Alan Dershowitz: Argument president cannot be impeached for abusing power a 'strong one'

Attorney Alan DershowitzAlan Morton DershowitzA disgraced Senate and president have no business confirming judges Dershowitz files defamation suit against Boies, alleging extortion Sunday shows - 2020 Democrats make closing arguments in New Hampshire MORE said on Sunday the argument that a president cannot be impeached for abusing his power is a “strong one” that has been successful in the past. 

Dershowitz, who's serving as legal counsel for President TrumpDonald John TrumpFed saw risks to US economy fading before coronavirus spread quickened Pro-Trump super PAC hits Biden with new Spanish-language ad in Nevada Britain announces immigration policy barring unskilled migrants MORE's defense team in the Senate impeachment trial, told George StephanopoulosGeorge Robert StephanopoulosWhile Klobuchar surges, Warren flounders The Hill's Morning Report - Sanders, Buttigieg do battle in New Hampshire Democrats ramp up attacks on opponents in final pitch before New Hampshire MORE on ABC’s “This Week” that he is following in the footsteps of Justice Benjamin Curtis who defended President Andrew Johnson. He said Curtis had argued that proof of a crime was necessary for a president to be removed from office.

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“So I am making an argument much like the argument made by the great Justice Curtis,” he said. “And to call them absurdist is to, you know, insult one of the greatest jurists in American history. The argument is a strong one. The Senate should hear it.”

He said the constitutional framers worried about “giving Congress too much power” to weaponize impeachment on a partisan basis, adding that abuse of power is too “open-ended.” 

The lawyer, who voted against Trump in 2016, maintained he was consulting Trump solely on the constitutional matters involved in his case, not questions of whether additional witnesses or evidence should be allowed.

“You can't charge a president with impeachable conduct if it doesn't fit within the criteria for the Constitution,” Dershowitz said. 

Dershowitz was responding to Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffTop intelligence community lawyer leaving position Senate braces for fight over impeachment whistleblower testimony Democrats fear rule of law crumbling under Trump MORE (D-Calif.), the lead House impeachment manager, who claimed that the president’s legal teams argument that abuse of power is not an impeachable offense is “absurdist.”

The House voted last month to impeach Trump on articles including abuse of power and obstruction of Congress when. Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDon't let 'welfare for all' advocates derail administration's food stamp program reforms Hillicon Valley: Officials worry about Nevada caucus technology after Iowa | Pelosi joins pressure campaign on Huawei | Workers at Kickstarter vote to unionize | Bezos launches B climate initiative Pelosi joins pressure campaign on Huawei MORE (D-Calif.) allowed the articles to be transmitted to the upper chamber last week after withholding them for weeks in an effort to learn more about the guidelines of the Senate trial.