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Trump’s own impeachment witness says impeachable acts don’t need to be crimes in stunning rebuke

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When the House Judiciary Committee debated impeachment, only one of the four law professors called as expert witnesses sided with President Donald Trump: George Washington University Law professor Jonathan Turley, a noted civil libertarian, who argued that the House’s process for gathering and debating evidence was problematic.

But in an op-ed for the Washington Post on Tuesday, Turley pointedly broke with Trump’s legal team on one of their most fundamental arguments in the Senate trial: that the articles of impeachment are invalid because they do not allege the president committed a specific federal crime. Such a view, Turley wrote, “is at odds with history and the purpose of the Constitution.”

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“While Framers did not want terms such as ‘maladministration’ in the standard as dangerously too broad, they often spoke of impeachable conduct in noncriminal terms, such as Justice Joseph Story referring to ‘public wrongs,’ ‘great offenses against the Constitution’ or acts of ‘malfeasance or abuse of office,'” wrote Turley. “Alexander Hamilton spoke of impeachment trials as addressing ‘the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust.'”

“While I believe that articles of impeachment are ideally based on well-defined criminal conduct, I do not believe that the criminal code is the effective limit or scope of possible impeachable offenses,” continued Turley. “If some of the president’s critics are adopting a far too broad understanding of impeachable offenses, the White House is adopting a far too narrow one.”

“The adoption of this interpretation would create lasting harm for the constitutional system,” warned Turley. “It would again ‘expand the space for executive conduct’ by reducing the definition of impeachable conduct to the criminal code. It is an argument that is as politically unwise as it is constitutionally shortsighted … Whatever benefit from the clarity of such a position will come at the cost of any possible consensus. If successful, it would also come at a considerable cost for the Constitution.”

Turley further warned Republicans that such an untenable legal argument risks fracturing their own caucus, by persuading some in the GOP to break ranks and vote to convict.

You can read more here.

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One of COVID-19’s unlisted side effects: An increase in police power

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As governments across the globe expand mass surveillance programs in the name of public health, activist and whistleblower Edward Snowden warns that we are watching them build "the architecture of oppression." Perhaps more insidious are new measures that simply expand the power and discretion of the police to "enforce social distancing" in the name of flattening the curve — many of which were passed swiftly in just the past few weeks.

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Women on the frontline: Nurses are patients’ last contact before passing away

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Every night, from their balconies and windows, the French publicly applaud healthcare workers and nursing staff on the frontline in the fight against Covid-19. In France, nearly 90 percent of nurses are female. So how are these women coping with this unprecedented crisis? FRANCE 24 spoke to four of them.

"For the moment, our most important mission is to help patients but if this continues, they will have to find cannon fodder elsewhere," said Leslie, a palliative care nurse in Marseille, working 12 hours a day to care for people at the end of their life.

Like all hospitals and clinics in France, her department is constantly receiving critical Covid-19 cases: "We have drastically reduced visits, so imagine telling families, who know their loved ones are at the end of their life, that they have no right to see them. Psychologically, this is incredibly difficult for us. We are their only contact before they die. "

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‘Appetizing opportunity’: Alleged quack doctor advising Trump wants to open schools – ‘may only cost us 2% to 3%’ more lives

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Mehmet Cengiz Öz, better known to America's TV viewers as Dr. Oz, is calling for the nation's schools to be re-opened despite the coronavirus pandemic that has already killed over 34,000 Americans. He argues that the cost will be "only" an additional 2% to 3% in additional lives lost as a result – a "tradeoff" he suggested that would be worthwhile to get the economy re-opened.

"Schools are a very appetizing opportunity," Dr. Oz told Sean Hannity (video below). "I just saw a nice piece in The Lancet arguing the opening of schools may only cost us 2% to 3% in terms of total mortality," Dr. Oz, who is actually a real, albeit "celebrity" doctor, said Wednesday.

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