The implication? And even if there were no precedent, constitutional logic on it is “plain.”, Finally, the 200-plus scholars wrote, avoiding mentioning Dershowitz by name, “one of President Trump’s attorneys has suggested that so long as a president believes his re-election is in the public interest, ‘if a president did something that he believes will help get him elected, in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in his impeachment.’”, While it’s true that such a choice is not necessarily impeachable, the letter says, if the president “employs his powers in a way that cannot reasonably be explained except as a means of promoting his own reelection, the president’s private conviction that his maintenance of power is for the greater good does not insulate him from impeachment.”, To accept this argument “would be to give the president carte blanche to corrupt American electoral democracy.”. Dershowitz’s subsequent explanations about a crime being alleged don’t change much, Abramson added, as House managers did allege during the trial that Trump committed the crimes of bribery and obstruction. Democrats on Monday will hear testimony related to their absurd case against President Trump for supposedly obstructing justice. Viewers enjoyed my feisty debates with legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin and asked for more. Here’s his partisan behavior: He quickly summarized the 400-page special counsel report, which everyone has been waiting for, and then a few weeks later he released the full thing with limited redactions, as required by law. Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, Indiana University of Pennsylvania-Main Campus, Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne, Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis, Instructional technology / distance education, Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College, Marketing / public relations / government relations. Would a Biden Education Dept. Pundit after pundit, commentator after commentator, host after host already had made up their minds: President Trump was guilty and should be indicted, impeached or removed under the 25th Amendment. Host Anderson Cooper enjoyed sparring with me, as did hosts Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon. Does any of this challenge Dershowitz’s standing in academe? And in an impeachment case with implications for national security, the more appropriate preponderance of evidence standard is met if it's “more likely than not that a prohibited intent was present -- whatever other motives it may have been intermixed with.”, Abramson went on to call Dershowitz’s theory of the Ukraine case “radical and dangerous” in that it turns criminal law, constitutional law and “even basic legal precepts like ‘mens rea’ on their heads: he now says a single drop of permissible intent, such as a self-purported desire to fight corruption, purifies an official act entirely.”. This simplistic perspective insults the intelligence and open-mindedness of many CNN viewers who email me, saying that they miss my contrarian views. And he’s entitled to pardon people and fire them. Bowman said Dershowitz has never really had such standing, and that he's “never done any serious legal scholarship.” Instead, Bowman said he's focused on op-eds and trying his own cases. Those statements, among others, contradicted the analysis of 500 legal scholars who signed on to previous, December letter saying that a president’s conduct “need not be criminal to be impeachable,” as the “standard here is constitutional; it does not depend on what Congress has chosen to criminalize.”. So let’s hope that CNN, and other media that got it wrong, will reassess their approach to divisive, controversial issues. He believes that his rivals are smart enough to know what he really meant. To be sure, CNN presented the occasional dissenting view, but it was almost always from right-wing Republicans who viewers could easily discount. And time seemed to at least slow when Alan Dershowitz offered up his defense of President Trump during the U.S. Senate impeachment trial last week. Over the past half year or so, I have never once been asked to appear on a CNN program. Unsurprisingly, given that popular opinion, many scholars quickly panned Dershowitz’s speech before the Senate. In fairness to Dershowitz, he did begin his answer to Cruz by saying that “the only thing that would make a quid pro quo unlawful is if the ‘quo’ were in some way illegal.”. Browse all jobs on Inside Higher Ed Careers », We are retiring comments and introducing Letters to the Editor. He’s a defense lawyer with a sinecure at Harvard.”