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

Attorney Alan Dershowitz 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 Trump’s defense team in the Senate impeachment trial, told George Stephanopoulos 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.

{mosads}“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 Schiff (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 Pelosi (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.

Tags Adam Schiff Alan Dershowitz Donald Trump George Stephanopoulos Hillary Clinton Impeachment Nancy Pelosi Senate trial Sunday shows Trump legal team

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