Attorney Alan Dershowitz claimed on Sunday that what President Donald Trump said to his followers before they stormed the U.S. Capitol is “protected by the constitution” and argued that the president cannot face a Senate trial if impeached because he will be a private citizen when the House articles come to the upper Chamber.
Dershowitz’s comments came during an interview on Fox News after host Maria Bartiromo asked him if he would defend the president at a second Senate trial.
“It will not go to trial,” Dershowitz said. “All the Democrats can do is impeach the president in the House of Representatives.”
He then predicted that the “case cannot come for trial in the Senate” because Trump will no longer be president.
“Congress has no power to impeach or try a private citizen, whether it be a private citizen named Donald Trump or named Barack Obama or anyone else,” he opined.
The attorney claimed that, while he disapproves of the president’s actions, what Trump told his supporters is “protected by the First Amendment.”
“The Supreme Court basically said that what the president said on Wednesday — as much as I disapprove of it and many people disapprove of it on its merits — is protected by the First Amendment,” he insisted. “It comes within core political speech. And to impeach a president for having exercised his First Amendment rights would be so dangerous to the Constitution.”
Dershowitz said impeachment “would lie around like a loaded weapon, ready to be used by either party against the other party.” He then referred to the deadly Capitol Hill riot as an “incident.”
“Let us not let an incident that occurred on Wednesday destroy the Constitution of the United States,” he added. “That is my goal, to protect the Constitution from overzealous advocates who want to weaponize it in the interests of temporary political gain.”
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