“President Trump Has Committed Impeachable High Crimes and Misdemeanors,” Expert Testifies

The Democrats’ first witness Wednesday said that based on the evidence so far, Trump has abused his power.

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Based on the evidence presented so far, President Donald Trump committed impeachable high crimes and misdemeanors, Harvard Law professor Noah Feldman—Democrats’ first witness at the House Judiciary Committee’s impeachment hearing—testified Wednesday.

“High crimes and misdemeanors are abuses of power and of public trust connected to the office of the presidency,” Feldman said. “On the basis of the testimony and the evidence before the House, President Trump has committed impeachable high crimes and misdemeanors by corruptly abusing the office of the presidency. Specifically, President Trump has abused his office by corruptly soliciting President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to announce investigations of his political rivals in order to gain personal advantage, including in the 2020 presidential election.”

After explaining the Framers’ reasoning for including a provision for impeachment in the Constitution, Feldman said that Trump’s solicitation of the president of Ukraine to investigate his political rivals “embodies the framers’ central worry that a sitting president would ‘spare no efforts or means whatever to get himself reelected.'”

“By freezing aid to Ukraine and by dangling the promise of a White House visit, the president was corruptly using the powers of the presidency for personal political gain,” Feldman said. “Here, too, the president’s conduct described by the testimony embodies the framers’ concern that a sitting president would corruptly abuse the powers of office to distort the outcome of a presidential election in his favor.”

Watch Feldman’s full opening statement below:

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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