Turley Testifies at Biden Impeachment Hearing

This morning, I will testify in the first hearing of the impeachment inquiry of President Joseph Biden. The hearing of the Committee on Oversight and Accountability will start at 10am in Room 2154 of the Rayburn House Office Building. My written testimony is below.

As a law professor, there is no more solemn responsibility than advising the House in an impeachment. I come to this question as someone who has served both as lead counsel in the last judicial impeachment trial in the United States Senate and testified in two prior presidential impeachments.

Roughly, twenty-five years ago, I appeared before Congress as an expert witness in the impeachment of former president William Jefferson Clinton. Four years ago, I appeared as an expert witness in the only impeachment hearing held in the first impeachment of former president Donald J. Trump.

In the second impeachment just roughly three years ago, there was no hearing at all.

The shortening intervals between impeachments is alarming and calls for circumspection and caution on both sides.

My testimony addresses the historical baseline of past inquiries and what I consider to be “best practices” in the investigation of a sitting president. Some of those practices and presumptions work to the benefit of the President. That is as it should be. A presidential impeachment should not be a close question or a rush to judgment.

Finally, I encourage members to consider the common article of faith in this constitutional process and to rise above the petty and personal attacks that characterize these times:

“There are constitutional moments that demand the best from each of us in transcending the passions and politics of time. These are moments when people of good faith can bring a solemnity and clarity to a national debate.  We are living an age of rage where ad hominem attacks have replaced civil discourse. This toxic environment starts here with how members treat different views of our constitutional history and standards. As Justice Louis Brandeis stated “Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill it teaches the whole people by example.”

While Brandeis was speaking of criminal conduct, it is equally true of our public discourse. The license that some feel to engage in hateful rhetoric and personal attacks are the result of how members treat this moment. We can discuss these issues as Americans who may disagree but remain bound by a common faith in our constitutional system. We can disagree, but we need not hate each other. If we want to combat the deterioration of political discourse in our society, it begins here and now as we discuss these issues. Members can choose to be either potent teachers for civil discourse or political rage. I hope that this testimony will assist the Committee in offering the public an array of different viewpoints on how an impeachment inquiry should ideally progress under Article I.”

Turley.Testimony.Biden Inquiry

220 thoughts on “Turley Testifies at Biden Impeachment Hearing”

  1. One thing is abundantly clear in the many posts here…..very few have read the Professor’s Written Statement being provided to Congress today.

    Those that have make relevant, well articulated posts.

    Those that have not stand out by the absolute foolishness of their posts….of course that is usually the case with the usual trolls, bots, and those lacking basic reading skills or interest in doing so.

    Folks….do not feed the trolls and bots…..ignore them and respond only to the posts that have well reasoned content.

    Unless and until there is a weeding of the garden by the administrators of this site that is the only defense we have against those seeking to litter this site with trash.

    1. Anonymous, I compare your comment to this little ditty.

      Fifteen men on a dead man’s chest.
      I’m still drinkin from a broken cup.
      Two pairs of pants and a Moehair vest.
      I’m full of Bourbon and I can’t get up.

      Spoken by a Jockey full of Bourbon in a song by the same name.
      Get the comparison? The only thing missing is the slur.

  2. Turley just stated in the hearing that he doesn’t believe the current evidence would support articles of impeachment.

    1. That kind of takes the wind out of the sails of the commenters on here all but accusing him of being a MAGA shill.

      1. . . . he will upset his MAGA followers in the blog

        I’m one of his MAGA followers and it doesn’t upset me. I personally think the GOP should not have impeached Clinton, and the Dems shouldn’t have impeached Trump. The use of impeachment proceedings as a political weapon against a sitting president is a net harm to this nation no matter who is wielding it, IMO.

        And none of this has to do with the evidence in this case. I’m skeptical of your “no evidence, never was” assertion. I reserve judgment on that, as I believe some evidence has been put forth by whistle blowers and bank records, and that all of that will be fleshed out in the future.

        But I’d prefer that such evidence be used on other proceedings (after JB is no longer in office) rather than in a misguided impeachment proceeding of any time. Therefore, I am not at all chagrined by the witnesses this morning saying impeachment is not called for.

          1. Upstate – I’d be in favor of making almost any nation great again, as I would think any nation’s greatness, properly construed, would benefit all of humanity. Except maybe Germany. I’d have heebie-jeebies about making Germany great again since we’ve tried that twice and it was a disaster both times.

