Alan Dershowitz went there. The Constitutional law scholar, now one of Donald Trump’s impeachment lawyers, essentially said Trump is above the law. This was his absurd argument:
“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.”
This remarkable and ridiculous claim is garnering a lot of attention and for good reason. Washington Post opinion columnist Jennifer Rubin says this essentially means Trump “can rig elections, have opponents jailed, anything to cling to power.”
CNN’s John Berman asserts this “turned the legal world upside down….if you look at what he says there, it blows your mind. He says if a president is running for re-election because he thinks getting elected can help America he can do anything, anything and that redefines the presidency and redefines America.”
Alan Dershowitz argued that actions to win reelection are in national interest and cannot be impeachable.
"[It] would exonerate Richard Nixon… Watergate could be okay," @JohnAvlon says. "If this becomes precedent, the president will be unchecked"https://t.co/Kdin7x4cRl pic.twitter.com/XA9iitKAfV
— New Day (@NewDay) January 30, 2020
His contention is well outside the mainstream of legal scholars — and one that the House impeachment managers said would put the president above the law and the Constitution.
Schiff said Dershowitz’s view gives a president “carte blanche” to use his or her office to further his or her own political interests, rather than the interests of the nation.
— Richard Hine (@richardhine) January 30, 2020
Former Nixon White House Counsel John Dean put it this way, “Alan Dershowitz unimpeached Richard Nixon today. All Nixon was doing was obstructing justice and abusing power because he thought he was the best person for the USA to be POTUS. When POTUS does it… etc. Seriously, that was his motive! Agree with Alan and impeachment is gone!”
#dershowitzlogic is as laughable as it is dangerous. Anyone who accepts his view that a President is above the law as long as they doing things in the "national interest" has rejected our Constitution and replaced it with a monarch
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) January 30, 2020
Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance told MSNBC’s Brian Williams, “If we take a step back and use our common sense, arguments like Dershowitz’s really fall apart. These people in the Republican party are contorting themselves to find a way to justify the president. And they are now saying things that we know if we use our common sense are ridiculous.”
This post contains opinion and analysis