In a conversation with Fox News’s Laura Ingraham on Monday night, Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz argued that the weak impeachment articles against President Donald Trump should be dismissed out of hand by the U.S. Senate. Dershowitz, who is serving the president’s legal team in an advisory capacity, said that since the articles themselves do not accuse Trump of anything close to a crime, they are subject to immediate dismissal.
“This is a motion-to-dismiss case, in which, if it were a criminal case and he was charged with dishonesty … the first thing you do is make a motion to dismiss because dishonesty isn’t a crime,” he said. “Obstruction of Congress is not an impeachable offense. Abuse of power is not an impeachable offense. A motion to dismiss and a perfect world would be ideal, but do the American public want to see an end to the trial so quickly? I think that becomes a political issue.”
Dershowitz explained that an argument to dismiss based on the weakness of the articles themselves did NOT conflate with an admission of guilt. He said that the president’s position continues to be consistent – that he is not guilty of the charges filed against him by the House of Representatives.
However, he said, it was incumbent upon the legal team to make two arguments simultaneously: That one, Trump is innocent, and two, even if he was guilty, the charges would not amount to an impeachable offense.
“The position is he didn’t do any of these things, that he is innocent as a matter of fact,” Dershowitz explained. “As every criminal trial lawyer knows when you have disputes over facts and disputes over law, you always argue in the alternative. You always argue that the facts are not proved, but hypothetically, even if the facts were to be proved, they wouldn’t rise to the level of a crime or in this case an impeachable offense. So, it is not an acknowledgment in any way by anyone on the legal team that the president did anything wrong, that is just not how that brief could possibly be read.”
No one can lay out the weakness of the case against Trump like Dershowitz, which is why it is a great thing that he’s an official part of the legal team. There is no constitutional basis for these proceedings, despite the endless arguments by the Democrats to the contrary. Even if every word of what they’ve said about Trump is true, there is nothing in these charges that makes him subject to an impeachment conviction. This is a political show being produced with taxpayer dollars.
The quicker it’s over, the better.