Trump lawyer Alan Dershowitz at Trump’s impeachment trial on Jan. 29, 2020:
“[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.”
This bizarre idea is wrong in every aspect, but particularly because reelecting Donald Trump would not benefit public interest. In fact, it would be severely detrimental to our national interests.
During the trial yesterday, California Sen. Kamala Harris sent a question to the House managers:
“The question from Senator Harris is for the House managers,” said [Supreme Court Chief Justice John] Roberts — who in this phase of the impeachment trial is reading out questions from senators — before reading: “President Nixon said, ‘When the president does it, that means it is not illegal.’ Before he was elected, President Trump said, ‘When you’re a star they let you do it, you can do anything.’”
“After he was elected, President Trump said that article two of the Constitution gives him ‘the right to do whatever he wants as president.’ These statements suggest that each of them believed that the president is above the law. A belief reflected in the improper actions that both presidents took to affect their reelection campaigns,” he continued, reading Harris’ question. “If the Senate fails to hold the president accountable for misconduct, how would that undermine the integrity of our system of justice?”
House impeachment lead manager Adam Schiff (D-CA) responded, “Mr. Chief Justice, senators, I think this is exactly the fear. I think if you look at the pattern in this president’s conduct and his words, what you see is a president who identifies the state as being himself.”
“When the president talks about people that report his wrongdoing, for example, when he describes a whistleblower as a traitor or a spy, the only way you can conceive of someone who reports wrongdoing as committing a crime against the country is if you believe that you are synonymous with the country,” Schiff continued.
Lawrence Tribe, like Dershowitz and longtime Harvard professor and constitutionally scholar, warned Republicans that if they acquit Trump, “You will harm not only the country today, but you will leave a lesson for future presidents that will be terrible to the Republic. It will not be a constitutional democracy but it will be a dictatorship.”
It looks all but a very few Republican senators will vote not guilty. If so, they will not just acquit Trump, they will crown him king.