By Wes Walker
How’s it going for the Dem prosecution so far at Donald Trump’s re-impeachment? An expert they cited fact-checked them on social media in real-time. And that was just Day One.
If you buy the media hype and are the type of person who gets excited when foregone conclusions play out exactly how everyone predicted they would, you might believe this was a big day for the Dems. They put out a long propaganda piece, long on schmaltz, short on facts, manipulating the evidence and trying to exploit emotions surrounding events during the January 6 riot. (RELATED: A closer look at the Democrats’ ‘damning’ incitement video)
It’s no different from headlines blaring out that Officer Brian Sicknick had been brutally murdered by rioters, suffering blunt force trauma from a fire extinguisher. It was only later (and buried deep within their article) that CNN quietly acknowledged there was no specific evidence of Sicknick’s death being the result of trauma, and that he may, like others, have reacted badly to chemical irritants like bear mace that were discharged during the confrontation.
It is clear that the impeachment rules for evidence will bear no more resemblance to an actual legal proceeding than any other aspect of this farce — including the fact that the “impartial” judge presiding over it is Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy, who is also voting as part of the jury. In a real court case, defense lawyers could appeal to the judge, “Objection! Relevance your honor.” But not here. The goal, after all, isn’t the conviction that they already know they cannot accomplish. Rather it is the smear.
It really shouldn’t surprise us, therefore, when they misrepresent the opinion of an expert like the left-leaning but fair-minded Jonathan Turley in their attempt to “convict” Trump.
As noted, my views have evolved not on the value of such trials but on the text. Others, like Laurence Tribe (who is also cited by the House), have also evolved in their views in the last two decades. https://t.co/awVhtJDEh7 Most of us have said this remains a close question.
— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) February 9, 2021
Turley has become more of a “textualist” over time, which accounts for the shift in his position over two decades, not weeks as claimed.
Here is Turley’s actual position on the constitutionality of the hearing in his own words. He does not currently believe that the Constitution permits the trial of a former president, but his view is far more nuanced than the hyper-partisan Lawrence Tribe:
What is striking is Tribe’s claim that this is neither a close nor a credible question. As with his past assertions on Trump crimes, Tribe declared that the Constitution is clear and any argument against trying ex-officials is “stupid.” Many scholars who have reached conclusions on the issue, including myself, have stressed that this is indeed a close question for them. There are a variety of opinions but most academics recognize that either interpretation is credible. For example, Professor Cass Sunstein sees strong arguments on both sides and agrees that the answer is not clear. However, he believes that the House cannot impeach a former official but the Senate can probably convict one. Tribe however has been assuring the public that the question is clear and any opposing views can be dismissed as nonsense.
Cross posted at ClashDaily