News & Politics

Jonathan Turley Is Still Against Impeachment

The George Washington University law professor says Congress can't remove Trump for "being obnoxious"

Screen shot of Turley appearing on Fox News.

There is yet to be a final decision in the House on the historic second impeachment of Donald Trump, but Jonathan Turley is decidedly anti the move. Though the George Washington University law professor describes himself as “highly critical” of Trump’s January 6 MAGA rally speech and says he tweeted during the speech about the false assertions Trump was making, Turley says he’s troubled by the apparent lack of a hearing.

“The use of a snap impeachment will create a pathway for such votes — free of serious deliberation or investigation,” Turley wrote in an email to Washingtonian. “This is what Snapchat is to conversations. It reduces the process to raw and immediate partisan vote.”

Turley provided testimony at Republicans’ request during Trump’s first impeachment and recently discussed “irregularities” in the 2020 election results on Fox News. It’s unlikely he’ll be called to testify again, given the lack of a hearing, but US Representative Tom Cole referenced Turley’s writings in his argument this morning that impeachment would “divide [the country] further.”

Beyond Turley’s worry over setting a “snap impeachment” precedent, he finds the grounds for impeachment themself “deeply concerning,” as he doesn’t believe Trump’s speech would be legally considered criminal incitement.

“Being obnoxious or narcissistic is not grounds for removal,” Turley wrote. “If it were, much of Washington would vacant.”

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Jane Recker
Assistant Editor

Jane is a Chicago transplant who now calls Cleveland Park her home. Before joining Washingtonian, she wrote for Smithsonian Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times. She is a graduate of Northwestern University, where she studied journalism and opera.