This Saturday, President Donald Trump’s team kicked off their attempt at a defense for their client in his ongoing Senate impeachment trial. Their complete inability to actually contest the facts of the situation quickly became abundantly clear. The documented facts of the situation are that Trump tried to pressure Ukraine into investigating his domestic political opponents, including the Bidens and Democratic Party in general. This weekend during an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Trump lawyer Alan Dershowitz — whose past clients include O.J. Simpson and Jeffrey Epstein — argued that as alleged, that bribery scheme doesn’t even constitute an impeachable offense!
His claim is that offenses which presidents are impeached over should only be those which parallel behavior that’s actually outlined as illegal in criminal statutes, which seems patently ridiculous on its face, besides the fact that he argued the exact opposite when advocating for the 1990s impeachment of Bill Clinton. Trump’s scheme, as Fox News contributor Judge Andrew Napolitano recently pointed out, includes apparent illegal efforts to procure foreign election help, bribery, and contempt of Congress. Dershowitz conveniently ignored these easy parallels to actual crimes.
Host Chris Wallace asked:
‘Let’s assume that… the president used the power of his office… to pressure Ukraine to investigate, to get oppo research on one of his main rivals for 2020, Joe Biden… You’re saying it’s still not an impeachable offense?’
Dershowitz explained that yes, that’s exactly what he’s saying.
‘Well, the defense team tomorrow will show that it’s not true, that many of the issues that were presented, were presented incompletely… The legal argument is that since they didn’t allege any impeachable offenses, since they only alleged abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — and those are vague, open-ended criteria of exactly the sort the Framers had rejected… that yes, even if the factual allegations are true… they did not allege impeachable offenses.’
Alan Dershowitz, member of the White House legal team, joined FOX News Sunday. Did the House impeachment managers make a strong case in their opening arguments? Alan Dershowitz makes his case that the president did not commit an impeachable act. #FNS #FoxNews pic.twitter.com/cKW26UlPWz
— FoxNewsSunday (@FoxNewsSunday) January 26, 2020
Dershowitz’s argument also seems ridiculous in that alleging that we should only abide by what’s outlined in the criminal code, presumably as perceived by the framers of the Constitution, he wants us to stick to a system developed when slavery was legal and some of the most advanced weaponry included muskets, cannons, and muskets and cannons in boats.
As he indicated, the Trump defense team seems likely to zero in on an argument that the president was actually completely in the right to seek a Ukrainian investigation of his political opponents, because — they seem ready to claim — the corruption allegations it was to be founded upon are legit — but, the problem is, they’re not. Dershowitz can gesticulate to high heaven about the need to allege an actual crime (which impeachment case managers have), but his own side has failed to credibly allege any actual crime committed by the president’s opponents who he was trying to get investigated.
The president is sticking to tactics that make him sound like a mob boss. He insisted that House Intelligence Committee Chairman and impeachment case manager Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) “has not paid the price, yet, for what he has done to our Country!” Trump is off the rails.
Shifty Adam Schiff is a CORRUPT POLITICIAN, and probably a very sick man. He has not paid the price, yet, for what he has done to our Country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2020