Trump's 'bribery' has been 'worse than the misconduct of any prior president,' impeachment witness will testify

Kathryn Krawczyk

President Trump either did everything wrong or not much at all, depending on who you ask.

Four legal experts will appear before the House Judiciary Committee for its round of impeachment hearings Wednesday morning, with three invited by Democrats and one welcomed by Republicans. The Democratic witnesses seem convinced that Trump needs to be impeached, and one of them, University of North Carolina Law professor Michael Gerhardt, will go so far as to say what Trump has done has been "worse than the misconduct of any prior president," his opening statement says.

Gerhardt starts by outlining what he interprets to be Trump's "wrongdoing," and says this "serious misconduct, including bribery, soliciting a personal favor from a foreign leader in exchange for his exercise of power, and obstructing justice and Congress are worse than the misconduct of any prior president." "Even President Nixon agreed to share information with Congress," responded to subpoenas, and sent lawyers to impeachment hearings, Gerhardt continues. Stanford University Law professor Pamela Karlan makes a similar case, calling Trump's conduct "a cardinal reason why the Constitution contains an impeachment power" in her statement.

George Washington University Law professor Jonathan Turley will meanwhile appear at the request of Republicans. Turley begins his opening statement by affirming he's "not a supporter of President Trump," but still finds the legal case for impeaching him "woefully inadequate" and even "dangerous." "This impeachment would stand out among modern impeachments as the shortest proceeding, with the thinnest evidentiary record, and the narrowest grounds ever used to impeach a president," his testimony continues.

The hearing is intended for committee members to ask questions of these legal experts to determine whether they'll vote for Trump's impeachment, though it's pretty clear the Democratic majority is already set on voting in impeachment's favor.

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