find fault with applications FBI officials prepared to surveil a former Trump campaign adviser, and it will allege that a low-level FBI lawyer doctored a document in connection with those applications, the people said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the document before its public release.

    Edited from: “Inspector General Report Says FBI Had Authorized Purpose To Investigate Trump Campaign Russia Ties But Finds Some Wrongdoing”

    Today’s Washington Post

    The finds of this report more than likely are a preview to the Durham investigation.

    1. and yet it does show abuses of the FISA process.

      the implications of the report are a matter of politics. and politics does not only belong to the masters, but also the people.

      So: will the people find it a comfortable notion that the FISA process can be used to target a rival campaign?

      SImply because IG horowitz says the FBI is peachy keen nonetheless?

      I doubt it. but we will see a year hence.

    2. What a pack of BS from Horowitz. Proof that the FBI behaved differently between alleged Russia influence Trump vs. Hitlery: when they found a potential problem with Hillary’s campaign, they call her up, give her a heads up, warn her about the potential problem.

      When they perceive something may be up with Trump, they get a secret (Gestapo) FISA court involved: anyone who even acknowledges the existence of the FISA court involvement can go to jail for life.

      What an effing 3rd world banana rep.

    3. Tim:

      As I suspected, they weren’t biased just incompetent boobs. Lots better, right? Now they get to face those FISA court judges.

      1. “Among those many others, the IG was not authorized to interrogate former CIA chief John Brennan, the Lone Ranger of RussiaGate, or James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence, Mr. Brennan’s faithful Tonto in the scam. Mr. Horowitz’s report will be necessarily incomplete. At most, it might provide a preview of the comprehensive legal review being carried out by the attorney general, Mr. Barr, and his deputy, the Connecticut federal prosecutor, John Durham. I suspect that Mr. Barr has instructed Mr. Horowitz to be careful with his conclusions, since any further attempts to obfuscate the facts and excuse official misconduct on squishy grounds such as intent will tend to worsen the already gross institutional damage done to federal law enforcement.”

        — James Howard Kunstler of the Clusterf**k blog
        dec 9 blog post “war of the narratives” excerpt

    1. Pelosi pushing this new law: anyone who is fatter than Joe Biden, who can not beat Joe Biden in a push up contest, and whose IQ test score is lower, is prohibited by law to vote for anyone but Biden.

      Oh, and that includes anyone who has smelled the hair of a lesser number of little girls than Joe, with a look on his face like he’s having a wet dream.

  8. Passion? How about nothing related to the stated purposes and boredom. The good part is that anything not brought up in this phase thus making it open to ‘discovery’ is not admissable in the seond phase.

    This whole affair points up and invalidates the reason for the citizens hiring lawyers to be representatives, senators etc. as they are demonstrating their lack of knowledge of Constitutional Law starting with Pelosi and Schumer.

  9. Professor Turley,

    As a lifelong Democrat, I will be the first to admit that I was shocked to not only understand your point of view at the hearing on 12/4, but to be sitting on the edge of my seat waiting to hear what you said next. I must preface this post with the fact that I watched the hearing from start to finish. I can remember looking at you with nothing more than utter disdain, just because you were called by the GOP. My first instinct was to reject you and anything you had to say. Then I saw that the Dem side wasn’t allowing you to say anything. Your body language said it all – “take a chance and ask me a question, you might just learn something of value”. The Dems reaction to your presence, which I know now could have laid out a plan that would appease both sides, was met with either hostility or the sound of crickets chirping through the void of any possible constructive objectivity. When our judicial process becomes based on subjective beliefs, emotion & values to determine guilt, then we all become guilty, and we set put democracy on a path where all are destined to lose.

    1. I feel the same way. If the Ds would listen, Turley is telling them how to make a water tight case. He’s also explaining why this matters in terms of a precedent for future case law.

      Turley broadened my perspectives on the impeachment process. The consequences with rushing this and with not fully using the judicial process available through subpoenas and court rulings are severe and wholly within the Ds control. I’m more concerned now than ever.

  10. Professor Turley: please explain the difference between “false narrative” and “fake news.”

  11. Most of the comments here are simply an attempt to make sure that an unfit president should be allowed to continue his corrupt administration.

