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Jonathan Turley claims an impeachable offense must be a crime — but wrote this was a ‘myth’ in 2014

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One of the key claims made by Republicans’ constitutional expert in Wednesday’s House Judiciary Committee impeachment hearing, George Washington Univerity Professor Jonathan Turley, was that an offense must be a crime to constitutionally merit impeachment.

But putting aside the extremely dubious claim that it was not a crime for President Donald Trump’s suspension of military aid to force Ukraine to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden, Turley is contradicting himself. In 2014, when Republicans were talking about impeaching President Barack Obama, Turley wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post arguing that in fact it is a “myth” that an impeachable offense must be an indictable crime.

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“While there’s a high bar for what constitutes grounds for impeachment, an offense does not have to be indictable,” wrote Turley. “Serious misconduct or a violation of public trust is enough. Madison saw impeachment as ‘defending the community against the incapacity, negligence or perfidy of the chief magistrate.’ And the founders emphasized that impeachments were about what happened in the political arena: involving ‘political crimes and misdemeanors’ and resulting in ‘political punishments.'” He asserted that there were limits on what Congress could impeach a president for — it couldn’t just be on a whim — but that it could also involve abuses of power or derelictions of duty that weren’t federal crimes per se.

Turley also argued that “regrettably,” there is no clear precedent for what constitutes an impeachable offense altogether.

Now that Trump is president — and now that Republicans have called on him to defend the president’s behavior in Ukraine — his more nuanced 2014 stance appears to have changed.


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SNL imagines Alan Dershowitz and Mitt Romney in hell during impeachment trial sketch

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NBC's "Saturday Night Live"

The skit began with Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) meeting with Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) about impeachment.

They were then joined by Alan Dershowitz, who spoke of his previous clients, Jeff Epstein, O.J. Simpson and Claus von Bülow.

But Dershowitz suffered a heart attack and met the devil in hell, where he was reunited with Epstein.

McConnell then showed up and thanked the devil for teaching him "that thing with Merrick Garland."

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CNN’s Don Lemon collapses on his desk in laugher as guests Rick Wilson and Wajahat Ali dunk on Trump

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CNN anchor Don Lemon was infected with a case of the giggles Saturday night while discussing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Lemon was joined by two hilarious guests, New York Times contributing op-ed writer Wajahat Ali and Rick Wilson, the author of the bestselling 2018 book Everything Trump Touches Dies: A Republican Strategist Gets Real About the Worst President Ever and the new book Running Against the Devil: A Plot to Save America from Trump -- and Democrats from Themselves.

The three were discussing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s interview with “All Things Considered” host Mary Louise Kelly, where he reportedly demanded she point to Ukraine on a blank map.

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2020 Election

Amy Klobuchar wins endorsement in first in the nation primary from the New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper

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Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) received a big endorsement on Saturday evening when her 2020 bid was endorsed by the New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper.

"If there is to be any realistic challenge to Trump in November, the Democratic nominee needs to have a proven and substantial record of accomplishment across party lines, an ability to unite rather than divide, and the strength and stamina to go toe-to-toe with the Tweeter-in-Chief," the newspaper wrote. "That would be U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. She is sharp and witty, with a commanding understanding of both history and the inner workings of Capitol Hill."

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