Fox News Judge Debunks Turley's Anti-Trump Impeachment Argument, Says 'House Has Sole Power of Impeachment'

Wednesday, Fox News analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano debunked Jonathan Turley's argument that the impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump was an "abuse of power" by House Democrats.

Fox News' Judge Napolitano crushes Turley: "The House has sole power of impeachment. It does not need to go to a court... When the president receives a subpoena, Mick Mulvaney, Mike Pompeo receive a subpoena and they throw it in a drawer... that is the act of obstruction."

— Jesse Lee (@JesseCharlesLee) December 4, 2019

Napolitano said that the House has power of impeachment which supersedes the president's executive privilege. While mentioning the Supreme Court's ruling that the president has a limited executive privilege when documents are requested from the judicial branch, Napolitano pointed out that was not the source of the request.

He added that the president's executive privilege only extends to matters of military, diplomatic and national security matters.

While Napolitano mentioned his friendship with Turley, he said that Turley was "forgetting" that the House has sole—"s-o-l-e"—power of impeachment.

"It doesn't need to go to a court for approval, it doesn't need to go to court to get its subpoenas enforced." Napolitano continued. "When the president receives a subpoena—or in this case, Mick Mulvaney, Mike Pompeo receive a subpoena—and they throw it in a drawer, they don't comply or challenge because the president told them to, that is the act of obstruction."

He concluded that Turley's argument that the House needs to go to court to have their subpoenas enforced was a "misreading" of the Supreme Court ruling.

Judge Andrew Napolitano
Judge Andrew Napolitano said that Jonathan Turley's testimony before the House Judiciary Committee was an incorrect interpretation of a Supreme Court ruling on the limits of presidential power during Fox's Wednesday coverage of the hearings. Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty

Andy McCarthy, another guest on the panel, agreed with Napolitano's interpretation.

"We could debate all day about whether a particular obstructive act would qualify as the framers' idea of a high crime and misdemeanor. The fact of the matter is, if it was trivial, or if it was a one-off, or if it was not suggestive of a heinous pattern of conduct, that Congress would not dare try to impeach over it," McCarthy said.

"I don't think the framers would have thought to that the Article 1 branch needed the assistance of the Article 3 branch to impeach an officer of the Article 2 branch," he added. "I don't think that's conceivable."

Turley, a George Washington University professor of law, argued against the ongoing impeachment of President Trump, favoring the president's executive privilege over the House's right to impeach. He said that if the House had received court approval and subpoenaed the president through those means and the president subsequently ignored the subpoena, then he might be impeachable for obstruction of justice.

Turley also stated that it would be an "abuse of power" in his opinion to impeach the president over the ongoing Ukrainian scandal.