Jonathan Turley (pictured) is the first Republican-approved witness who will testify in the impeachment inquiry – but he is not expected to defend Donald Trump

Jonathan Turley (pictured) is the first Republican-approved witness who will testify in the impeachment inquiry – but he is not expected to defend Donald Trump

Jonathan Turley, the only Republican witness allowed by Democrats in the impeachment hearing Wednesday, is unlikely to defend Donald Trump, according to his opening statement.

The George Washington University law professor is the first Republican-requested witness and the only Republican who will appear Wednesday, but in his 53-page opening statement, which was obtained by the Associated Press, Turley says ‘a case for impeachment can be made,’ but he did say the current case brought by Democrats was based solely on secondhand information.

‘It is not wrong because President Trump is right,’ Turley prepared in his opening remarks, which he will deliver before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday.

He blasts the president’s call with his Ukrainian counterpart as ‘anything but perfect,’ – a word Trump has used to describe his now-infamous July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which is the genesis of the impeachment inquiry.

‘A case for impeachment could be made, but it cannot be made on this record,’ Turley will say.

The remaining three witnesses who will testify on Wednesday, and who were all called by Democrats, are Noah Feldman, a Harvard Law professor, Pamela Karlan, a law professor at Stanford and Michael Gerhardt, a law professor at the University of North Carolina.

They are all expected to argue for impeachment, according to statement obtained by AP.

‘If Congress fails to impeach here, then the impeachment process has lost all meaning,’ Gerhardt’s statement reads.

‘The president’s serious misconduct, including bribery, soliciting a personal favor from a foreign leader in exchange for his exercise of power, and obstructing justice and Congress are worse than the misconduct of any prior president,’ Gerhardt’s statement continues, according to a copy obtained by Politico. 

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (pictured) is continuing the impeachment inquiry Wednesday after the Intelligence Committee released a report indicating based on its investigation the president has committed impeachable offenses

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (pictured) is continuing the impeachment inquiry Wednesday after the Intelligence Committee released a report indicating based on its investigation the president has committed impeachable offenses

Pamela Karlan

Noah Feldman

The other three witnesses were called by Democrats, including Harvard Law professor Noah Feldman (right) and Pamela Karlan (left), a law professor at Stanford

The third Democrat-called witness, University of North Carolina law professor Michael Gerhardt (pictured), alleged that 'the president's serious misconduct, including bribery, soliciting a personal favor from a foreign leader in exchange for his exercise of power, and obstructing justice and Congress are worse than the misconduct of any prior president'

The third Democrat-called witness, University of North Carolina law professor Michael Gerhardt (pictured), alleged that ‘the president’s serious misconduct, including bribery, soliciting a personal favor from a foreign leader in exchange for his exercise of power, and obstructing justice and Congress are worse than the misconduct of any prior president’

The House Intelligence Committee released a report Tuesday indicating it found that Trump misused the power of his office to solicit Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 elections and also obstructed the impeachment investigation.

The report came after several closed-door meeting, five days of public hearings and 12 witness testimonies last month before the Intelligence Committee, headed by Chairman Adam Schiff.

Now, the House Judiciary Committee is moving swiftly to weigh the findings by fellow lawmakers.

The 300-page Democrat report found ‘serious misconduct’ by the president.

It did not render a judgment on whether Trump’s actions stemming from his call with Zelensky rose to the constitutional level of ‘high crimes and misdemeanors,’ which would warrant impeachment. That is for the full House to decide.

Its findings involving Trump’s efforts to seek foreign intervention in the American election process will, however, provide the basis for a House vote on impeachment and a Senate trial carrying the penalty of removal from office.

‘The evidence that we have found is really quite overwhelming that the president used the power of his office to secure political favors and abuse the trust American people put in him and jeopardize our security,’ Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff of California told AP.

‘It was a difficult decision to go down this road, because it’s so consequential for the country,’ Schiff continued. ‘[But] the president was the author of his own impeachment inquiry by repeatedly seeking foreign help in his election campaigns.’

Schiff added: ‘Americans need to understand that this president is putting his personal political interests above theirs. And that it’s endangering the country.’

The session Wednesday with legal scholars will delve into possible impeachable offenses, but the real focus will be on the panel, led by Chairman Jerrold Nadler and made up of a sometimes boisterous, sharply partisan division of lawmakers. 

