On Friday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “The Beat,” Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, who will be part of President Trump’s impeachment legal team, argued that “abuse of power, even if proved, is not an impeachable offense.”
Dershowitz began by stating that the obstruction of Congress impeachment article “is completely made up. The president invoked his executive authority, separation of powers, checks and balances. That’s an extremely dangerous article of impeachment.”
He then turned to abuse of power, arguing, “virtually half of American presidents, from Adams, to Jefferson, to Lincoln, to Roosevelt, have been accused of abuse of power, and the framers explicitly rejected those kinds of broad, open-ended criteria. They were fearful that it would empower Congress to turn the presidency into the prime ministership of England, where the prime minister can be — have his tenure ended by a simple vote of no confidence. That’s not what the framers wanted. They wanted specific criteria for impeachment, and none of those criteria, in my view, have been met. And I will lay out that argument.”
Dershowitz added that “abuse of power, even if proved, is not an impeachable offense. That’s exactly what the framers rejected. They didn’t want to give Congress the authority to remove a president because he abused his power. They have to prove treason, they have to prove bribery, or they have to prove other crimes and misdemeanors. Other refers to crimes of the kind such as treason and bribery.”
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett
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