          2. “Oh, but I am NOT one of the MAGA types. Independent, always have been.”

            UF, I don’t look at MAGA any differently than independent. There is a party attached, but the policies agree with my independent thinking, and where they disagree, I voice a contrary opinion.

            Of the major MAGA policies, which ones do you disagree with? MAGA is more of a movement where the policy is based on support for America and its working citizens. If Donald Trump died, the MAGA movement would not disappear.

            1. S. Meyer,
              Not a MAGA as in I would not fly a MAGA flag, or wear a MAGA hat.
              The over all philosophy of MAGA has been around for quite some time. Trump just came up with a slogan that embodies the America First idea in one, neat and catchy phrase.
              For the most part I agree with the America First idea.
              I do not recall which person it was, but they claimed Republicans did not have a platform in 2020. That is incorrect. It was a secure Southern border. No new forever wars. Lower taxes. Pro-1stA, 2ndA and the Constitution in general. Just to name a few things. Those are all things I support.
              I fly the American flag as support of America First.

              1. “For the most part I agree with the America First idea.”

                Yes, and that is what the MAGA movement is. I didn’t know there was a MAGA flag, but if there is one, it is not a Trump flag but a MAGA one that will fly after he is gone.

                Trump is smart at these things. He is a promotor turned politician with excellent ideas and gut feelings. His Presidency was very good, and when taking into account the media and lies, I would say it was excellent.

                He is raw, turning some would-be intellectuals off because they want someone who looks like them. Policy and accomplishment come in second for them. They don’t like the gaffes of a President who is so transparent you can hear him thinking. For me, that is healthy and democratic. They hate his Tweets, but do they consider that the majority of the population are not intellectuals? Most people need ideas brought down to earth and ones they can understand.

                Trump didn’t create this movement by himself. He harnessed the energy out there, and that energy is what made the movement great.

                Can another Republican be President? Of course. The Republicans have much better candidates than the Democrats. However, unless the Republican Party destroys itself, it seems Trump will be their nominee.

                What does a person do if they hate Trump and he wins, or if DeSantis wins the nomination, but they hate DeSantis? Considering the alternative, there is no choice but to vote for the Republican nominee. Anything else is pure stupidity or an ego that is out of control.

        1. Oldman, I too, was not in favor of impeaching Clinton and definitely was against the timing. We are dealing with many ignorant anonymous persons who have little knowledge and even less morality.

      2. OldManFromKS,
        The good professor has stated in past columns that he does not believe there is not enough evidence for an impeachment.
        I have agreed with the good professor and even stated I do not want an impeachment.
        But I do want the inquiry, to see all the evidence on display for all to see.

        1. Upstate – good point. An inquiry is one thing, an actual impeachment is another. I just wish there was a way to do an inquiry without it having the word “impeachment” in it, that had the same power to obtain evidence.

        2. What the good professor wants is the appearance of an impeachment. Your average FoxNews viewer is going to just see that there is something that looks like an impeachment going on and it involves a political rival of Trump’s. They will not know or care of the difference between an inquiry and an impeachment. They just need content to entertain the masses on Hannity and Turley will help give them that.

      3. Turley’s admission that there’s no evidence is simply the truth, but that’ not why he was called–he was called to defend the idea of holding a hearing at all, given the fact that, after years of investigation and multiple witnesses proving NO evidence against Joe Biden, that it was still OK to do an “impeachment inquiry”. He was there to validate the waste of time and resources expended by Republicans trying to create the illusion of a “Biden Crime Family” while they ignore the looming government shut down. Literally thousands of workers in the states where they Republicans on the Committe are from will lose their paychecks starting Saturday, including TSA workers and those in the military. But…but, the staffers for the Republicans on the Committee WILL get their paychecks. If this doesn’t stink, I don’t know what qualifies.

        1. Natasha are you really that stupid? Of course you are. I have friends in the government, and they still get paid. Might be back pay, but they get paid. More than a few look at it as a paid vacation.
          What you call years of investigation is the DOJ slow walking the investigations to allow the SOL to expire. They are corrupt as the BCF is. You are just to dumb to see it. You blindly believe whatever CNN, MSNBC tells you. You cannot think for yourself. And when the facts come out, you have to resort to whataboutism.
          You are that pathetic and a loser.

