Bad first day for Republicans’ impeachment efforts, as Jonathan Turley comes out against Biden’s impeachment: Some Republicans were reportedly unhappy with what took place on the first day of the House GOP’s impeachment hearings.
Joe Biden Scores a Win?
Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University Law School, has in recent years often taken to the media to defend President Trump in his various legal dramas, even at times when few others in the legal community have been willing to do so.
So when House Republicans announced the first hearing in their impeachment inquiry into President Biden, it was not a surprise that Turley would appear as one of the witnesses.
It was, however, a surprise when Turley said in the hearing that he does not believe the Republicans have yet made the case that Biden deserves impeachment.
“I do not believe that the current evidence would support articles of impeachment,” Turley said Thursday before the House Oversight Committee, as reported by NBC News, although he did say that he believes it warrants an inquiry.
Turley and other witnesses were brought in as experts, rather than “fact witnesses.”
“I am not here today to even suggest that there was corruption, fraud or wrongdoing,” Bruce Dubinsky, a forensic accountant, told the committee, per CNN. “More information needs to be gathered before I can make such an assessment.”
Even so, some in the GOP appeared unhappy about how the first day went.
“You want witnesses that make your case. Picking witnesses that refute House Republicans arguments for impeachment is mind-blowing,” one senior Republican aide told CNN’s Melanie Zenona. “This is an unmitigated disaster.”
“I wish we had more outbursts,” one GOP lawmaker told CNN.
In addition, per CNN, Republicans on the committee made some questionable assertions. In recent days, they had been making claims about “two additional wires sent to Hunter Biden that originated in Beijing from Chinese nationals [with] Joe Biden’s home is listed on the beneficiary address.”
However, that isn’t exactly how wire transfers work.
Rep. James Comer (R-KY), the chairman of the Oversight Committee made those claims, but it does not show that President Biden received any of the money; in fact, Hunter Biden was living at the Delaware address at the time. It was his “only permanent address” at the time, following his divorce, according to a statement by Hunter Biden’s lawyer.
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), the ranking Democrat on the committee, pushed back against the Republicans’ efforts, NBC News reported.
“If the Republicans had a smoking gun or even a dripping water pistol, they would be presenting it today, but they’ve got nothing on Joe Biden,” Raskin said at the hearing. He also, along with other Democrats, accused his counterparts in the other party of doing the bidding of former President Trump. He also compared them to “flying monkeys on a mission for the Wicked Witch of the West.”
Trump, the New York Times reported in mid-September, had played a larger-than-known role in the effort to bring an impeachment inquiry against President Biden. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) told the newspaper that she had me with Trump soon before that to brief him on the House GOP’s impeachment plans.
It was one of several meetings Trump has had with House Freedom Caucus members and other House members (Greene, earlier this year, was kicked out of the Freedom Caucus.)
The Times story stated that Trump was more interested in the idea of expunging his impeachments than in impeaching Biden. Greene and Rep. Elise Stefanik both introduced bills this summer to expunge Trump’s earlier impeachments, although it appears the impeachment of Biden has taken precedence instead. In addition, it’s far from clear whether such an expungement would have ay constitutional force.
“They could pass expungements, reversals, nullifications, apologies, pardons, and valentines to Donald Trump, but it makes no difference,” Rep. Raskin, who is also a law professor, told Politico earlier this fall.
Author Expertise and Experience
Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Stephen has authored thousands of articles over the years that focus on politics, technology, and the economy for over a decade. Follow him on X (formerly Twitter) at @StephenSilver, and subscribe to his Substack newsletter.
From the Vault