George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley has gone to bat for Trump (again) and as this piece from Salon indicates aroused growing criticism from other law professors and commentators around the country. Pretty strong criticism too. Turley was once known for having a Libertarian bent but perhaps his time as a go to guest pundit for Fox he’s drunk too much Kool-Aid (Trump flavored) out of his mug on the set. Still, in his appearances and Congressional testimony (he appeared for both Trump impeachments – both of which he disagreed with) Turley still manages to project a level of gravitas. Unlike say Alan I-kept-my-underpants-on-while-getting-“massages”-from Epstein’s-“girls” Dershowitz. Dersh’s ability to project credibility hasn’t sunk to the level of Rudy Giuliani’s (yet) but in comparison Turley comes across measured and credible. Dangerously so, like a legal hitman equivalent of former Ohio Gov. John Kasich who thankfully is determined to stay retired.
The Salon article opens with:
Jonathan Turley, a George Washbngton University law professor, on Thursday claimed that former President Donald Trump was merely seeking a recount when he demanded Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger “find” enough votes to overturn his 2020 election loss in the state.
Even before hearing quite a bit more of the “I just need you to fin 11,700 votes” “perfect” phone call I would have called bullsh*t on Turley. There had already been three, count em three recounts by then and someone correct me if I’m wrong there’s never been a state recount that changed the overall margin by even a thousand votes, much less 11K plus. But as I said more recently we’ve heard more sections of that phone call. And another one. As bad as it initially seemed with the extra context it’s much worse. I’m pretty sure once this goes to trial it will get WAY worse for Trump. And Meadows too now that I think about it.
Anyway, the article notes that during his interview with Fox’s Sean Hannity Turley said Trump was merely asking for another recount with that call. (What – a FOURTH one?) He went on to talk about “criminalizing” the challenging of elections. Uh, Mister Turley? Soliciting a crime and as part of a larger set of acts to overturn counted and certified votes is rather more than “challenging!” Turley complained it boils down to a Democratic prosecutor saying “How dare you challenge a Democratic victory?”
The article also talks about how Turley started a couple of weeks ago walking back comments he’d made in Jan. 21, going so far as to claim being initially “misinformed” about the “perfect” phone call and citing the Washington Post correcting a story on it. Well… the WaPo has called bullsh*t on Turley:
However, Turley’s account, Bump says, is misleading. While the outlet did correct an article about a different call where Trump attempted to pressure Georgia officials, the article linked in his tweet remained accurate.
“Notice how he conflates the two, describing them as the ‘Post account of the calls’ and suggesting that it was our error that misled him,” Bump said. “In reality, the error was — and continues to be — his own.”
Turley is not a stupid guy. He’s read the indictments, if only to be able to handle questions from students at GW Law about this case. He already knows how much the prosecutors have, and knows damn well they have more that will be revealed in due time. He knows all this, and surely has contacts that have told him in that way lawyers have of talking “theoretically” to each other that clearly communicated with precision the facts of a topic that on this point Trump is well and truly legally boned.
Yet there he was yesterday giving it the old college try, spinning for Team Trump on Faux Nooz. Maybe he got a bump in his appearance fees. (Go ahead and sue me Joh, but as your boy Trump likes to put it “I hear people say this”!) Maybe like Dershowitz he’s moved to far down that slimy slope towards the pit of professional ridicule to claw his way back up and hose off. Once again, I have to apologize for not knowing how to embed tweets but if you don’t want to click on the link to the Salon article here’s what folks are saying”
But let’s begin with Turley himself – back in 2016! Jan. 3 2021 to be precise. Hmmmm. I guess Elon forgot to clean this this kind of thing:
Telling Raffensperger to “find” the votes on the Saturday before the certification is breathtaking. washingtonpost.com/politics/trump I am as mystified by the request as I am the logic. Such an opportunistic move to secure the 16 electoral votes would not work to change the outcome.
Oops. You’d think a tenured law professor at a reasonably prestigious university and one who has a lot of first amendment work under his belt would know about stuff posted on the internet being there forever. Even IF you try to erase it. But let’s move on to the present and responses to the brown organic matter Turley was flinging at Fox viewers:
“I’m not asking every law professor out there to agree with my view. But… would a fourth recount weeks after certification and just a couple of days before Congress convened have changed the election? No. This argument is obscene. Simply because it is devoid of logic and reason.” (Georgia State Law Professor Anthony Michael Kreis. I thought calling Turley’s argument “obscene” was a nice touch)
“A disgrace to my profession. Man, Turley, Eastman, The Dersh….Ugg.” (Eric Segall, Ashe Family Chair Professor of Law at Georgia State University)
And my favorite (so far) tweet that I used in the title:
“More proof that Jonathan Turley is Mike Lindell with tenure.” (Marc Elias, Democratic Election Lawyer)
Turley almost seems to be developing a reputational death wish. I think the tweet from Professor Segall lays it out there well. I don’t know about you, and I’m not even a lawyer much less one who was both well known and highly regarded like Eastman and Dershowitz once were but knowing colleagues with serious legal and scholarly chops of their own were saying such things for all to see would make me take a hard look at whether I wanted to continue down the road Turley seems to want to travel. Tenure or not those aren’t legal (former) bigwigs I would want my name linked with. Add in the rest of the class of legal clowns like Rudy G., Sydney Powell and Jeffrey Clark and if I were Turley no matter how good the money is I’d settle for what I’ve collected and STFU. Except in the classroom.