House impeachment managers and President Donald Trump's defense team are in the throes of answering questions from Senators regarding their case for or against the conviction or removal of Donald Trump, who was impeached by the House of Representatives late last year.
One of the crucial questions the Senators are asking is what motivated Trump to withhold aid from Ukraine to force politically beneficial investigations. Was it to root out corruption, as his defense counsel insists? Or was it to smear his possible 2020 rival, former Vice President Joe Biden?
The defense counsel erroneously argued that if Trump's request was, in any degree, done for the interest of Americans instead of personal interest, the offense is unimpeachable.
Trump lawyer Alan Dershowitz—also a lawyer to the deceased child rapist Jeffrey Epstein—took that argument a step further.
He posited that it doesn't matter if Trump's hold on aid was to help his reelection campaign, because the President believes his reelection is in the public interest. Therefore, as Dershowitz claims, Trump believed he was acting in the public interest.
Watch the bizarre defense below.
Trump attorney Alan Dershowitz: "If a president does something which he believes will help him get elected in the p… https://t.co/N1WrtoUEjK— ABC News (@ABC News)1580325590.0
"If a president does something which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment."
One doesn't have to be a legal scholar to see that this argument is fallacious.
If Dershowitz's standard applied, Nixon's orchestration of a break-in of the Democratic National Headquarters would have no problem, since he did it to get elected.
People didn't hesitate to point out the absurdity of the argument.
.@AlanDersh just argued that a president who believes only he can fix it — who thinks his re-election is vital to t… https://t.co/Qnpnun8zCC— Laurence Tribe (@Laurence Tribe)1580327350.0
“If the president does something that he thinks will help him get elected, in the public interest, that cannot be t… https://t.co/MhqWQmaE4K— Charlotte Clymer🏳️🌈 (@Charlotte Clymer🏳️🌈)1580331802.0
If the president drops nuclear bombs on New York and California to neutralize their electoral votes because he beli… https://t.co/6XnJVRlqas— Adam Serwer🍝 (@Adam Serwer🍝)1580327868.0
I... Alan. Jesus Christ... *Alan*. You have to stop this, @AlanDersh. These arguments are *madness*. They're not ju… https://t.co/ku2X8GFXgq— Seth Abramson (@Seth Abramson)1580335395.0
The Dershowitz argument is tantamount to saying anyone can do anything so long as they believe it’s good. The purp… https://t.co/yc70zpDfdf— Phillip Atiba Goff (@Phillip Atiba Goff)1580333183.0
Dershowitz argued there is a divine right for presidents parallel to the divine rights for kings. Specifically that… https://t.co/hGrVR1u8SW— Senator Jeff Merkley (@Senator Jeff Merkley)1580332142.0
What country did I land in just now where presidents can ratfck their way to victory without being considered “corr… https://t.co/u4cf1pTpxr— Charles P. Pierce (@Charles P. Pierce)1580327364.0
What a strange timeline we find ourselves in.