inside sources print logo
Get up to date Delaware Valley news in your inbox

BROOKS: Wild’s Speech Is an Unprecedented Attack on a Scholar

From Winston Churchill’s Iron Curtain speech to Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society speech, notable leaders have employed university podiums to communicate ideas, to inspire or to warn us. Most use the opportunity to encourage a society falling on hard times, while some of our current leaders are instead failing in hard times.

On May 15, U.S. Rep. Susan Wild delivered the George Washington Law School’s 2022 commencement.  She chose this moment to attack a one of the prestigious school’s renowned professors. Though Wild did not state his name, anyone who follows Beltway legal matters knew she was referring to Professor Jonathan Turley. Wild conceded Turley “is without question well versed in constitutional law”. She then claimed that Turley had taken to “cable news and social media . . . [,] undermining his own past well-documented scholarship”.

What triggered her ire? Turley, a recognized authority on impeachment law, testified at both Bill Clinton’s impeachment hearing (1998) and Donald Trump’s (2019), and Wild found displeasure in Turley’s legal interpretations.

Dipping her toes into the cesspool of the partisan hatedom without diving in head-first, Wild claimed: “A law professor who at one time strenuously advocated that a president need not commit an indictable offense to be impeached, just this past year argued the opposite for a president more to his liking. A president no less who instigated an insurrection and a bloody assault on our democratic process and the rule of law.”

According to Turley’s Trump impeachment hearings testimony, not only did the professor vote for Presidents Clinton and Obama; he also voted against Trump in 2016 and has been publicly critical of Trump’s “policies, and his rhetoric, in dozens of columns.”

As Turley put it, “one can oppose President Trump’s policies or actions but still conclude that the current legal case for impeachment is not just woefully inadequate, but in some respects, dangerous, as the basis for the impeachment of an American president. To put it simply, I hold no brief for President Trump.” Turley continued, “We have never impeached a president solely or even largely on the basis of a non-criminal abuse of power allegation.”

The important point that Wild’s rationale seems to exclude is that Bill Clinton committed perjury, a felony. As articles for the Clinton  impeachment state, our 42nd president “willfully provided perjurious, false and misleading testimony to the grand jury.” Sex was the cause for Clinton to lie but was not the legal grounds for impeachment.

Wild’s talk stands out for doing something other commencement speeches by governmental leaders did not. No other attacked a faculty member of the institution at which the speaker was speaking. Sure, other speakers have taken digs at other politicians. But Wild – a guest – dedicated over a minute to bashing Turley at the professor’s workplace, unduly politicizing and detracting from an otherwise inspiring speech.

Wild’s speech started in the same manner as George W. Bush’s 2001 Yale commencement speech, where he joked: “Those of you who are graduating this afternoon with high honors, awards, and distinctions, I say well done. And, to the C students, I say, you too can be president.” Wild’s academic record at law school seems to have fit the same, as her “grades in law school were decent, but were nothing that were going to open doors for me.” Humble, and her rise despite that can be an inspiration, as could be Bush’s more self-deprecating quip.

If one juxtaposes the humanity of a speech like Bush’s to Wild’s gratuitous dig at Turley, one should see the point even more. Indeed, the more memorable commencement speeches are both uplifting and informative. Some use a sentence or two to point out a political opponent’s gaffs. But spending paragraphs to attack the intellectually defensible position of a seasoned scholar is out of bounds. As an attorney, Wild should realize that a corruption or bending of truth is hardly a desired outcome.

Please follow DVJournal on social media: Twitter@DVJournal or



‘Stupid as Hell:’ Road Safety Advocates Denounce Rep. Wild’s ‘Zoom Call While Driving’

Zooming while driving is not illegal in Pennsylvania, but a video showing U.S. Rep. Susan Wild careering down roadways while taking part in a Zoom meeting might be a reason to change the law.

As first reported by The Washington Free Beacon, Wild (D-Lehigh/Northampton/Monroe)  appeared to pilot her car erratically as she talked on May 11 to members of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, where she was a guest speaker, via Zoom.

Wild’s miniature poodle, Zoey, rode wide-eyed in the backseat as Wild sped down highways during the conference. Upon realizing Wild was driving during the Zoom call, one of the hosts praised her as the “ultimate multitasker.”

Wild told meeting participants she would be talking to them, but would not be looking at the camera while driving. Wild did not run afoul of Pennsylvania’s Texting While Driving Ban, because it does not include making phone or Zoom calls, but that did not prevent critics from pointing out her dangerous behavior.

Distracted Driving cofounder Joel Feldman and president and CEO Jennifer Smith both disapproved of Wild’s behavior, according to the Free Beacon.

Feldman called Wild’s behavior “stupid as hell.”

In addition to Wild’s Zooming while driving constituting a safety hazard for herself, her pet, and others on the road, Wild was also rude to her audience, according to Florida-based etiquette expert Jacqueline Whitmore.

“It appears that Rep. Wild was the guest speaker and was clearly not prepared to ‘put her best face forward,’” Whitmore said. “At times she pulled over in an attempt to participate fully in the conference call while at other times she kept driving.”

Wild’s dog in the background could have been another distraction and Whitmore suggested the conference call could have been scheduled for a time in which Wild could give it her full attention.

Wild is not the first elected official to be caught driving while Zooming into a meeting.

Last May, Ohio state Sen. Andrew Brenner used a background filter during a state board meeting while cruising down the street. However, the filter did not hide the seat belt strapped across his chest.

Neither Wild’s office nor the Jewish Democratic Council of America would comment on the incident.

But National Republican Congressional Committee spokeswoman, Samantha Bullock said Wild’s Zooming-while-driving behavior is not a one-time lapse in judgment.

Four days following the Zoom meeting, the congresswoman gave a commencement speech at George Washington University Law School, her alma mater. During her talk, Wild criticized Professor Jonathan Turley, a respected constitutional scholar, for testifying against the impeachment of former President Donald Trump.

“You must be wary of those seeking to use their influence and their expertise to wrongful ends,” Wild said about Turley in her address. “GW Law, for example, has a tenured professor who is, without question, well-versed in constitutional law but has recently made a name for himself on cable news and social media by undermining his own past well-documented scholarship.”

Turley was not present during the speech but he disapproved of the manner in which she aired her disagreement with him.

“The fact that Susan Wild would make the unprecedented decision to use a graduation as a bully pulpit to attack someone politically proves she’s unhinged and unfit for public office,” Bullock said.

In footage by Townhall Media from a May 24 town hall in Easton, Wild also discussed abortion restrictions. Controversially, she said aborting a fetus with mental impairments should be a parent’s choice.

“If you had this situation in the third month of pregnancy, and you found out your child was going to have Down syndrome, different sets of parents are going to respond differently,” Wild said. “Honestly, I believe that is their choice.”

According to Bullock, from engaging in a Zoom meeting while on the road to turning a graduation speech into a chance to deliver political barbs, Wild’s behavior points to selfishness.

“Susan Wild is in the midst of a midterm meltdown, making one bizarre decision after the next because she thought she could destroy her constituents’ lives in the name of partisan politics and never be held accountable. She was wrong,” said Bullock.

Wild, a freshman legislator, faces hurdles with her reelection due to redistricting. She again faces Republican businesswoman Lisa Scheller, who she bested by four points in 2020.

Please follow DVJournal on social media: Twitter @DV Journal or