    1. McWilliams, you are the one that makes accusations but refuses to provide proof because there isn’t any. The corruption is in the party you support making you an unfit commentator.

      1. Allan,
        You need to understand what the Lefties like Bill are talking about when they use terms like unfit and corrupt. President Trump is corrupting the 100 year-in-the-making administrative state that progressives have worked tirelessly to build, by rebuilding conservative courts, deregulation, America First, rule-of-law constitutionalism and therefore unfit to carry on in their tradition.

      2. – Russia interfered in our election to help Trump.
        – Russians made numerous contacts with the campaign.
        – Campaign welcomed their help.
        – No one reported these contacts or interference to FBI.
        – They lied to cover it up.
        – Trump asked the Ukraine for help in the 2020 election

        1. Thanks Andy for the refresher on the allegations. Your next challenge will be to provide the evidence supporting those allegations.

          Ready. Go.

            1. Depends on how you define the word is

              – Bill “I rape women for kicks” Ciinton

            2. Andy,
              You apparently cannot tell the difference between an allegation and evidence.

              Let’s try this: If I said you (Andy) are a pedophile. Is that a fact or an allegation?

              1. Nice attempt at distraction…. every US Intel agency and the Republican led Senate Intel Committee confirms what I presented as evidence….

                1. If every US Intel agency and the Republican led Senate Intel Committee confirmed that everyone on a New Zealand island died recently from a volcanic eruption, how would you know if that were a fact or an allegation?

                    1. Thanks YNOT, I had to look that up. 🙂

                      Ultimately, Zen is about confronting yourself, challenging your beliefs and changing your approach to life. It is very intimate and direct.

                      That approach has certainly brought me peace as I actively deal with the cretins like Andy, pushing false narratives.

                      Perhaps one day you’ll be able to transition from your daily diary posts to thoughtful engagement with others on this blog.

                      I wish you the best.

                    2. YNOT has increased his vocabulary and is talking about himself with the use of the word ‘cretin’. At least YNOT is trying to increase his vocabulary.

                2. Andy it is a known FACT that you are a pedophile.
                  Anonymous sources on NYT and CNN have confirmed that your father took you to school, you met a teacher, she taught you math, and….boom. guilty as charged: PEDOPHILE

                  Americans know your type and we will not tolerate it

                  PS: Im a Muslim-Hindu transgender black male to female. I am incapable of hate

                  Dont mess with me

                    1. You are talking to someone else YNOT, no me. Try and keep up. Though the word ‘hateophobic’ is not actually a word it has been used in a certain context. Unfortunately based on the stupidity you have shown and things in this thread one can’t even assume your meaning. Perhaps someone called you heterophobic and you are reacting to that or you are using the word as a fear of being thought to be hateful, but that doesn’t jive with your intent.

                      This problem is due to your ignorance. Try and do better next time. I am always willing to help stupid people.

                3. every single one, andy’s sure of it, including the NRO with its satellites and all. they could see the little Russkies stuffing ballot boxes in Omaha Nebraska with their eyes in the sky.

                4. Someone just related Andy’s name to pedophilia. Does that mean Andy is a pedophile? I now have to refer to Andy’s definition of proof but if I do that it doesn’t look good for Andy.

        2. Andy meant to say:

          — Democrats interfered in our election but Trump won anyways
          – Russians made numerous contacts with the DNC but Trump won anyways.
          – Hillary Campaign hid their help.
          – Mainstream Media never reported these contacts or interference to FBI.
          – Obama lied to cover it up.
          – Joe Biden asked the Ukraine for covering for his son Hunter even if he is a drug addict, womanizing, unfaithful husband, pahetic POS….oh wait, he’s a Demorat so i’m being redundant

          1. Every US Intel agency and the Republican led Senate Intel Committee confirms what I presented as evidence….

            You presented Russian disinformation and shame on you for being intellectually dishonest!!!

            Respond if you want but I am out…

            1. Respond if you want but I am out…

              Out? You were never in. This is a Legal blog. Come back when you’ve learned how to tell the difference between allegations and evidence.

            2. JWRice tried to assist Andy by actually correctly answering his questions. Andy’s response demonstrates he can’t provide proof of anything and doesn’t know much of anything. Andy needs to learn how to think before placing random thoughts on a blog.

