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

Attorney Alan DershowitzAlan Morton DershowitzHow to mess with Texas' anti-abortion bounty? Apply it to gun sales Those calls to impeach Biden: As wrong as they were with Trump Larry David, Alan Dershowitz get into verbal altercation at grocery store 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 TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE's defense team in the Senate impeachment trial, told George StephanopoulosGeorge Robert StephanopoulosSurgeon general: 'Our enemy is the virus. It is not one another' Christie: Biden's new vaccine mandate will 'harden opposition' GOP senator on Texas abortion law: Supreme Court will 'swat it away' when 'it comes to them in an appropriate manner' 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 SchiffOvernight Hillicon Valley — Hacking goes global Schiff calls on Amazon, Facebook to address spread of vaccine misinformation Spotlight turns to GOP's McCarthy in Jan. 6 probe 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 PelosiOn The Money: Democrats get to the hard part Biden discusses agenda with Schumer, Pelosi ahead of pivotal week Stefanik in ad says Democrats want 'permanent election insurrection' 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.