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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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Wells Fargo has already hit stimulus cap as small businesses worry loans are running out: report

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On Monday, the Washington Post reported that Wells Fargo, one of the nation's largest banks, is already cutting off new applications for the government's small-business stimulus relief program.

"Wells Fargo didn’t begin taking applications until Saturday and by Monday morning said it reached the $10 billion cap it had set for loans under the program," wrote Renae Merle. "Small businesses, which employ nearly half of the United States’ private-sector workers, say they are facing long waits and rejection as they scramble to secure loans through the fund, known as the Paycheck Protection Program. Many banks are accepting applications only from existing customers or businesses of a certain size."

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Trump calls Joe Biden to discuss how to manage coronavirus pandemic: report

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On Monday, NBC News' Mike Memoli reported that President Donald Trump called former Vice President Joe Biden — his likely general election rival in November — to discuss how to manage the coronavirus pandemic.

NEWS: @JoeBiden spoke today with @realDonaldTrump about the nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a source with knowledge of the call tells NBC News.

— Mike Memoli (@mikememoli) April 6, 2020

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‘This president has muzzled science’: Doctor blasts Trump for ignorance over so-called ‘miracle drug’

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