Dershowitz: Supreme Court could overturn a Trump impeachment

Alan Dershowitz in a new book says that in the event President Trump is ever impeached, the Supreme Court could intervene and overturn the vote to remove him from office. 

Dershowitz pens in “The Case Against Impeaching Trump” that if evidence of collusion with the Russian government arose that incriminated Trump, it would not be a criminal offense. 

“It’s not a crime to collude with a foreign government. Maybe it should be, but it’s not,” Dershowitz told the Washington Examiner prior to his Tuesday book release.


Dershowitz further explained that though such collusion would be a “political sin,” it does not entirely meet the Constitution’s specification of “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors” needed for impeachment.

The Harvard law professor says in his book that such a development could prompt judicial review, because “this president (and perhaps others) might well refuse to leave office if Congress voted to impeach and remove him based on ‘offenses’ that were not among those enumerated in the Constitution.”

“A Supreme Court that inserted itself into the Bush v. Gore election in order to avoid a constitutional crisis might well decide to review a House decision to impeach and a Senate decision to remove a president who is not accused and convicted of a specified constitutional crime,” Dershowitz continues.

But Dershowitz, who is an opinion contributor for The Hill, says the chief justice of the Supreme Court could rule on a motion to dismiss such charges.

“The decision by the framers to have the chief justice preside over the trial of a president may suggest that the decision was not intended to be entirely political. Indeed, it would be wrong for the chief justice to participate, much less preside over, an entirely political process. Judges are required to stay out of politics,” Dershowitz writes.

In the book’s introduction, Dershowitz, who is a lifelong Democrat who says he is only defending Trump based on legal arguments, further expands on extreme hypotheticals, such as if Trump colluded to let Russia “retake” Alaska, in efforts to demonstrate his perception of what the Constitution’s requirement is for something criminal.

“Assume [Russian President Vladimir] Putin decides to ‘retake’ Alaska, the way he ‘retook’ Crimea. Assume further that a president allows him to do it, because he believed that Russia has a legitimate claim to ‘its’ original territory,” Dershowitz writes. “That would be terrible, but would it be impeachable? Not under the text of the Constitution.” 

Dershowitz writes that impeaching Trump would be possible, though, “if he did it because he was paid or extorted.”

Dershowitz, who has often made legal arguments defending the president in the media, argues the special counsel investigation should have never began in the first place because no specific crime could be defined.

He also said the president gives him mixed reviews, adding that one of his most recent calls from Trump was “to correct something I said on television,” according to the Examiner report.

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