    2. That’s why there is an Impeachment Hearing – to get out all the evidence.

      Right now, there is certainly a lot of Circumstantial Evidence.

    3. He also said there is more than enough evidence to launch an impeachment inquiry. His point is that the existing evidence points to impeachable offences and further inquiry is required to uncover additional evidence to see if they likely can be proved through a Senate trial.

      1. “His point is that the existing evidence points to impeachable offences and further inquiry is required to uncover additional evidence to see if they likely can be proved through a Senate trial.”

        No, existing evidence doesn’t point to impeachable offenses. Hunter Biden’s actions are not impeachable offenses.

        There is either a clear impeachable offense or not. No republicans and even the professor have been able to point to a clear impeachable offense. Insinuating that there is without clear evidence is claiming there was a crime without any evidence. It’s a fishing expedition that has been going on for 5 years without any evidence. It’s literally the definition of a witch-hunt.

        When they can’t find the evidence they seek they will look for something else until they are satisfied.

        1. To the extent you’re right, Anon, your last two paragraphs (substitute ‘democrats’ for ‘republicans’) remind me of the Trump/Russia Collusion saga. What is the infamous Washington phrase? “What goes around comes around.”

        2. No, existing evidence doesn’t point to impeachable offenses. Hunter Biden’s actions are not impeachable offenses.

          Turley is clear. There is ample evidence for an inquiry.

        3. There is sufficient evidence of the impeachable offense of bribery/extortion regarding Shokin’s firing to warrant further investigation. And that is just one of the many possibilities. It is a target rich environment.

          1. No, as I pointed out earlier, (a) Shokin wasn’t investigating Burisma (replacing him increased the likelihood of that, which was fine with Joe Biden), and (b) the State Dept. noted at the time that “There is wide agreement that anti-corruption must be at the top of this list, and that reforms must include an overhaul of the Prosecutor General’s Office including removal of Prosecutor General Shokin, who is widely regarded as an obstacle to fighting corruption, if not a source of the problem.”

    4. Turley just stated in the hearing that he doesn’t believe the current evidence would support articles of impeachment.

      Turley answered there is ample evidence to launch an impeachment inquiry.

  3. Besides Turley being a supreme hypocrite on matters of impeachment, maybe he could round the square peg by taking off his MAGA hat.

    1. His testimony so far (which was short — an opening statement that differed from what was posted in this column) was pretty measured, not said with a MAGA hat.

    2. Hey FishWings why don’t you respond to Anonymous’ comment at 10:44. As usual it’s obvious that you spoke to soon to place the MAGA hat on Professor Turley’s head. The good Professor only states that he has not seen enough evidence YET. Perhaps no such evidence will be unearthed but then again through the investigation by the House it might. As usual it is obvious that your mind is already made up. The Republicans are holding a hearing. The Democrats bypassed the requirement for a hearing altogether and jumped directly to impeachment directed by the Pelosistazy party. As to your mind being made up, there’s no surprise here.

  4. Turley rightly recognizes that in our fading republic “the House has an obligation to investigate the allegations raised against the President”, but the question is whether or not there are members of the President’s political party with the courage to stand apart from their party’s leadership and alone honor their obligation as members of the House.

    1. Thanks for the link, just turned it on, Jamie Raskin was spewing bile. Blech! Had to turn it off after 10 seconds.

      1. He’s actually speaking facts, not bile. You say “blech to him,” and I say the same to Comer and Jordan. The difference between us is that I still listen to what I disagree with from Comer and Jordan, whereas you apparently won’t listen to Raskin.

        1. Dude, I’m inundated with Raskin’s side from all aspects of the media, which is controlled by Democrat partisans – and that includes not only the news media, but entertainment, education, government, and any other facet of society involved in propagating information. It’s not like I’m unaware of their position. OTOH it’s rare a conservative’s argument really gets aired other than through the small minority of outlets or the tiny handful of conservative professors in academia.

          So, yeah . . . blech! I’ve heard it before and IMHO it’s garbage. Enjoy your day.

          1. I’ve also heard what Comer and Jordan have said before, and in my opinion, IT is garbage. But that doesn’t prevent me from listening to both parties — and the witnesses — in the hearing.


  5. It would go a long way to curing the death spiral of the blog’s comment boxes, if users created a profile name for their comments, and refrained from engaging posts by anonymous users.

