In testimony before Congress on Thursday, George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley said the House has not presented sufficient evidence to impeach President Joe Biden.
Delivering his opening statement, Turley underscored the early timing of the hearing, as House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announced a formal impeachment inquiry into corruption allegations only weeks ago.
“I want to emphasize what it is that we’re here today for: this is the question of an impeachment inquiry,” Turley said. “It is not a vote on articles of impeachment. In fact, I do not believe that the current evidence would support articles of impeachment. That is something that an inquiry has to establish.”
Fox News legal analyst Jonathan Turley, one of the GOP’s impeachment witnesses, says: “I do not believe that the current evidence would support articles of impeachment… But I also do believe that the House has passed the threshold for an impeachment inquiry.” pic.twitter.com/x3cfYKwr5o
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) September 28, 2023
Turley also said he believes the House “has passed the threshold for an impeachment inquiry into the conduct of President Biden, noting that three “inescapable facts” led him to such a conclusion.
He testified that Biden “has indeed spoken falsely” about foreign business deals, “was the focus of a multi-million dollar influence peddling scheme,” and “may have benefited” from that money.
“Now those facts should not be taken out of context,” Turley said, “they are merely allegations and they should not become presumptions of impeachable conduct.”
Turley claimed he had not liked any president since James Madison because they all had been dishonest. The legal expert, who has participated in multiple impeachment inquiries dating back to the Clinton administration, also indicated his written testimony lays out “guardrails” to stop both major parties from abusing the power.
“Presidential impeachment shouldn’t be a closed question” and “shouldn’t be a rush to judgment,” he said. Turley added that “confirmation bias” should be avoided and encouraged people to stand together before they judge the evidence.
Three other witnesses were sworn in at the hearing on Thursday.
The Republican majority had forensic accountant Bruce Dubinsky and former Assistant Attorney General Eileen O’Connor. Democrats invited Michael Gerhardt, a professor of jurisprudence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
At the beginning of the hearing, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) said the committee would examine over two dozen pieces of evidence “revealing” Biden’s “corruption and abuse of public office.” He also pledged the Oversight Committee, while led by Republicans, will not pursue “witch hunts” based on “manufactured allegations, innuendo, and no real evidence.”
Democrats have dismissed the Biden impeachment inquiry as a politically motivated endeavor lacking evidence, while the White House has called on the media to assist in its efforts to ward off the investigation.