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

Alan DershowitzAlan Morton DershowitzCBS All Access launches animated 'Tooning Out the News' series Trump's three-track clemency process just might work A disgraced Senate and president have no business confirming judges MORE, a member of President TrumpDonald John TrumpIllinois governor says state has gotten 10 percent of medical equipments it's requested Biden leads Trump by 6 points in national poll Tesla offers ventilators free of cost to hospitals, Musk says 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) WallaceGovernors, health experts warn coronavirus restrictions must stay in place Public health expert: 'We are still at the very beginning of this outbreak' Mnuchin: US will bounce back after we 'kill this virus' and 'reopen this economy' 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 GiulianiHillicon Valley: FCC chief proposes 0M telehealth program | Twitter takes down posts promoting anti-malaria drugs for coronavirus| Whole Foods workers plan Tuesday strike 12 things to know today about coronavirus Twitter takes down posts promoting anti-malaria treatment for coronavirus 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 YovanovitchAmerica's diplomats deserve our respect House panel says key witness isn't cooperating in probe into Yovanovitch surveillance President Trump's assault on checks and balances: Five acts in four weeks 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.”