        3. Wow, Andy! Did you remember your DNC/MSM talking points or did you have to cut and paste?

  12. “Yet I remained a tad naive in hoping that an academic discussion on the history and standards of it might offer a brief hiatus from hateful rhetoric on both sides.”

    It is senseless to create an equivalency of both sides when non exists. The left is rabid and there no way to combat such rabidity unless one defeats the animal.

    I follow professor Turley’s desire for civility but we are talking about the Democratic Party of Omar that is hateful and anti-American so one has to look elsewhere for a change in heart.

  13. “The House Offers More Passion Than Proof In The Push For Impeachment”

    Is jumping off the Empire State building protesting Pop Tarts passion or stupidity? Sometimes the line between the two is very close and in the case of impeachment it isn’t really based on passion. Instead it is based on a lust for power that is undeserved.

      1. Absurd xXV,
        Joan Rivers was on the old “Tonight Show once telling Carson about the “loose” girls in her neighborhood.
        One she called “Horizontal Helen”. Another had much older “Sugar Daddies”, and Rivers called her “Pops’ Tart”.
        Prior to the split between Carson and Rivers, she was a frequent guest and guest host.
        It’s interesting now that they’re rerunning the old Tonight Shows to see how Carson would crack up every time Rivers was a guest.

  14. It’s still quite baffling that Democrats are seeking to impeach this president because he allegedly put our national security at risk over the Ukraine/Russia border and yet they have sought to block his efforts to make our southern border more secure.

    Have they tried to focus group that angle?

    1. OLLY
      Ukraine and Russia are meeting today to discuss ending the war. Does it strengthen Ukraine position having the circus on going during the meeting? Are we presenting a united front? We have a treaty with Ukraine which will drag us into war if it escalates. Who is putting national security at risk?

      Yes, our borders need defending. Who”s blocking that?

      USMCA needs to be brought to a vote the speaker says she is busy impeaching and there will be no vote until the impeachment process is brought to completion. Who’s abusing power holding the treaty hostage?

    1. PCB,

      SDNY & other jurisdictions will handle the criminal charges against Trump & family (Including his corrupt sister). The impeachment is about Trump’s being totally unfit for office. Try to keep up.

      1. bill mcwilliams – if we are talking unfit for office they should be impeaching Joe Biden. He is entering dementia.

        1. Mr. Schulte,
          I don’t think Biden is in early stages of dementia, but I don’t think he would score particularly high on an IQ test if he took one today.
          If Trump wins another term, he’ll be 78 when he leaves office.
          If Biden is elected, he’ll be 78 when he ENTERS office.
          He’s evidently been doing a lot of push-ups, so I don’t doubt that he’s been able to build up to a respectable number.
          I think his opponents should add arm wrestling and/or Indian wrestling to check for qualifications for our highest office.
          A rope and a one-on-one tug of war contest could be added, too.
          The debates would be less boring, and ratings for both the primary debates and for the general election would soar were these features to be added.
          While Biden is primed for push-ups and keeps mentioning how he’d win that contest, a decathlon or even a pentathlon of sorts with additional events like those mentioned would be a fairer test.

          1. Anonymous – I don’t he can do the push-ups, however he is beginning to “sunddown.”

      2. bill mcwilliams:

        “SDNY & other jurisdictions will handle the criminal charges against Trump & family (Including his corrupt sister). The impeachment is about Trump’s being totally unfit for office. Try to keep up.”
        That’s not a constitutional criterion, Bill. See, the Founders were educate men not predisposed to vague, subjective notions. Try to read up.

        1. Mespo

          The founders were educate? Really?
          Try to learn grammar and spelling.

          The only vague notion is that Trump’s acts should not be subjected to scrutiny.

          1. Bill ”Who the hell is mr.Bond” mcwilliams is waiting for Captain Adorable to rescue him

          2. bill mcwilliams – mespo spelled the word correctly, he just used the wrong form of the word.

          3. McWilliams is more concerned with typo’s than with thought. Thought requires intellect, patience and work.

          4. He who resorts to grammar cop has lost the argument. Carry on, officer Bill.

  15. Well if “passion” means you do stupid, self-immolating things in service to your hate, I’m in total agreement. What an implosion for a political party. They think it’s Masada and we all know it’s Little Big Horn!

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