On this Wednesday, it was the House Judiciary Committee's turn in the impeachment inquiry, complete with all the expected lawmaker theatrics.
But at the center of this hearing was a schooling by four distinguished constitutional law scholars.
Three of them — Noah Feldman, of Harvard Law School, Pamela Karlan, of Stanford Law School, and Michael Gerhardt, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill — were invited by Democrats to testify. Republicans invited Jonathan Turley, of George Washington University.
The goal of the hearing: to determine whether the evidence contained in the House Intelligence Committee's report on the Ukraine investigation warranted impeachment.
Three of the four scholars were blunt.
"After reviewing the evidence that has been made public, I cannot help but conclude that this president has attacked each of the Constitution's safeguards against establishing a monarchy in this country," Gerhardt said.
"The president puts himself above the law when he says he will not cooperate in the impeachment inquiry," Feldman said. "I don't think it's possible to emphasize this strongly enough: a president who will not cooperate with an impeachment inquiry is putting himself above the law."
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Professor Turley argued otherwise, saying Congress was moving too fast and lacked crucial testimony from members of the president's inner circle, which continues to defy subpoenas.
"It's not enough to say, 'I infer this was the purpose. I infer that this is what was intended,' when you're not actually subpoenaing people with direct knowledge," the professor said.
One thing was clear: the law professors weren't interested in theatrics, such as when the top Republican on the committee inferred the witnesses came unprepared to the hearing. Professor Karlan snapped back:
"Here, Mr. Collins, I would like to say to you, sir, that I read transcripts of every one of the witnesses who appeared in the live hearing," she said to Georgia Rep. Doug Collins. "I would not speak about these things without reviewing the facts. So I'm insulted by the suggestion that as a law professor I don't care about those facts."
ADDITIONAL IMPEACHMENT COVERAGE
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