Prof. Pamela Karlan takes apart every shaky argument the GOP has against impeachment in the House Judiciary Committee Hearings. Her takedown of Doug Collins was just icing on the cake.
December 4, 2019

Fox News doesn't want Republicans to watch the Judiciary Committee's impeachment hearings. After Prof. Pamela S. Karlan's opening statement, I can understand why. The GOP thinks this is gonna be boring? HA. Ranking Member Doug Collins (R-GA) thinks he can push these professors around? DOUBLE HA.

Listen to Prof. Karlan absolutely light into Collins for his condescending opening statement, wherein he maligned and diminished the witnesses and the hearings as a whole.

PROF. KARLAN: Today you're being asked to whether protecting that means impeaching a president. That is an awesome responsibility. But everything I know about our constitution and its values and my review of the evidentiary record, and here Mr. Collins, I would like to say to you, sir, I read transcripts of every one of the witnesses who appeared in the live hearing because 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. But everything I read on those occasions tells me that when president Trump invited, indeed demanded foreign involvement in our upcoming election, he struck at the very heart of what makes this a republic to which we pledge allegiance.

Of course, Collins smirked and looked at his phone. She continued, though, highlighting the myriad examples of ways in which leaders throughout history have protected the sanctity of our elections — something Trump and the GOP seem so happy to discard. My favorite was absentee voting.

PROF. KARLAN: Among the most important provisions of our original constitution is the guarantee of periodic elections for the presidency, one every four years. America has kept that promise for more than two centuries and has done so even during wartime. For example, we invented the idea of absentee voting so that Union troops who supported President Lincoln could stay in the field during the election of 1864. Since then, countless other Americans have fought and died to protect our right to vote. But the framers of our constitution realized that elections alone could not guarantee that the United States would remain a republic. One of the key reasons for including the impeachment power was a risk that unscrupulous officials might try to rig the election process.

Absentee voting is sacrosanct to not only our troops, still, today, but to now college students, or humanitarian workers abroad. The importance of elections being governed by Americans, and Americans ONLY endures, or at least it SHOULD. But Prof. Karlan made sure to base her arguments on the founders as much as possible for ye olde originalists, so they could know they had cover as well. Or so that we could call them the hypocrites they are when they vote against Impeachment.

PROF. KARLAN: For example, John Adams, during the ratification, expressed concern with the very idea of having an elected president writing to Thomas Jefferson that, "You were apprehensive of foreign interference, intrigue, influence. So am I. But as often as elections happen, the danger of foreign influence recurs." In his farewell address President Washington warned that, "History and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government." He explained that this was in part because foreign governments would try and foment disagreement among the American people and influence what we thought. The very idea that a president might seek the aid of a foreign government in his re-election campaign would have horrified them, but based on the evidentiary record, that is what President Trump has done.

HORRIFIED. Why aren't the Republicans more horrified? Why, if they are, are they only horrified in private? Prof. Karlan concluded by telling the world what everyone knows a REAL president would have said to Russia.

PROF. KARLAN: [A] president who cared about the Constitution would say, "Russia, if you're listening, butt out of our elections." It shows a president who did this to strong-arm a foreign leader into smearing one of the president's opponents in our ongoing election season. That's not politics as usual, at least not in the United States or in any mature democracy. It is instead a cardinal reason why the Constitution contains an impeachment power. Put simply, a president should resist foreign interference in our elections, not demand it and not welcome it. If we are to keep faith with our Constitution and with our republic, President Trump must be held to account. Thank you.

We all know why that's not what Trump said, though. And we all know why Fox News is telling its viewers to tune out of the Impeachment hearings. They are all very, very afraid of witnesses like Prof. Pamela S. Karlan.

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