Op-EdOpinion

WILLIAMS: GOP Disappoints at Impeachment Hearing

A few days ago brilliant constitutional law professors testified in Congress on the grounds for impeachment after hearing the facts coming from the Intelligence Committee under the direction of Chairman Adam Schiff. If anyone had told me before this hearing that professor Jonathan Turley would have taken the positions he took, I would have argued against that possibility. He was such a disappointment after hearing him for years.

I expected the usual craziness from Reps. Jim Jordan, Mike Johnson, Doug Collins, Matt Gaetz and several others, but not from Mr. Turley for whom I’d held in high regard for years. I can’t imagine what his current and former law students are thinking about him after such a performance.

Several of the Republican members of Congress must’ve had earplugs or been out of the room during the impeachment hearings when so many witnesses presented the facts as to why Donald Trump should not only be impeached but also convicted. I would be willing to bet that if any high school student heard the facts and these constitutional experts discuss the laws of our country and what it takes to impeach a government official, that student would both impeach and convict the president.

I suppose many Republicans don’t understand the laws of our country and don’t understand high crimes and misdemeanors. It’s scary to see the behavior of these mostly white men and few white women who are responsible for creating the laws for all of us to live by! If those of us who successfully went through law school are having trouble understanding these Republicans’ lack of understanding of the meaning of abuse of power by advancing personal interest, betrayal of the American people by enlisting the help of another nation to interfere in our elections for personal benefit, of obstruction of justice by thinking that he can do whatever he wants to do and that he can even shoot someone on 5th Avenue and nothing could be done to him, what is the average person thinking?

Thank God for professors Pamela S. Karlan, Noah Feldman and Michael Gerhardt, who are giving both the Republicans and the American people an explanation of our laws. They explained that even Trump is not above the law.

Democrats have voted with Republicans on far less egregious offenses by a president. Where are the sensible Republicans who know the current president has torn our country apart by refusing to acknowledge stacks of shameful impeachable behavior? If we can’t impeach this president with the repeated impeachable behavior that is so shameful and so clear, when can we stop any harmful behavior by any government official?

If our laws mean nothing for the person charged with executing our laws, why should any American be expected to follow them? There are people who’ve done far less harmful things than our current president and so many of his staff, his personal lawyers and friends yet they languish in prisons for very long periods of time. Why should our so-called leaders be above the law? Rep. Val Demings said, “The rule of law is the strength of our democracy.” Why should someone who’s violated so many of our laws get away without punishment?

Shame on Rep. Ben Cline for belittling the constitutional scholars who’re so brilliantly helping us to understand the laws of our nation that people like him are charged with making but can’t stand to uphold because it’s so obvious they’re little more than lapdogs for their party. We must insist that we the people have the right to elect our leaders in 2020, not the Russians.

Williams is national president of the National Congress of Black Women.

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