Long before the gavel singled the impeachment hearing to order, the optics filtering out of the assembled chamber on Capitol Hill, through our TV screens instinctively conveyed to the viewers the lopsided numbers in support of impeachment, which all but guaranteed even before the first witness was sworn in, that the unfolding proceedings had already been rigged.
Seated within the austere chamber were four acclaimed constitutional scholars, ready to swear under oath, how each of them interpreted the Constitution, and how our Founders viewed the overall role of government, and in particular the three co-equal branches of government, along with the thorny issue of impeachment.
However, to the average viewer witnessing the unfolding drama, something was amiss, even before the first syllable was uttered. There were three constitutional professors seated together, while the fourth was seated alone and apart.
Acclaimed liberal law Professor Jonathan Turley sat alone, the only witness called by Republicans on the Judiciary Committee. Ironically Turley, a law professor at George Washington University Law School, isn’t a fan of the
President, in fact, admitted to voting for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 Presidential Election, which actually speaks volumes regarding his fidelity to the rule-of-law, and most importantly to the Constitution.
Turley’s opening remarks set the standard of how he personally viewed the impeachment folly.
“I am concerned about lowering impeachment standards to fit a paucity of evidence and an abundance of anger. If the House proceeds solely on the Ukrainian allegations, this impeachment would stand out among modern impeachments as the shortest proceeding, with the thinnest evidentiary record, and the narrowest grounds ever used to impeach a President.”
Adding: “If we are to impeach a president for only the third time in our history, we will need to rise above this age of rage and genuinely engage in a civil and substantive discussion.”
“Impeachment needs to be based on proof, not assumptions.”
By contrast, the three openly biased law professors seated opposite Professor Turley attempted to argue that somehow invoking executive privilege by the executive branch regarding congressional subpoenas is tantamount to another article of impeachment, which Turley easily countered that such issues between two co-equal branches of government should be decided (as the Framers intended), by the third co-equal branch, the “judicial.”
Moreover, the unbridled bias by one of three law scholars was shamelessly exposed when Stanford Law Professor Pamela Karlan took a cheap shot at the Presidents 13-year old son, Barron Trump, mockingly exclaiming, “The Constitution says there can be no titles of nobility, so while the President can name his son Barron, he can’t make him a baron.”
That crude remark was followed by laughter by some within the committee hearing room.
However, a usually reserved First Lady upon hearing the snide remark immediately responded.
“A minor child deserves privacy and should be kept out of politics,” First Lady Melania Trump tweeted. “Pamela Karlan, you should be ashamed of your very angry and obviously biased public pandering, and using a child to do it.”
The First Lady’s blistering tweet was followed by White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham’s tweet; “Classless move by a Democratic ‘witness.’
Adding, “Prof Karlan uses a teenage boy who has nothing to do with this joke of a hearing (and deserves privacy) as a punch-line. And what’s worse, it’s met by laughter in the hearing room. What is being done to this country is no laughing matter.”
To make matters worse for the embattled progressive professor was her inability to be genuinely remorseful, even while attempting to apologize for lamenting, “I want to apologize for what I said earlier about the President’s son. It was wrong of me to do that. I wish the President would apologize, obviously, for the things that he’s done that’s wrong, but I do regret having said that.”
Looking in, I couldn’t help but wonder, even with the sound turned off; the optics were devastating for Democrats.