Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz — who’s set to play a least a partial role in the defense of President Donald Trump during the Senate impeachment trial — argued that the case brought against the president is so weak that if it were tried in a regular court of law, the judge would throw it out.
According to The Washington Examiner, Dershowitz claimed that the two articles of impeachment facing the president — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — do not rise to the level of being impeachable offenses.
“This is a motion to dismiss case,” Dershowitz said on Monday during an interview on Fox News. “If it were a criminal case and a person were charged, say, with dishonesty, and then there were a list of things he did, the first thing you’d do is make a motion to dismiss because dishonesty isn’t a crime, and obstruction of Congress is not an impeachable offense.”
As previously reported by Daily Sounder, Dershowitz’ assessment of the two articles of impeachment facing the president echoes earlier claims he made. The law professor said over the weekend that his opening argument is so strong, that witnesses will not even need to be called in the Senate impeachment trial.
“I’m making what could be the most important argument on the floor of the Senate,” Dershowitz said. “If my argument succeeds, if my argument prevails … then there is no need for witnesses.”
Tribe so afraid of the Senate hearing my constitutional arguments that he actually says, I “should not be allowed” to make them. Is that the American way?
— Alan Dershowitz (@AlanDersh) January 20, 2020
Dershowitz explained at the time that the impeachment articles simply aren’t at the level needed to be eligible to impeach and remove the president from office.
Democrats passed the abuse of power impeachment article against Trump over a July 25 phone call he had with the president of Ukraine. Democrats accuse the president of purposely withholding a U.S. military aid package in exchange for political dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.
The president and his top allies have remained steady in arguing that nothing inappropriate happened during the phone call and that he didn’t withhold the aid package in exchange for information.
The second article of impeachment, obstruction of Congress, came about after Trump and the White House refused to cooperate with House Democrats in turning over Ukraine-related foreign policy documents.
On Tuesday, the Senate impeachment trial will officially begin. The Republican-controlled upper chamber is expected to hand down an acquittal for the president, though the duration of the trial is still very much in question, given the continuing conflict between Republicans and Democrats on the issue of calling witnesses.