CBS ANCHOR: What impact do you think this could have on future presidents?
JONATHAN TURLEY: It is going to have a significant impact, I think it will be a largely dysfunctional one. The problem I have is that this sets the standard quite low for impeachment.
They ultimately rejected the four articles that I originally testified against, including bribery, and went with the two that I thought were legitimate, but they did not obviously follow my advice and try to build a record to try to support those two articles.
The problem I have is that judging by how they define these two articles, you could impeach every living president on this type of allegations. The most troubling for me is the obstruction of Congress. They set an abbreviated period for investigation, arguably the shortest investigation of any presidential impeachment, depending on how you count the Johnson impeachment days.
And then they said if you don’t turn over the evidence during that period, you’re obstructing Congress. Well, President Trump went to court to challenge the necessity of handing over that material. Both Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon were allowed to go all the way to the Supreme Court –they ultimately lost, and Nixon resigned soon after. My concern is that this really does seem like you are making an appeal to the court into a high crime or a misdemeanor.
THE PR CAMPAIGN IS GOING SWIMMINGLY: Two-thirds of voters say Democrats want to impeach Trump more than help Americans.
In the final impeachment poll released before today’s House vote to condemn President Trump, two-thirds of voters believed Democrats in Congress are “more concerned” with punishing the president than helping Americans.
In the latest Zogby Analytics survey, 67% of voters said that they “believe the Democrats are more interested in impeaching the president as opposed to passing legislation that will help Americans.”
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D–Hawaii), a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, voted “present” on the two articles of impeachment against President Trump on Wednesday. This made her one of the only Democrats to effectively cast a no vote on charging the president with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D–N.J.) voted no on impeachment, but is expected to switch parties.*
Gabbard is the first-ever representative to vote “present” during an impeachment inquiry, according to The Daily Beast.
In a statement, Gabbard said that Trump is guilty of wrongdoing, but that she could not endorse a “purely partisan process.”
“When I cast my vote in support of the impeachment inquiry nearly three months ago, I said that in order to maintain the integrity of this solemn undertaking, it must not become a partisan endeavor,” said Gabbard. “Tragically, that’s what it has been.”
Gabbard characterized her actions as a “stand for the center”—a center that neither excuses Trump’s wrongdoing, nor supports his ousting mere months before a presidential election.