Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe leveled Alan Dershowitz and his absurd impeachment defense of President Donald Trump all while humiliating him by using his own words against him on Saturday.
In his desperate effort to defend Trump, Dershowitz is arguing that abuse of power is not a crime, therefore, it’s not impeachable. It’s the centerpiece of the seven-page argument Dershowitz and fellow Trump impeachment defense colleague Ken Starr offered to the Senate as a rebuttal to the over 100-page presentation of legal facts and evidence presented by the House impeachment managers.
Dershowitz has been staunchly opposed to impeaching Trump, even going so far as to call impeachment a “criminal act.”
But Dershowitz felt differently about impeachment in 1998 when former President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, was being impeached.
In fact, Tribe reminded Dershowitz that he once said that the president doesn’t have to have committed an actual crime to be impeached.
.@AlanDersh comments on impeachment on Larry King Live, 8/24/98
01:41:04 DERSHOWITZ: “It certainly doesn’t have to be a crime if you have somebody who completely corrupts the office of president and who abuses trust and who poses great danger to our liberty.”
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) January 19, 2020
That’s a pretty damning statement that the House impeachment managers can certainly use against Dershowitz during the Senate trial.
But Tribe went even further by crushing his former colleague’s argument in a Washington Post column.
.@AlanDersh is grossly misstating law, history, and even the arguments in the Johnson Senate impeachment trial. He’s not to be trusted. Trump’s mendacity has sadly rubbed off on my former colleague. Read my @washingtonpost op-ed laying it all out: https://t.co/QMcotKawIS
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) January 20, 2020
“The argument that only criminal offenses are impeachable has died a thousand deaths in the writings of all the experts on the subject, but it staggers on like a vengeful zombie,” Tribe wrote in his column. “In fact, there is no evidence that the phrase ‘high Crimes and Misdemeanors’ was understood in the 1780s to mean indictable crimes.”
“Even more famously, Alexander Hamilton in Federalist 65 defined ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ as ‘those offenses which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust,’” Tribe continued.
Trump certainly violated the public trust by trying to extort Ukraine into interfering with the 2020 Election, abusing his power in the process because he was withholding crucial military aide from Ukraine that had been passed by Congress in a scheme against former Vice-President Joe Biden. Even Lev Parnas has confirmed that Trump’s scheme was always about trying to get dirt on Biden instead of Trump’s claim that he was simply trying to fight corruption.
In the end, Tribe shamed Dershowitz for offering such a disgraceful defense.
“The president is entitled to robust legal representation,” he concluded. “But his lawyers should not be allowed to use bogus legal arguments to mislead the American public or the senators weighing his fate.”
Dershowitz should be ashamed of himself for sinking so low. But what else should we have expected from the man who once defended convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein?
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