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This 2014 op-ed by Jonathan Turley shows just how full of it he is now

Attorney Scott Pilutik wrestles with the news of the day, from a lawyerly perspective…

In 2014 Jonathan Turley wrote this 2014 Washington Post op-ed piece that’s a pretty accurate take in response to impeachment myths that Republicans had been floating regarding Obama’s implementation of the ACA.

(That the passage of a law — one which ultimately survived review at the Supreme Court — was seriously discussed as a potential basis for impeachment says worlds about Republican faux outrage.)

Yesterday Turley sat as the Republican expert witness and did a 180 on every point he raised in this op-ed. Just hacktastic.


What gets me (well, one of the things) about Turley’s take (i.e., the evidentiary record is incomplete) is that he’s imposing his own evidentiary standard despite that no statutory evidentiary standard exists because it’s an impeachment, not criminal or civil law. So he’s cloaking his subjective opinion (‘I don’t feel there’s enough evidence’) in objective terms (‘something more is needed, per the Framers’).

Turley’s opinion that more is needed is based mostly on the fact that people who are fact witnesses haven’t testified (which refusals are, separately, impeachable conduct). But plenty of officials with first-hand knowledge have testified and all of those testimonies track and corroborate.

So the idea that you need the testimonies of those obstructing the investigation, many who are themselves deeply implicated, when you have everyone else’s consistent testimony, is a patently ridiculous exercise in goal-post moving.

If reasonable people can reasonably infer what actually happened, it’s a waste of time waiting out the unreasonable ones for the months it’d take to get Barr’s, Pompeo’s, Mulvaney’s, Pence’s, Giuliani’s, Perry’s, et al. Fifth Amendment refusals or dead silences on the record, no matter how dramatic that might feel.

Now, there’s something to be said for going to court and forcing these clowns to sit there and look obstinate before the cameras anyway, because they’re refusing to honor Congressional subpoenas and there should be a price for that. Chelsea Manning is in prison for this very thing. Susan McDougal went to prison for this very thing during the Clinton impeachment hearings. I think Democrats should pursue both avenues.

But my main point here is that Turley is demonstrably unprincipled and sat there yesterday preening like a food critic, telling the table that the food they were eating wasn’t actually food.

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