After legal experts disagreed over Trump’s actions, the House has decided to move forward with impeachment.
On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee released a 300-page report accusing the President of bribery, obstructing justice, and endangering the country from foreign powers.
“President Trump’s scheme subverted U.S. foreign policy toward Ukraine and undermined our national security in favor of two politically motivated investigations that would help his presidential reelection campaign,” the report said.
But legal experts disagree with the charges, CBN News reports. On Wednesday, the House invited four constitutional law experts to testify—one called by Republicans and three called by Democrats. Perhaps predictably, the experts were divided by party lines.
“President Trump has committed impeachable high crimes and misdemeanors by corruptly abusing the office of the presidency,” said one expert, Noah Feldman, a Harvard law professor.
“If what we’re talking about is not impeachable, then nothing is impeachable,” said another, UNC law professor Michael Gerhardt.
The third expert, Stanford law professor Pamela Karlan, cautioned lawmakers on the implications of the impeachment. “The evidence reveals a president who used the powers of his office to demand that a foreign government participate in undermining a competing candidate for presidency,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Republican-called expert Jonathan Turley, a George Washington University law professor, disagreed, though he made his position on Trump very clear.
“I’m not a supporter of President Trump. I voted against him,” he said. “[But] I believe this impeachment not only fails to satisfy the standard of past impeachments but would create a dangerous precedent for future impeachments. To impeach a president on this record would expose every future president to the same type of inchoate impeachment.”
He continued with a warning to Democrats:
“Obstruction is a crime with meaning. It has elements. It has case authority. The record does not establish obstruction in this case. What my esteemed colleague said was certainly true. If you accept all of their presumptions, it would be obstruction. But impeachments have to be based on proof, not presumptions.”
The New York Times reported that Speaker Nancy Pelosi has started drawing up impeachment articles against the President on Thursday morning. The move indicates that the House intends to vote on impeachment before Christmas.
“His wrongdoing strikes at the very heart of our Constitution,” she said outside of her office. “Our democracy is what is at stake. The president leaves us no choice but to act because he is trying to corrupt, once again, the election for his own benefit.
“Sadly, but with confidence and humility, with allegiance to our founders and a heart full of love for America, today I am asking our chairmen to proceed with articles of impeachment.”
Should the Democrat-led House vote to impeach, the charges will be brought to the Senate in a trial where two-thirds of the Republican-led Senate must vote to end Trump’s presidency.
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Mikaela Mathews is a freelance writer and editor based in Dallas, TX. She was the editor of a local magazine and a contributing writer for the Galveston Daily News and Spirit Magazine. She blogs at mikaelamathews.com.