This week, the already controversial Trump impeachment defense team member Alan Dershowitz (whose past clients include O.J. Simpson and Jeffrey Epstein) delivered the outrageous argument that the president should be free to do essentially whatever he wants to use to try and advance his re-election chances. His argument was essentially that the ends justify the means — even when national security is at stake — and the escalation in defense tactics shocked many. Trump’s former general election competitor Hillary Clinton chimed in with harsh criticism for Dershowitz, pointing out how glaringly out of line that the idea really is.
On Twitter, she posted:
‘Richard Nixon once made this argument: “When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.” He was forced to resign in disgrace. In America, no one is above the law.’
Richard Nixon once made this argument: "When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal."
He was forced to resign in disgrace.
In America, no one is above the law. https://t.co/MXctxLr1sj
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) January 30, 2020
It is not an exaggeration to say that the president is trying to depict himself as above the law — it’s literally what he and his defenders are saying.
During the question-and-answer period of the Senate trial on Wednesday, Dershowitz commented:
‘If a president does something which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment.’
That mirrors the repeated and completely false argument that the president himself has explicitly made that Article 2 of the Constitution, which outlines the powers of the president, gives him the power to do whatever he wants. That’s what he’s said multiple times — and it should go without saying that it is completely ridiculous.
These are the kinds of outrageous power grabs that Senate Republicans have aligned themselves with via refusing to break with the president no matter the evidence that has implicated him in a scheme to bribe Ukraine into investigating his domestic political opponents. A vote on whether or not to hear from witnesses in the trial is soon upcoming, but thanks to those loyal Republicans, it’s unclear whether there will be enough Senators to secure that basic fair trial element.
Check out Twitter’s response to Clinton…