Despite there being less than two weeks remaining in the president’s term, Democrats are pledging to make another impeachment attempt against Donald Trump.
Democratic leaders including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA) insist that Trump’s speech in Washington on Wednesday incited the riot on Capitol Hill in which five people lost their lives, according to the Associated Press. But according to one constitutional law professor, Democrats’ claims simply don’t hold up.
“The speech itself does not give a clear basis for the charges of insurrection or incitement,” legal scholar Jonathan Turley argued during an appearance on Fox & Friends Weekend, according to Fox News.
“The president talks about his followers marching on Congress peacefully,” Turley added. “He does not call for riots. He does not call for violence.”
Turley bids for Trump
The George Washington University Law school professor expressed those same arguments in an op-ed published by The Hill on Saturday. According to Turley, Trump’s remarks “would be viewed as protected speech by the Supreme Court.”
“Despite broad and justified condemnation of his words, Trump never actually called for violence or riots,” Turley argued. In fact, the president “told the crowd ‘to peacefully and patriotically make your voices be heard,'” Turley said.
“There was no call for lawless action by Trump,” he wrote. “Instead, there was a call for a protest at the Capitol,” behavior that “is common across the country to protest actions by the government,” Turley argued.
The law professor went on: “Moreover, violence was not imminent, as the vast majority of the tens of thousands of protesters were not violent before the march, and most did not riot inside the Capitol.”
While acknowledging that the rioters had done terrible damage, Turley further cautioned that Democrats’ plans “would do to the Constitution what the violent rioters did to the Capitol and leave it in tatters.”
Dems push ahead
None of that appears likely to sway Democratic lawmakers, however.
New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D) denounced Trump as “treasonous” this weekend and called for his removal, Breitbart reported.
“Donald Trump must be removed from office immediately, he should be impeached, convicted, and thrown out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and forever banished to the dustbin of history,” Jeffries said, according to Breitbart.