Appearing for an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week”, President Donald Trump’s impeachment attorney Alan Dershowitz said that the president cannot be impeached for abusing his power and that the argument is a “strong one” that has been successful in the past.
“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,” Dershowitz, who’s serving as legal counsel for President Trump’s defense team in the Senate impeachment trial, told Stephanopoulos on Sunday.
He said that Justice Benjamin Curtis, who defended President Andrew Johnson, had argued that proof of a crime was necessary for a president to be removed from office.
Dershowitz also 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,” he said.
Dershowitz was responding to Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the lead House impeachment manager, who claimed that the president’s legal teams argument that abuse of power is not an impeachable offense is “absurdist.”
The House voted last month to impeach Trump on articles including abuse of power and obstruction of Congress when. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) allowed the articles to be transmitted to the upper chamber last week after withholding them for weeks in an effort to learn more about the guidelines of the Senate trial.
Watch the interview below:
Dershowitz says "you can't charge a president with impeachable conduct" if it doesn't fit criteria in Constitution.
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) January 19, 2020