Democrat and George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley is warning against claims President Trump "incited" violence at the Capitol last week.
While I was highly critical of the President's remarks, he never actually called for violence or a riot. Indeed, he expressly told his followers “to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.” Such marches are common in both federal and state capitols.— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) January 9, 2021
Further, Turley is warning against the impulse from Democrats on Capitol Hill to impeach President Trump for a second time and argues the precedent would encourage a barrage of snap impeachments over politics, rather than true high crimes or misdemeanors.
"In my view, impeaching on the speech alone would raise serious concerns over the use of impeachment in the future. Many Democrats, including members of Congress, refused to accept Trump as the legitimate president when he was elected and refused to do so as rioting broke out at the inauguration. Many of the same members have used the same type of rhetoric to 'take back the country' and 'fight for the country.' The concern is that this impeachment will not only create precedent for an expedited pathway of 'snap impeachments' but allow future Congresses to impeach presidents for actions of their supporters," Turley writes. "The point of this column is to call for greater caution and deliberation before we take this step to consider the basis and implications of this impeachment. As with the calls to use the 25th Amendment, there are real dangers to any opportunistic or hurried use of this option. There is also the alternative of a joint and bipartisan condemnation of both houses, which would be both justified and unassailable."
"As I have said, there could be evidence to support impeachment on the proposed incitement article but it would have to be found before or after the speech to show an intent to spark rioting or to allow it to continue. As with the 25th Amendment claim, such evidence would be found from within the White House and through a traditional impeachment inquiry," he continues.