    From my perspective, anonymous / unseen users reflect anonymous/unseen opinions – both get ignored

    1. Create a profile name
    2. Refrain from engaging anonymous posts otherwise you become part of the problem

    1. Well the recent change to the site makes that pretty much impossible. Not only do you now have to enter your information EVERY time you comment, you can’t even see the fields to do so until you first push a button to reveal them. That’s terrible design. It’s a design that seems intended to increase the number of “Anonymous” comments.

      1. Anonymous comments are the best long term. Just remember, they are anonymous to me and anyone else reading them, but they are never anonymous to an almighty creator God.

        1. They might “never [be] anonymous to an almighty creator God,” but… if you believe God created you, you are an individual and cannot be someone else. Don’t covet someone else’s identity by not having your own.

          I’m not criticizing you or stating you should use an alias or name. I think most anonymous people are nameless because they wish to hide, and when one hides, one becomes part of the group, not an individual. One has to consider an anonymous person to be at the lowest form, not much different from a bug.

          1. S. Meyer,
            Well said.
            Is my handle may not be my real name per say.
            But I also take pride in that name. It is also who I am here on the good professor’s blog.
            I look for certain people posts such as yours, TiT, OldManFromKS, Estovir, JJC, Daniel, Lin, Karen S. just to name a few.
            When one goes by anonymous, there is nothing to add worth reading. As the good Estovir has pointed out, I need to resume my previous stance of just scroll past.
            However, I will make the exception and fight back against those who promote the perversion and sexualization of children. That kind of evil must be fought against at all levels. Those kind of people have no right in a civil society. They must be fought against be it the ballot, the blade or the bullet. Anyone with a degree of a sense of decency knows this to be true.

            1. UF, an alias suffices on a blog of this nature. One can be anonymous and have a known face on the blog.

              Years ago, I participated in something similar that was open to anyone involving a subject of great importance. Everyone knew real names, occupations, locations, etc. It got rowdy there as well, but there was content. It helped that most were deeply involved in the discussion, and many were known people, some providing advice to our leaders, professors, professionals, and writers. Even email addresses were known.

              No one was anonymous, and that is one reason the discussion was of high caliber. Knowing the names of people who have reputations to protect makes a blog better.

              I think this blog would be a far better place if no responses reached anyone without a unique icon and name.

    1. Because it circumvents the rest of Us under Our Social Contract (The Constitution).
      Washington’s “bribery like marijuana” is what the reality already is.
      Did you get Your cut of 10% for the Little Guy?

  6. I am not surprised that your linked testimony was written as a scholarly tour de force. Well done, Professor Turley. It was presented with precision, chronologically, supported by dates, summary of facts, key players and their conclusions, over all well balanced manuscript. Bravo.

    A key fact in the linked testimony now seems obvious, though I sadly missed it prior to reading it. To wit:

    The third relevant inquiry preceded the Clinton impeachment. The House inquiry began as Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr was investigating President Bill Clinton regarding his relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. On September 9, 1998, the House formally received Starr’s Report and 18 boxes of supporting documents. With this ready-made foundation for impeachment over Clinton’s perjury, the House began an investigation and the Judiciary Committee announced that a formal resolution for the inquiry would be submitted to that Committee.

    Had Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed an independent counsel to investigate President Joe Biden, the US House would have received 18+ boxes of supporting documents. AG Merrick Garland has stonewalled and obstructed justice.

    Regarding Clinton’s impeachment, from the linked testimony:

    On November 9, 1998, the House Judiciary Committee called a hearing of 19 experts to help define what constitutes an impeachable offense. I was one of those witnesses and testified that the perjury committed by President Clinton would clearly constitute an impeachable offense.

    On December 6, 1998, the Judiciary Committee granted President Clinton’s counsel a full day to present their defense to the allegations of impeachable conduct. On December 11, 1998, the House Judiciary Committee approved three articles of impeachment focusing on perjury and obstruction of justice.

    … Even with considerable evidence (including testimony of witnesses) already compiled in the Starr investigation, it allowed the House to deliberate the evidence while affording the President ample opportunity to defend himself, including the option of testifying on his own behalf.

    Thus it appears that Democrats not only deprived Donald Trump (who never got my vote, nor ever will) of US Constitutional principles and justice, but Democrats today object vehemently to Joseph Biden being treated like Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton were treated, as provided by the US Constitution. They object to Biden being subjected to a “snap impeachment” ala Nancy Pelosi. However, Biden isn’t being subjected to a “snap impeachment”. Had Garland appointed an independent counsel to investigate President Biden, this would have been less divisive, less tumultuous and would have followed in a sequential, procedural and academic fashion.

