Dershowitz: Presidential Quid Pro Quos Aimed At Reelection Aren’t Impeachable
Standing on the Senate floor on Wednesday, one of President Trump’s impeachment attorneys argued that a president attempting to win reelection is acting in the nation’s interest and therefore any related quid pro quo is not an impeachable offense, according to CNN.
Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz said in the case of Trump, his attempt to extract investigations into Joe Biden from Ukraine’s government was in service of boosting his reelection chances — which by his aforementioned logic means Trump did nothing worthy of being removed from office.
"Every public official that I know believes that his election is in the public interest," Dershowitz said. "And mostly you're right. Your election is in the public interest."
He added: "And if a president did something that he believes will help him get elected, in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment."
Dershowitz said it might be arguable whether any given politician’s election is good for the country, but in order for a quid pro quo in such a case to be impeachable, it would have to be proved that the politician acted with purely “corrupt motives.”
"A complex middle case is 'I want to be elected. I think I'm a great president. I think I'm the greatest president there ever was and if I'm not elected, the national interest will suffer greatly.' That cannot be an impeachable offense," he concluded.