Jonathan Turley: Impeachment Exchange That Reveals the Glaring Hole in the Case

Jonathan Turley: Impeachment Exchange That Reveals the Glaring Hole in the Case
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

There’s a boatload of issues with the Democrats’ impeachment case against President Donald Trump.

But perhaps one of the central issues is that there was no hearing in the House, no witnesses or evidence actually presented and so no record of the case from which to work. Which means that the House managers are scrambling all over the place and pulling things out of the hat which aren’t true or are at odds with their stated theory of the case presented in their Article charging “incitement” because of Trump’s Jan. 6 speech.

George Washington law professor Jonathan Turley pointed out how this problem failed Democrats when they were pushing their case and Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) claimed to be quoting Sen. Mike Lee about a conversation with President Donald Trump on the phone on Jan. 6. Lee, who as a senator, is also a juror, jumped up and said that what Cicilline was claiming was false.

Supposedly Trump mistakenly called Lee instead of Sen. Tommy Tuberville.

Here is what Cicilline said in part: “Sen. Lee described it … Sen. Lee then confirmed that he stood by as Sen. Tuberville and President Trump spoke on the phone. And on that call, Donald Trump reportedly asked Sen. Tuberville to make additional objections to the certification process.”

Lee apparently had not confirmed that that’s what was said. Further according to the Deseret News, what Lee actually said and what was left out from the Democratic presentation was that “Lee said when he later asked Tuberville about the conversation, he got the impression that Trump didn’t know about the chaos going on in the Senate chamber.”

The House managers left out that part, which directly contradicts its narrative that Trump knew about the riot and was relishing it as he was calling to further delay the electoral certification. If true, the House’s timeline argument would lose coherence, if not collapse entirely.

The House repeatedly argued that Trump wanted the riot and then used it to delay the proceedings. Yet, this call occurred “shortly after 2 p.m.” and, according to Lee, Trump did not appear to the senator to be aware of the extent of the chaos. A few minutes later, at 2:38, Trump tweets, “Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!”

So in other words, it blows their theory of the case that he was aware/pushing it and on top of it, he then urges people to “stay peaceful.” That puts another stake in the heart of the alleged incitement.

As Turley notes, the snap impeachment has left Democrats without a record or established facts from which to work, so any point they put out there is likely to be wrong or easily blown apart.

They’ve resorted to citing media articles (and we know how accurate those are) and trial by innuendo versus the actual facts. They’ve failed to establish anything about Trump’s direction or involvement.

Turley said that the Lee issue revealed the whole problem with the case. Pretty hard to prove a case when you have no real evidence or witnesses.

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