      1. I was hoping others would read the testimony and comment accordingly.

        As expected, the comment boxes are once again populated by retirees who know better, behaving like toddlers flinging their dirty diapers at each other, thinking they are cute. This is what a nation that embraces sloth looks like: they have no purpose in life other than feed on their appetites for stimulation. Sad state of our elderly population. Little wonder their offspring are lost and confused

  7. If you want a go-to person with a law professor title who is going to consistently tell you why Democrats should be impeached and also tell you why Republicans should not be impeached, Turley is your guy.

    Not surprising he is invited back by Republicans for the current spectacle.

    1. Seriously? Do you really think that forcing a foreign government to oust a prosecutor looking into a corrupt company that has your son on the board is not impeachment-worthy?

      But it was A-Ok to impeach Donald Trump for wanting to get to the bottom of what Joe was doing in Ukraine as the US government’s point person?

          1. No, he wasn’t.

            Consider this letter from the State Dept. at the time: “There is wide agreement that anti-corruption must be at the top of this list, and that reforms must include an overhaul of the Prosecutor General’s Office including removal of Prosecutor General Shokin, who is widely regarded as an obstacle to fighting corruption, if not a source of the problem.”

            Or this: “at the time Biden made his ultimatum, the probe into the company — Burisma Holdings, owned by Mykola Zlochevsky — had been long dormant, according to the former official, Vitaliy Kasko.”

            See also: rferl.org/a/why-was-ukraine-top-prosecutor-fired-viktor-shokin/30181445.html

            Or look at the evidence about it presented at Trump’s first impeachment.

            1. Consider this article last month from the NYP on this subject. https://nypost.com/2023/08/22/state-department-was-impressed-with-ex-prosecutor-biden-pressured-ukraine-to-fire-report/
              Here is a quote therefrom:
              “Former President Barack Obama’s State Department and several other administration officials were happy enough with Ukraine’s former top prosecutor’s anti-corruption efforts to sign off on $1 billion in US aid weeks before a pressure campaign spearheaded by then-Vice President Joe Biden forced him from office, documents show.
              The government memos, obtained by Just the News and released on Monday, contradict the prevailing narrative put forward by Democrats arguing that Biden’s threat in December 2015 to withhold US loan guarantees for Ukraine in exchange for the ouster of Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin from office was consistent with US policy goals.
              Several officials in the weeks leading up to Biden’s December 2015 visit to Kyiv had said they were “impressed” with the “progress” Shokin’s office had made in the preceding months.
              One of the documents setting forth conditions for the loans, drafted one month before the vice president’s trip, listed no issues with granting the funds and said nothing about firing the prosecutor.
              Reports of the threat to condition the loan guarantees also came as a surprise to US officials in January 2016, as Biden’s warning apparently leaked in the Ukrainian press.
              . . .
              Joe Biden always has claimed Shokin was himself corrupt, and that he was just following an international consensus to get him removed.
              But an Oct.1, 2015 missive from the Interagency Policy Committee, which advised Obama’s White House on anti-corruption reform efforts in Ukraine, makes no mention of this, and in fact praises that, “Ukraine has made sufficient progress on its reform agenda to justify a third guarantee” of loans.
              Victoria Nuland, the State Department’s top point person on Ukraine at the time, even sent Shokin a letter that summer praising the prosecutor for his work combating corruption in the former Soviet republic.
              “We have been impressed with the ambitious reform and anti-corruption agenda of your government,” Nuland writes in the June 2015 letter.”

              1. None of which says that Shokin was investigating Burisma, and I already linked to and quoted from the JustTheNews docs.

  8. It is very difficult to describe Joe Biden as a person without name-calling. I watched him back in the day during the Senate hearings for Justice Thomas and he was disgusting in his fake-smile demeanor back then. It made me lose my faith quite a bit in my country that he was installed as president. Sad times.

  9. Looks like the trolls are out in force early today.
    They are just jealous that the good professor is once again in front of Congress as the highly respected lawyer he is.

    And remember bug boy, that voice you are hearing . . . that is sane Democrats like Bill Maher, James Carville and of course the good professor, an entire chorus of millions of sane Democrats and sane voters all saying the same thing . . . You are stupid!

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