Three top US legal scholars testified Donald Trump committed high crimes and misdemeanors worthy of impeachment.
Four law professors gave testimony at the first House Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday regarding whether Trump’s conduct towards Ukraine is worthy of impeachment.
Democrats chose three of the scholars, Noah Feldman of Harvard University, Pamela Karlan of Stanford University, and Michael Gerhart of North Carolina, who all concluded that Trump committed an impeachable offense by asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who was given a top role with Ukrainian national gas company Burisma.
In Feldman’s opening statement, he said Trump ‘abused his office by corruptly soliciting President Volodymyr Zelensky to announce investigations of his political rivals in order to gain personal advantage, including the 2020 presidential election.’ Both Karlan and Gerhart made statements along similar lines.
Republicans selected George Washington University Professor Jonathan Turley to testify, who said that he he is not a ‘supporter’ of Trump, but called the impeachment case ‘woefully inadequate’ and ‘dangerous.’
“President Trump has committed impeachable high crimes and misdemeanors by corruptly abusing the office of the presidency.”
– Harvard Law School Professor Noah Feldman #ImpeachingHearings
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) December 4, 2019
However, Turley was never directly asked whether he believes Trump committed an impeachable offense.
The House Judiciary Committee picked up where their fellow lawmakers in the House Intelligence Committee left off last month during the impeachment inquiry into Trump.
Wednesday’s hearing is essentially the first public step in making an impeachment inquiry an impeachment, which officially began when the Intelligence Committee submitted a report that summed up the findings of weeks-long public and private witness hearings.
The House, which has a Democrat majority, approved the report on Tuesday evening. Trump has been invited to participate in the hearing, but the White House announced that neither Trump nor his lawyers would participate in the first hearing.
Feldman, who coauthored the textbook ‘Constitutional Law,’ commented on Trump’s unwillingness to cooperate with impeachment process on Wednesday, saying: ‘If you’re going to have three branches of government, each of the branches has to be able do its job. The job of the House is to investigate impeachment and to impeach.’
‘A president who says, as this president did say, “I will not cooperate in any way, shape or form with your process” robs a coordinate branch of government, he robs the House of Representatives of its basic constitutional power of impeachment.’
Tomorrow, Democrats will get THREE constitutional lawyers and Republicans will only get ONE!
This entire process is unfair to not only @realDonaldTrump, but the American People!#StopTheSchiffShowpic.twitter.com/gDfqHco5vo
— Team Trump (@TeamTrump) December 3, 2019
Although he is not participating in the proceedings, Trump hit out at the impeachment process and Democratic lawmakers during a meeting with the Italian prime minister at a NATO gathering in London while the first hearing took place.