Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Houston) made light work of Republican talking points that have frequently dotted the impeachment inquiry and today’s hearings.
Questioning multiple law professors (who also testified in the Bill Clinton impeachment probe in the 1990s), Jackson Lee on Wednesday asked the scholars to comment on the strength of the impeachment evidence against President Trump gathered by Congress so far and whether it was “wafer-thin,” as one Republican-defending witness, law professor Jonathan Turley, had suggested earlier.
“So obviously, it’s not wafer-thin,” said Stanford Law Professor Pamela Karlan– a witness who made headlines after she shot back at a GOP congressman who suggested she hadn’t reviewed the facts. “And the strength of the record is not just in the September … the July 25 call,” she continued, “I think what you need to ask about this is, how does it fit into the pattern of behavior by the President?”
Jackson Lee also asked another witness, Harvard Law Professor Noah Feldman, what the most compelling evidence in the impeachment inquiry was so far. Feldman said the July 25th phone call– the call where President Trump asked the newly elected Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden– was “extraordinarily clear.”
“We hear the president asking for a favor that’s clearly of personal benefit rather than acting on behalf of the interests of the nation,” the professor told Jackson.
Democrats and Republicans invited the four law experts to testify in order to get a sober assessment of the president’s actions. Of the four, three said the president’s dealings with Ukraine were an impeachable abuse of power.
Jackson Lee, a powerful member of the Judiciary Committee, spoke to the news media, making the case that Wednesday’s “quiet presentation of the scholars” will help increase the American public’s “faith” to get through the sober impeachment process.
The House Judiciary Committee, which Jackson is a senior member, will ultimately be responsible for drafting articles of impeachment. 50% percent of Americans support impeachment and removal of the president, according to a CNN poll.