Trump declared while attending the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Summit in London that he wouldn’t be watching Wednesday’s hearings, calling the Democrats’ efforts ‘unpatriotic.

In the Democrats' impeachment report, Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff wrote that Trump 'solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, to benefit his reelection,' and 'sought to undermine the integrity of the U.S. presidential election process, and endangered U.S. national security'

In the Democrats’ impeachment report, Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff wrote that Trump ‘solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, to benefit his reelection,’ and ‘sought to undermine the integrity of the U.S. presidential election process, and endangered U.S. national security’

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement, ‘Chairman Schiff and the Democrats utterly failed to produce any evidence of wrongdoing by President Trump.’

She added that the report ‘reads like the ramblings of a basement blogger straining to prove something when there is evidence of nothing.’

The ‘Trump-Ukraine Impeachment Inquiry Report’ provides a detailed account of a shadow diplomacy run by Trump’s personal attorney and former Republican Mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani.

Along with revelations from earlier testimony, the report included previously unreleased cell phone records raising fresh questions about Giuliani’s interactions with the top Republican on the intelligence panel, Rep. Devin Nunes of California, and the White House. Nunes declined to comment. Schiff said his panel would continue its probe. 

Based on two months of investigation sparked by a still-anonymous government whistleblower’s complaint, which was made public in September, the report relies heavily on testimony from current and former U.S. officials who defied White House orders not to appear.

Schiff wrote in the Democrat report’s preface that the Intelligence Committee’s inquiry found that the president ‘solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, to benefit his reelection.’

In doing so, the president ‘sought to undermine the integrity of the U.S. presidential election process, and endangered U.S. national security,’ the report continued.

It added that when Congress began its impeachment investigation, Trump obstructed the probe.

The Democrats’ report came the day after a 123-page Republican prebuttal was publicized that claimed Trump didn’t do anything wrong and perpetuated a conspiracy theory that Ukraine, either on its own or along with Russia, interfered in the 2016 elections to favor Hillary Clinton.

The Republican counter-report, authored by three House ranking members, claimed Trump never intended to pressure Ukraine when he asked for a ‘favor’ for Kiev to investigate political rival and former Vice President Joe Biden.

They say the military aid that the White House was withholding was not being used as leverage, as Democrats claim. Republican ranking members Devin Nunes, Jim Jordan and Mike McCaul argue that Democrats just want to undo the 2016 election.

Republicans who have defended Trump from the start have echoed his rhetoric that the proceedings are a ‘hoax.’

The president also criticized the House for pushing forward with the inquiry while he is overseas participating in the NATO summit.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy called on Democrats to end the impeachment ‘nightmare,’ claiming those on the left are ‘concerned if they do not impeach this president they cant beat him in an election.’ 

Possible grounds for impeachment are focused on whether Trump abused his office as he pressed Zelensky to open investigations into Trump’s political rivals.

When Trump and Zelesnky spoke in July, the White House, a few days earlier, had frozen $400 million in military aid to Ukraine, jeopardizing key support for the Eastern European nation as it faces an aggressive Russia at its border.

The Democrat report also accuses Trump of obstruction, claiming he is the ‘first and only” president in U.S. history to ‘openly and indiscriminately’ defy the House’s constitutional authority to conduct the impeachment proceedings by instructing officials not to comply with document and testimony subpoenas.

Liberal Democrats are pushing the party to go further by incorporating findings from former special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia report, but more centrist and moderate Democrats want to stick with the Ukraine matter as a simpler narrative that Americans understand.

This is especially important as public opinion polls show Americans are split on whether they support impeachment, and some in battleground states indicate they are confused by the proceedings.

Democrats could begin drafting articles of impeachment against the president in a matter of days, and the full House could vote by Christmas.

After a full House vote, the matter would move to the Republican-controlled Senate for a trial in 2020.

White House Counsel Pat Cipollone wrote that the impeachment is a ‘baseless and highly partisan inquiry.’

He did, however, leave the door open to possible White House participation in future hearings.

Cipollone will brief Senate Republicans on Wednesday.

House rules provide the president and his attorneys the right to cross-examine witnesses and review evidence before the committee, but little ability to bring forward witnesses of their own. 



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