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

Alan DershowitzAlan Morton DershowitzA victory for the Constitution, not so much for Trump Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers weigh in on Trump impeachment trial; Biden administration eyes timeline for mass vaccinations The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by TikTok - Dems rest their case; verdict on Trump this weekend MORE, a member of President TrumpDonald TrumpHouse passes voting rights and elections reform bill DEA places agent seen outside Capitol during riot on leave Georgia Gov. Kemp says he'd 'absolutely' back Trump as 2024 nominee 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) WallaceWarner: White House should 'keep open additional sanctions' against Saudi crown prince Rick Scott acknowledges Biden 'absolutely' won fair election Bill Gates: Goal of eliminating emissions by 2030 'completely unrealistic' 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 again suspended from YouTube over false election claims Sacha Baron Cohen calls out 'danger of lies, hate and conspiracies' in Golden Globes speech Biden administration buys 100,000 doses of Lilly antibody drug 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 YovanovitchBlinken tells State Department staff 'I have your back' Trump has discussed possible pardons for three eldest children, Kushner: report Former Giuliani associates plead not guilty to new fraud charges 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.”