George Washington University Law School Professor Jonathan Turley called efforts to impeach President Donald Trump over political disagreements “dangerous,” and warned Democrats to stop forcing the issue.
“I think people need to understand how dangerous this is,” Turley said during an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Friday. “That’s dangerous because what people are really describing is what you have in Great Britain with a no confidence vote. That is you can remove a Prime Minister and his government with a simple vote of no confidence. People don’t have confidence in this president. That standard was rejected by the framers.”
Turley said the Democrats entrusted former President Barack Obama with “unilateral authority” and are now being hypocritical in their attempt to remove Trump.
“The Democrats spent almost eight years giving almost unilateral authority in creating this sort of uber-presidency, and now many of them want to create a type of temporary presidency that they can remove this president for what one article described as political disagreements,” he said.
Turley warned that impeaching a president simply because of disagreements with his values is a chaotic proposition.
“Just imagine that. We are going to now impeach presidents because they don’t have the values that we want. That their thoughts are not in line with the thoughts of the majority. If you want a presidency like that, understand this is not going to be the last president. And that standard will be applied to the next one,” he said. “Maybe there’ll be a Democratic president and the majority doesn’t think that that president doesn’t have the values that it takes to stay in office.”
Turley expressed concern over Democrats, citing the impeachment of Andrew Johnson as precedence, and said he felt troubled by it.
“There are bills for impeachment that have been submitted in congress and many of them are citing the Andrew Johnson impeachment, but most of us who write in this area view the Johnson impeachment as an abuse,” he said. “That was a political disagreement … to see the Johnson impeachment being cited by so many, is very troubling.”
Turley also added his thoughts on invoking the 25th Amendment, which would require Trump’s cabinet and the vice-president to declare him unfit as well as a vote in Congress.
“That’s a lot of votes. In terms of the number you’re going to need 2/3. So the 25th amendment is not a really good option,” Turley said. “People want this lifeline in the constitution. How can we sort of rid ourselves of this meddlesome president? The constitution’s designed not to really allow that because they don’t want impulse buy removals,” Turley concluded.
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