Worse yet, I am a recidivist sinner, after testifying as a constitutional expert in both the Clinton and Trump impeachment hearings. Like all mortal sins, the violation of the Eleventh Commandment comes with not just eternal but immediate damnation. What is most striking about this commandment is that it does not matter if your testimony is made in good faith. For example, under the Ninth Commandment, you are only guilty if you give false evidence against your neighbor. Under the Eleventh Commandment, it does not matter if your testimony is true or false. A law-fearing academic must not give any testimony for Republicans.
In my recent testimony before the House Judiciary Committee regarding President Trump’s impeachment, I opposed the position of my fellow witnesses that the definition of actual crimes is immaterial to their use as the basis for impeachment — and I specifically opposed impeachment articles based on bribery, extortion, campaign finance violations or obstruction of justice. The committee ultimately rejected those articles and adopted the only two articles I felt could be legitimately advanced: abuse of power, obstruction of Congress. Chairman Jerrold Nadler even ended the hearing by quoting my position on abuse of power. Our only disagreement was that I opposed impeachment on this record as incomplete and insufficient for submission to the Senate.
None of that matters under the Eleventh Commandment, however. It is the act of testifying for Republicans that is a sin against the legal academy. Indeed, what followed was a series of false stories attacking not my testimony but me, personally. The falsity of these stories is a warning to any academic who considers straying from the Democratic path.