In the House Judiciary Committee’s first public hearing in the ongoing impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump, constitutional scholars said that the president committed impeachable offenses that should be considered as “high crimes and misdemeanors.”
The hearing comes a day after the House Intelligence Committee released an impeachment report that concluded Trump engaged in a “months-long effort” to abuse “the powers of his office to solicit foreign interference on his behalf in the 2020 election” and obstructed Congress’ investigation into his actions. The report is now in the hands of the Judiciary Committee, which is responsible for drafting articles of impeachment against the president.
In Wednesday’s hearing, four scholars appeared before the committee to analyze whether Trump’s actions were impeachable. Only one scholar, Jonathan Turley from George Washington University, dissented and said during his opening statement that the case was premature and had “the thinnest evidentiary record, and the narrowest grounds ever used to impeach a president.”
But for Stanford’s Pamela Karlan, the University of North Carolina’s Michael Gerhardt, and Harvard’s Noah Feldman, the president’s offenses were clear.
“A candidate for president should resist foreign interference in our elections, not demand it. If we are to keep faith with the Constitution and our Republic, President Trump must be held to account,” Karlan said.
Gerhardt said Trump’s actions were “worse than the misconduct of any prior president” and said that he would likely continue soliciting foreign interference for the next election if he is “left unchecked.”
Feldman said Trump had “corruptly” solicited Ukraine’s president “to announce investigations of his political rivals in order to gain personal advantage” and abused the powers of his office. “President Trump has committed impeachable high crimes and misdemeanors,” Feldman concluded.
Watch the full hearing in the video above.