GOP impeachment witness and Fox legal analyst Jonathan Turley followed up his moment of integrity yesterday with a load of hackery in a Daily Beast editorial.
As I wrote last night, Turley displeased his Republican buddies yesterday when, in his opening remarks at the House impeachment hearing, he announced, “I do not believe that the current evidence would support articles of impeachment” against President Joe Biden.
Fox News’ own Neil Cavuto blasted the six-hour hearing yesterday, saying, “I don’t know what was achieved over these last six-plus hours,” that the promised “mountain of evidence” was not delivered and that “the best they could say” is that “they're going to try to get more bank records from Joe Biden and his son.”
So what was the most important thing about the hearing to Turley today? Democratic Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi unfairly attacked him for legally defending a pedophile accused of child rape. Turley wrote:
I warned that this toxic environment begins with how members treat this moment and “members can choose to be either potent teachers for civil discourse or political rage.”
As Turley explained it, he once represented a “Sister Wives” polygamous family whose patriarch was convicted of child rape. Turley wrote that he defended them because he opposes criminalizing polygamy, not because he supports the practice or the patriarch. I’ll take him at his word on that.
I’ll also go one step further and say that, assuming Turley’s account is true, I agree that Krishnamoorthi was unfair in accusing Turley of defending pedophilia, itself. But is that really the big takeaway from the hearing? Really?
According to Turley’s editorial it is. Not only that, it set him on a rant likening Democrats to Joseph McCarthy:
Former Sen. Joe McCarthy (R-WI) used the same smears and bullying tactics. Back then, he was waving around lists of names of people who were to be blacklisted and condemned for holding opposing views.
I previously wrote how Democrats are increasingly adopting the tactics once used against the left during the Red Scare, including the use of blacklists and personal attacks to silence critics. Journalists, FBI agents, prosecutors, and whistleblowers have all been subject to these same ad hominem attacks.
Turley went on a long jag accusing various Democrats of making false accusations against conservatives, such as calling them “Putin apologists” and calling him “not a real lawyer.” And let’s just say, for the sake of argument and my not having to go down a rabbit hole of fact checking, that his complaints are legit. But he somehow completely ignored the far worse attacks coming from the right.
Red Scare? How about right-wingers on a binge of book bans and false accusations of pedophilia? If Turley is so upset at being falsely accused of defending a pedophile, what does he think it’s like to be falsely accused of being one?
Even worse, there are mounting threats against prosecutors and the FBI, NBC News has reported. The threats have become so bad that the FBI created a special unit to investigate and mitigate them. They “coincided with attacks on the FBI and the Justice Department by congressional Republicans and former President Donald Trump,” NBC noted. In other words, Trump and the GOP likely incited at least some of them. You know who else has made similar attacks? Turley’s Fox News colleagues.
Election workers are also being threatened. Who can forget the heart-wrenching testimony of the mother/daughter election workers in Georgia who were so endangered after being falsely accused by Trump and his allies that the FBI advised the mother to go into hiding?
And why did Turley ignore Donald Trump recently inciting violence against Gen. Mark Milley, the country’s top general (until today) who also served under Trump? Turley couldn’t even come up with a “both sides do it.”
I’m not trying to excuse any bad behavior from the left or its allies. Nor is it my intent to bothsides or whatabout this issue. But anyone genuinely concerned about rhetoric and McCarthy-era tactics would have to be either blind or too partisan to ignore the dangerous rhetoric and yes, political violence, coming from the right.
But to get back to yesterday’s hearing, Turley also failed to mention that while Republicans thrust the country closer to a shutdown, they wasted six hours on an impeachment hearing that turned up nothing. Nor that the impeachment zealots have deemed themselves “essential workers” so that they can continue their Biden-impeachment fishing expedition. Meanwhile the rest of us won't be able to visit national parks, renew our passports and, in millions of cases, won't get their paychecks on time.
Come on, Mr. Turley, can't you at long last have a bit more decency?
(Turley image via screen grab)