Presidents’ actions meet the standards for impeachment, legal scholars agree
While that sideshow was going on, the House Judiciary Committee heard from four academic legal experts on Wednesday who agreed that Trump’s apparent attempt to extort a quid pro quo from Zelensky met the standard for impeachment.
Noah Feldman of Harvard Law School, Pamela Karlan of Stanford Law School and Michael Gerhardt of the University of North Carolina School of Law all appeared before the committee to help establish the constiutional framework for impeachment, with only Jonathan Turley of the George Washington University Law School offering a dissenting voice, having been summoned by the GOP specifically to provide one.
“President Trump’s conduct as described in the testimony in evidence clearly constitutes impeachable high crimes and misdemeanours under the Constitution,” said Professor Feldman, a preppy New Yorker subscriber who cut an extremely impressive appearance.
“If we cannot impeach a president who abuses his office for personal advantage, we no longer live in a democracy – we live in a monarchy, or we live under a dictatorship,” he added.
“The record compiled thus far shows the president has committed several impeachable offenses, including bribery, abuse of power, and soliciting of personal favour from a foreign leader to benefit himself personally, obstructing justice, and obstructing Congress,” Gerhardt agreed.
“I just want to stress – if what we’re talking about is not impeachable, then nothing is impeachable.”
Professor Karlan offered the fiercest presence, asking of the assembled congressmen and women: “Imagine living in a part of Louisiana or Texas that’s prone to devastating hurricanes and flooding. What would you think if you lived there and your governor asked for a meeting with the president to discuss getting disaster aid that Congress has provided for… what would you think if that president said, ‘I would like you to do us a favour? I’ll meet with you and I’ll send the disaster relief once you brand my opponent a criminal.’ Wouldn’t you know in your gut that such a president had abused his office? That he betrayed the national interest and that he was trying to corrupt the electoral process?”
Here are Andrews Feinberg and Buncombe to round-up another extraordinary day on Capitol Hill.