Before President Trump tweeted “WITCH HUNT” on February 27, he sent two other tweets, each directly quoting two Fox News experts. One of these experts was Professor Jonathan Turley of the George Washington University School of Law.
Turley said, “I’ve been skeptical about the collusion and obstruction claims for the last year. I just don’t see the evidence….in terms of the collusion, it’s all a bit implausible based on the evidence we have.” If he hadn’t been introduced as an employee of GW, a prestigious Law school, one might easily confuse him for a member of the President’s legal defense team. His argument flew in the face of all we know but, hey, he’s an expert.
But ever since the Clinton-Lewinsky troubles, Turley has been the conservatives’ go-to “Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing.” He is a frequent “legal expert” on CNN and MS-NBC. His modus operandi on cable news is consistent: he introduces himself as a Democrat, says he voted for whoever the last Democratic candidate for President was, and then gives a flawed defense of the progressive position which he then proceeds to tear down. When writing newspaper opinion pieces, he tends to be less crafty.
Twitter limits him to simple statements. Today’s tweet was, “The willingness to wildly speculate on collusion crimes but unwillingness to acknowledge the current lack of compelling evidence is telling. What evidence is known does not constitute even a growl, let alone a bark.”
Donald Trump may once again have blown-up a resource in the interest of one juvenile outburst. The media hasn’t caught on to Professor Turley’s gambit, at least those who aren’t playing along on purpose. But President Trump has probably burned Turley as a tool.
Richard Smith is an author and policy analyst in Northern Virginia