A top DC law professor warned the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that lawmakers shouldn’t oust a sitting president just because they are angry.

“I am concerned about lowering impeachment standards to fit a paucity of evidence and abundance of anger,” Jonathan Turley, a professor at George Washington University and a Republican-called witness, told the panel.

“I get it. You’re mad. The president’s mad. My Republican friends are mad. My Democratic friends are mad. My wife is mad. My kids are mad. Even my dog seems mad — and Luna is a golden doodle and they don’t get mad,” he continued.

“So we’re all mad, and where has it taken us? Will a slipshod impeachment make us less mad? Will it only give an invitation for the madness to follow in every future administration?” Turley said. “This is not how you impeach an American president.”

He also cautioned lawmakers about charging President Trump with obstruction of justice over his refusal to allow current and former members of his administration to testify and for not releasing documents in the inquiry.

He said Trump has every right to appeal to the courts to sort out the immunity question of witnesses testifying, unless the president defies a court order saying the witnesses should appear.

“If you impeach a president, if you make a high crime and misdemeanor out of going to the courts, it is an abuse of power. It’s your abuse of power. You’re doing exactly what you’re criticizing the president of doing,” he said.

“We have a third branch that deals with the conflicts of the other two branches,” Turley said.

Noah Feldman, a law professor at Harvard, was asked why he believed Trump abused the power of his office by withholding military aid to coerce Ukraine to investigate potential political rival Joe Biden.

Impeachment Inquiry into President Donald J. Trump - Judiciary Committee
Professor of public interest law at the George Washington University Law School Jonathan Turley

EPA

House Judiciary Committee holds hearing on Trump impeachment Inquiry on Capitol Hill in Washington
Witnesses called by the Democratic majority Noah Feldman, a professor of law at Harvard University Law School, Pamela Karlan, co-director of the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic at Stanford University Law School, and Michael Gerhardt, professor of law at University of North Carolina School of Law, talk with Republican-called witness Jonathan Turley (rear), professor of law at George Washington University Law School.

REUTERS

“The abuse of power occurs when the president uses his office for personal advantage or gain,” Feldman said.

He added that if the House fails to take action against Trump, democracy would be at stake.

“That matters fundamentally to the American people. Because if we cannot impeach a president who abuses his office for personal advantage, we no longer live in a democracy. We live in a monarchy or we live under a dictatorship. That’s why the framers created the possibility of impeachment,” he said.

Michael Gerhardt, a professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law, told the panel that Trump’s actions are what the founding fathers took efforts to prevent.

“I just want to stress that if what we’re talking about is not impeachable, then nothing is impeachable. This is precisely the misconduct that the framers created a Constitution including impeachment to protect against. And if there’s no action, if Congress concludes they’re going to give a pass to the president here, as Professor Karlan suggested earlier, every other president will say, ‘Okay, then I can do the same thing’ and the boundaries will just evaporate,” Gerhardt said, referring to another Democratic witness, Pamela Karlan.

In her testimony, Karlan, a law professor at Stanford University, noted that Trump encouraged Russia to look into the hacking of Hillary Clinton’s emails during the 2016 campaign.

“That’s not politics as usual, at least not in the United States or any mature democracy,” she said. “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.”

Karlan also broke away from her prepared opening remarks to hit back at Rep. Doug Collins, the ranking Republican on the committee, who implied the witnesses hadn’t fully digested the 300-page impeachment report released late Tuesday by Democrats on the panel.

“Mr. Collins, I would like to say to you, sir, that 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,” she said. “I’m insulted by the suggestion that as a law professor, I don’t care about those facts.”

Click here to read Turley’s full statement.