By Jon Dougherty
(TNS) Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz said Sunday that the case made by Democrat House impeachment managers against President Donald Trump fell far short of constitutional standards, even if the allegations were true.
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Dershowitz, a liberal who is also part of President Trump’s defense team, said that the two articles –Â abuse of power and obstruction ofÂ CongressÂ — are â€œvague, open-endedâ€ criteria.
â€œEven if the factual allegations are true – which are highly disputed and which the defense team will show contrary evidence – but even if true, they did not allege impeachable offenses,â€ Dershowitz said on â€œFox News Sunday.â€ â€œSo there canâ€™t be a constitutionally authorized impeachment.â€
â€œThe conduct has to be criminal in nature – it canâ€™t be abuse of power; it canâ€™t be obstruction ofÂ Congress,â€ he said, the Washington Times reported. â€œThose are precisely the arguments that the framers rejected.â€
Dershowitz also addressed an old clip from around the time of President Clintonâ€™s impeachment where he said â€œyou donâ€™t need a technical crimeâ€ for an impeachment.
He noted that, in 1998, Clinton was charged with actual crimes including perjury.
â€œI did say that then, and then Iâ€™ve done all the extensive research. Iâ€™ve been immersing myself in dusty old books, and Iâ€™ve concluded that no, it has to be crime,â€ he said on Sunday.
The president’s legal team opened their defense of him on Saturday after nearly 24 hours of lies, hypocrisy, mischaracterizations, and false statements from the House managers led by — of course — Adam Schiff.
In a separate report, the Times noted that the president’s team came out blasting with both barrels:
White HouseÂ CounselÂ Pat CipolloneÂ on Saturday opened the defense case at PresidentÂ Trumpâ€™s impeachment trial by accusing the Democratic prosecutors of attempting the biggest election meddling scheme in U.S. history.
Mr.Â Cipollone, addressing the Senate a day after House impeachment managers completed nearly 24 hours of presenting their case, said the Democrats left out key evidence in a quest to undo the 2016 election and tear him from the ballot in 2020.
â€œThey are asking you to tear up all the ballots across this county,â€ he said. â€œI donâ€™t think they spend one minute talking about the consequences of that for our country.â€
He then accused the Democrats of the same offense they have charged Mr.Â Trump: attempting to cheat in an election.
â€œThey are here to perpetrate the most massive interference in an election in U.S. history,â€ said Mr.Â Cipollone.
White House lawyers also noted that Schiff and his co-managers purposely hid the testimony of Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson, who has first-hand knowledge of the origins of the whistleblower complaint that led to the impeachment.
Members of the House Intelligence Committee who heard from Atkinson during impeachment inquiry testimony last fall are barred from disclosing any of his comments.
But GOP members of the panel said he should definitely be on the president’s witness list if the Senate decides to allow more witnesses in the trial.
â€œThe reason it hasnâ€™t been released is itâ€™s not helpful toÂ Adam Schiff. It is not helpful to the whistleblower,â€ said Rep. John Ratcliffe, Texas Republican, who took part in the October interview with Atkinson. â€œIt raises credibility issues about both of them.â€
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