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Fox's Wallace confronts Dershowitz with clip arguing crime not necessary for impeachment

Alan DershowitzAlan Morton DershowitzThe Hill's 12:30 Report: War over the Supreme Court Dershowitz suing CNN for 0 million in defamation suit Bannon and Maxwell cases display DOJ press strategy chutzpah MORE, a member of President TrumpDonald John TrumpJudge rules to not release Russia probe documents over Trump tweets Trump and advisers considering firing FBI director after election: WaPo Obama to campaign for Biden in Florida MORE's legal team for his impeachment trial, on Sunday fielded questions about whether his defense of the president is at odds with his position during the impeachment trial of former President Clinton.

Fox News's Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceBiden's debate strategy is to let Trump be Trump Biden: Muting mics at debate 'a good idea,' we need 'more limitations' Ex-GOP senator on debate commission blasts Trump's bias accusations, warns of 'incalculable damage' MORE asked Dershowitz, who has frequently argued that Trump cannot be removed because he did not commit a crime, about his comments in 1998 that impeachment does not require a crime be committed.

"It certainly doesn't have to be a crime. If you have somebody who completely corrupts the office of president and who abuses trust and who poses great danger to our liberty, you don't need a technical crime," Dershowitz told Larry King in the 1998 clip played by Wallace on "Fox News Sunday."

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Dershowitz argued his legal understanding of impeachment had evolved since 1998, telling Wallace, "I've been immersing myself in dusty old books, and I’ve concluded that, no, it has to be a crime."

Wallace countered that Dershowitz has frequently defended Trump by invoking an argument written by former Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Curtis in defense of former President Andrew Johnson that evidence of criminal conduct is necessary to impeach and remove a president.

"I find it very hard to believe you hadn't studied the only other impeachment in history" during the Clinton impeachment, Wallace said.

Dershowitz responded that he had invoked Curtis’s argument long before he took his role in Trump's defense.

Wallace also asked Dershowitz about a recently released recording by Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiGiuliani responds to reports on 'Borat' scene, says he was 'tucking in' his shirt Fort Bragg deletes Twitter account after attributing explicit tweets to hacker Biden: Johnson should be 'ashamed' for suggesting family profited from their name MORE associate Lev Parnas in which Trump, who has claimed not to know Parnas, tells Parnas to "take her out" in reference to former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie YovanovitchMarie YovanovitchGrand jury adds additional counts against Giuliani associates Lev Parnas and and Igor Fruman Strzok: Trump behaving like an authoritarian Powell backs Biden at convention as Democrats rip Trump on security MORE.

Dershowitz responded that the tape does not contain any impeachable offenses because the president has the power to fire ambassadors, but Wallace noted Trump’s repeated denials of knowing Parnas in the first place.

“I only want to speak to what’s an impeachable offense,” Dershowitz responded, saying that whether the conversation is otherwise “damaging” is “exactly what voters ought to be deciding on.”