A member of Congress raised eyebrows Sunday after she used her commencement address at George Washington Law School to criticize one of the school's professors for cautioning against the impeachment of former President Donald Trump.
Jonathan Turley, a professor at the D.C.-based law school, took to his personal website to defend himself after Rep. Susan Wild (D-PA) criticized him while delivering the school's commencement address Sunday for testifying against impeaching Trump.
"You must be wary of those seeking to use their influence and their expertise to wrongful ends," Wild said of Turley in her address. "GW Law, for example, has a tenured professor who is, without question, well-versed in constitutional law but has recently made a name for himself on cable news and social media by undermining his own past well-documented scholarship."
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"A law professor who at one time strenuously advocated that a president need not commit an indictable offense to be impeached and in just this past year argued the opposite for a president more to his liking," she continued. "A president, no less, who instigated an insurrection and a bloody assault on our democratic process and the rule of law.”
In a response on his website Monday, Turley, who missed the commencement due to a prior commitment, said that Wild had "made no effort" to contact him prior to delivering the speech and "clearly made no effort to confirm the underlying allegation."
"She had every reason to expect me to be there (as I often am) and to just sit silently as she attacked my character," Turley wrote. "If Rep. Wild believes that I have misused my academic position for 'wrongful ends,' this was the wrongful means to raise such false allegations, particularly without a modicum of research."
Turley said that, while he had testified in support of the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton in 1998, his position in that case was consistent with his opposition to several articles of impeachment considered by House Democrats in 2019 against then-President Trump.
"In my written testimony, I repeatedly stated the exact opposite of what Rep. Wild claims," Turley wrote, before citing examples of his testimony to the House Judiciary Committee in 2019.
"While emphasizing that past Congresses have relied on the criminal codes and cases as an objective measure of impeachment allegations, I repeatedly and unambiguously maintained that impeachment articles could be based on non-criminal claims," Turley said. "I disagreed with [the committee's] fellow witnesses in opposing the proposed articles of impeachment on bribery, extortion, campaign finance violations or obstruction of justice. I argued that these alleged impeachable acts were at odds with controlling definitions of those crimes and that Congress has historically looked to the criminal code and cases for guidance on such allegations."
Turley said that his position was later adopted by the committee, which "ultimately rejected articles" that invoked criminality and "adopted the only two articles that I noted could be legitimately advanced: abuse of power, obstruction of Congress."
Wild's comments at the graduation, Turley said, were "ironic" given that she was "instruct[ing] our graduating class on being righteous lawyers by making a demonstrably false allegation against one of their professors."
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"Her attack on my using my scholarship and commentary for 'wrongful ends' is clearly based on her disagreement with my views," he wrote. "However, rather than simply disagree with those views in a respectful and factual way, she made false public allegations against my character and academic integrity."
In an email to the Washington Examiner, Turley said he had not heard from Wild and declined to provide further comment.
The Washington Examiner has asked Wild's office for comment.