During an interview on Fox News Sunday, Attorney Alan Dershowitz, a member of President Trump’s legal team for his impeachment trial, contradicted himself as he presented his latest defense of the president.
During the interview, Dershowitz struggled to answer questions about whether his defense of the president is at odds with his position during the impeachment trial of former President Clinton.
Fox News’s Chris Wallace asked Dershowitz, who has frequently argued that Trump cannot be removed because he did not commit a crime, about his comments in 1998 that impeachment does not require a crime be committed.
“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, you don’t need a technical crime,” Dershowitz told Larry King in the 1998 clip played by Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.”
Dershowitz argued his legal understanding of impeachment had evolved since 1998, telling Wallace, “I’ve been immersing myself in dusty old books, and I’ve concluded that, no, it has to be a crime.”
Wallace countered that Dershowitz has frequently defended Trump by invoking an argument written by former Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Curtis in defense of former President Andrew Johnson that evidence of criminal conduct is necessary to impeach and remove a president.
“I find it very hard to believe you hadn’t studied the only other impeachment in history” during the Clinton impeachment, the Fox News anchor said.
Wallace also asked Dershowitz about a recently released recording by Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas in which Trump, who has claimed not to know Parnas, tells Parnas to “take her out” in reference to former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
Dershowitz responded that the tape does not contain any impeachable offenses because the president has the power to fire ambassadors, but Wallace noted Trump’s repeated denials of knowing Parnas in the first place.
“I only want to speak to what’s an impeachable offense,” Dershowitz responded, saying that whether the conversation is otherwise “damaging” is “exactly what voters ought to be deciding on.”
— FoxNewsSunday (@FoxNewsSunday) January 26, 2020