Dershowitz: Trump Should Not Be Impeached Even If Charges Against Him Are True
Alan Dershowitz, a member of President Trump’s legal defense team for the impeachment trial set to begin Tuesday, said that he will be arguing that abuse of power and obstruction of Congress do not amount to impeachable offenses, even if proven, according to Axios.
Dershowitz, who will deliver the initial oral arguments at the trial, argued on CNN’s “State of the Union” that the House can only impeach a president who has committed “criminal-like” conduct and cannot impeach on political charges such as abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) called Dershowitz’s argument an “absurdist position” that someone would only make if the facts of the case were not on their side.
Rep. Jason Crow, one of the Democrats’ seven impeachment managers, argued that if a president can’t be indicted and abuse of power is not impeachable, then “no president can be held accountable.”
Jeffrey Toobin, a former federal prosecutor, said Dershowitz is making an argument against witness testimony in the impeachment trial.
“Alan is saying, and you correct me if I am wrong, is that even if everything that the Democrats allege is true, there’s still no impeachable offense here. And so that means there is no need for witnesses, is that right?” Toobin asked.
“Well, that is partly right,” Dershowitz responded. “I mean, if a person indicted on something that is not a crime, you don’t call the witnesses.” He added that “the House has the ability to go back to call witnesses, and reframe the articles of impeachment in order to set out impeachable offenses.”
Only four Republicans are needed to vote with Democrats to call witnesses like former national security adviser John Bolton, who has said he would testify if subpoenaed.
According to a Quinnipiac national poll of 1,562 voters, 66 percent of Americans said they wanted to hear from Bolton in the trial.