The unpredictable nature of our national impeachment dilemma is reaching new heights this week after one of the President’s defenders issued an alarming suggestion as to how best work the President’s case.
Alan Dershowitz, undoubtedly the most well-known of the President’s stacked legal team, has been pondering and pontificating on the subjects of Donald Trump, Ukraine, and abuse of power for some time now, and he’s come up with one heck of an idea:
That “abuse of power” isn’t actually an impeachable defense.
Dershowitz, who’s serving as legal counsel forPresident Trump‘s defense team in the Senate impeachment trial, told George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week” that he is following in the footsteps of Justice Benjamin Curtis who defended President Andrew Johnson. He said Curtis had argued that proof of a crime was necessary for a president to be removed from office.
“So I am making an argument much like the argument made by the great Justice Curtis,” he said. “And to call them absurdist is to, you know, insult one of the greatest jurists in American history. The argument is a strong one. The Senate should hear it.”
He said the constitutional framers worried about “giving Congress too much power” to weaponize impeachment on a partisan basis, adding that abuse of power is too “open-ended.”
“You can’t charge a president with impeachable conduct if it doesn’t fit within the criteria for the Constitution,” Dershowitz said.
Dershowitz joins fellow legal heavyweight Ken Starr on Trump’s impeachment team.
Starr famously, (or infamously, depending on how you look at it), defended former President Bill Clinton during his impeachment trial, which resulted in former Arkansas governor remaining in office to complete his term.