During Wednesday’s Judiciary Committee impeachment hearings Democrats will call three expert witnesses and Republicans will call one. George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley is the constitutional expert chosen by Ranking Member Doug Collins (R-GA) to represent the Republicans’ point of view, to oppose impeachment and to defend President Donald Trump.
Turley has released his 53-page opening statement, which some have already observed is more than twice as long as the combined statements of the Democrats’ three legal experts.
Just received the testimony for witnesses testifying at the House Judiciary Committee’s impeachment inquiry hearing:
Noah Feldman (Harvard) 6 pages
Pamela Karlan (Stanford) 6 pages
Michael Gerhardt (UNC) 10 pages
The GOP witness:
Jonathan Turley (GW) 53 pages
— Alex Moe (@AlexNBCNews) December 4, 2019
In it, he makes this statement that is getting a great deal of attention:
“I get it. You are mad. The President is mad. My Democratic friends are mad. My Republican friends are mad. My wife is mad. My kids are mad. Even my dog is mad . . . and Luna is a golden doodle and they are never mad. We are all mad and where has it taken us? Will a slipshod impeachment make us less mad or will it only give an invitation for the madness to follow in every future administration?”
Turley will argue that Trump should not be impeached, despite writing in that same statement: “The use of military aid for a quid pro quo to investigate one’s political opponent, if proven, can be an impeachable offense.”
But that same Jonathan Turley had a very different position on impeaching a sitting president when that president was a Democrat. Professor Turley, in a statement written November 9, 1998, declared that impeaching President Bill Clinton was necessary to literally protect the “existence of the government,” and to prevent “contempt for law” and “anarchy.”
Professor Turley literally suggested that were President Clinton not impeached, anarchy would rain down on the nation.
“Allegations of criminal acts in office by a president are perhaps the greatest threat to the perceived legitimacy of a government,” Professor Turley wrote back in 1998. “When there is compelling evidence of criminal acts in the Chief Executive, an entire system of laws is undermined and demands some form corrective action.”
Turley did not stop there. He continued:
In a government of laws, existence of the government will be imperiled if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. Our Government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the Government becomes a lawbreaker; it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.
The allegations against President Clinton go to the very heart of the legitimacy of his office and the integrity of the political system. As an individual, a president may seek spiritual redemption in the company of friends and family. Constitutional redemption, however, is found only in the company of representatives of all three branches in the well of the Senate. It is there that legitimacy, once recklessly lost, can be regained by a president.
Clinton was impeached for lying under oath and obstruction of justice.
His actions are dwarfed by what is charged in both the Mueller report and in the just-released House Intelligence Committee impeachment report, which spans 300 pages.
Professor Turley is getting some appropriate criticism on social media.
Jonathan Turley is a bad-faith hack and always has been.
Remember, this “civil libertarian” spent eight years attacking Obama for fairly routine executive orders, and is now defending Trump for trying to commit bribery with military aid appropriated by Congress. What a crock. https://t.co/3lY6np8LQx
— Matthew Chapman (@fawfulfan) December 4, 2019
Turley argues Trump shouldn’t be impeached because the House hasn’t heard from witnesses who’ve refused to testify in concert with Trump’s obstruction of the inquiry. This isn’t a constitutional argument, it’s a roadmap for corrupt presidents to nullify the impeachment power. https://t.co/RiocDqpwm0
— Brian Beutler (@brianbeutler) December 4, 2019
Mr. Turley took a very sharp right turn several years ago. Some of his positions are baffling. By his logic, even Nixon should not have been impeached. He was an effective commentator several years back. Now, he seems to be another GOP hack. https://t.co/yXEa4nTOXe
— David Saliba (@salibalaw) December 4, 2019
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Kobe Bryant Dead in Helicopter Accident: TMZ
Basketball great Kobe Bryant has died in a tragic helicopter accident, along with everyone on board, TMZ was first to report. The 41-year old NBA star played with the LA Lakers for two decades. He retired in 2016.
“Kobe was traveling with at least 3 other people in his private helicopter when it went down,” TMZ adds. “A fire broke out. Emergency personnel responded, but nobody on board survived. 5 people are confirmed dead. We’re told Vanessa Bryant was not among those on board.”
The LA County Sheriff’s Office posted this tweet, but did not include Bryant’s name.
Avoid the area until further notice.
— LA County Sheriffs (@LASDHQ) January 26, 2020
In 2013 after his own missteps Bryant stepped up to correct a fan for using the word “gay” as a slur. Nearly seven years ago, it was a big moment for awareness and for the LGBTQ community.
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) February 11, 2013
This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.
Image via Wikimedia
The Saudi Crown Prince Tried to Have a Comedian and Critic Kidnapped on US Soil — but the FBI Stopped It: Report
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Beast, 27-year-old comedian and former USD student Abdulrahman Almutairi revealed that he was nearly kidnapped by a suspected agent of the Saudi government and it happened on American soil.
Almutairi, who has a huge social media following, has been an outspoken critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. While the Saudi leader may have the power to take out critics in other countries, in the United States it’s not an acceptable form of legal action.
“After Almutairi used social media to criticize the powerful Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman over the October 2018 murder and dismemberment of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi, an unidentified Saudi man accompanied Almutairi’s father on a flight to collect Almutairi against his will and bring him back to Saudi Arabia, according to The Daily Beast’s sources,” reported the Beast.
Almutairi said that he’s certain if he ever returns to Saudi Arabia that he’ll be killed in the airport.
It was also revealed this week that MBS’s cell phone number was responsible for hacking Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s cell phone.
“There is a pattern of the Saudi authorities, particularly over the last two years, targeting individuals—high profile people with a big Saudi audience, either because they’re critical of MBS or the government or not just for what they say but what they don’t say, if they’re insufficiently supportive,” said Agnes Callamard, the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings.
‘So We Don’t Have to Fight Russia Over Here’: Schiff Delivers Powerful Statement to Senators in Trump Impeachment Trial
House Intelligence Chair and Lead impeachment manager Adam Schiff delivered powerful remarks to the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, summing up why what President Donald Trump did – extorting Ukraine – was so damaging to both Ukraine and the U.S.
Schiff reminded the Senators who will decide the fate of the nation’s chief executive that 15,000 Ukrainians have already died fighting Russia. That was after Vladimir Putin illegally annexed Crimea.
And he reminded the Senators that President Trump withheld nearly $400 million in congressionally-approved military aid to Ukraine, despite the nation’s fight against Russia.
That military aid helps “to protect and advance American national security interests in the region and beyond.
Quoting a House impeachment inquiry witness, Schiff said: “The United States aids Ukraine and her people so that we can fight Russia over there so we don’t have to fight Russia here.”
Rep. Adam Schiff: Ukraine military aid was "designed to help Ukraine defend itself from the Kremlin's aggression. More than 15,000 Ukrainians have died fighting Russian forces and their proxies. 15,000." https://t.co/C7AyPvvSTr pic.twitter.com/PUmMDzRcy1
— ABC News (@ABC) January 22, 2020
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