. If only that mattered. They should know better, but for them the bottom line is what counts. Photo courtesy of New College of the Humanities/Simon Jones. This includes the power to fire any member of the executive branch. master of New College of the Humanities. Democrats have called in former President Richard Nixon's lawyer John Dean to offer testimony that would bolster their case for Trump’s impeachment. President Trump's allies launched a string of attacks on Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s energy stance and other policies on Friday, saying the final debate offered them reams of tape to turn into adverts and hit lines. CNN commentator Van Jones said President Trump would get more credit for his policies among black voters if it weren't for his personal messaging. I continued to be invited on other networks, including NBC, ABC, MSNBC and Fox. It’s a political hit job. My centrist, nuanced perspective was anathema to CNN’s emerging brand as the anti-Trump network. The brass didn’t want their viewers’ minds to be confused by the law or the facts. Sacha Baron Cohen hates Donald Trump. “The burden of proof here is on those who ignore the plain language” of the Constitution on impeachment, which specifically mentions treason, bribery and high crimes and misdemeanors, he said. Harpswell Foundation students. More recently, the first and second articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon approved by the House Judiciary Committee alleged both criminal and noncriminal conduct, and the third alleged noncriminal obstruction of Congress, the letter continues. "And any subject of an investigation is entitled to think about ending it and to seek advice about whether to fire or not fire those conducting it. Does Dershowitz believe that Trump’s actions were “completely legal,” then? The CNN brass did. You should be for the Jews.”. Initially I wondered why, and I asked some of my friends at the network. CBS News has the dubious distinction of publishing what must be this week’s most absurd fact-check. There’s no obstruction of justice in the [special counsel] report.”. He believed that his own election was essential to victory in the Civil War.”, That’s why “it's so dangerous to try to psychoanalyze a president, to try to get into the intricacies of the human mind,” Dershowitz concluded. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said she takes pride in how President Trump has cast her as a villain. But the CNN brass apparently prefer the absolute certainty of, say, attorney Michael Avenatti — “I guarantee Trump will not serve out his term” — to my calibrated legal analysis. He also said he wasn’t afraid to “impugn” his colleagues in asserting that they would not, in some alternative universe, support the same impeachment case against former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Don’t give me that legal stuff. Being perceived as a Trump legal defender, even though I publicly disagreed with many of his policies, was a cardinal sin for a liberal Democrat. But Democrats have never cared about whether anything was unlawful. We wouldn’t still be talking about this two years after FBI Director James Comey was fired if it wasn’t. Eventually, and boldly, he argued that Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist Paper No. Alan M. Dershowitz is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus, at Harvard Law School. The Miami Herald's Julie K. Brown has uncovered the stories of at least 80 underage girls whom Epstein recruited to his house of horrors at one time or another for his and others' pleasure. Dershowitz is currently writing a book on impeachment. My mother, smart as she was, didn’t go to college. University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, University of South Florida-Sarasota-Manatee, University of South Florida-St Petersburg, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, West Valley/Mission Community College District, West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. 'I'm doing a great job': AOC proud that Trump considers her 'public enemy No. To be sure, CNN presented the occasional dissenting view, but it was almost always from right-wing Republicans who viewers could easily discount. Citing Hamilton (and, based on Dershowitz’s analysis, misreading him) those 500 scholars wrote that impeachment is a “remedy for grave abuses of the public trust.” Trump’s conduct with regard to military aid to Ukraine and the “favor” he sought from that country “is precisely the type of threat to our democracy that the Founders” generally feared when they wrote impeachment into the Constitution, the scholars added. He endorsed Joe Biden. “I will ask whether the framers would have accepted such vague and open-ended terms as abuse of power and obstruction of Congress as governing criteria” for impeachment, Dershowitz said. The next time there’s a Democrat president and a Republican-controlled House, the president will be impeached and all the scholars criticizing me now will be making similar arguments.” (For the record, Dershowitz said during the trial that he voted for Hillary Clinton.). Simpson.). Politically speaking, Seth Abramson, an attorney, assistant professor of digital language arts and professional and technical communications at the University of New Hampshire and a onetime student of Dershowitz, is definitely not a fan of Trump’s: he’s written books called Proof of Conspiracy: How Trump's International Collusion Is Threatening American Democracy and Proof of Collusion: How Trump Betrayed America. Then I received off-the-record information that an order had come from the very top: CNN executive Jeff Zucker didn’t want me on CNN any more. Jeff Zucker should be uncomfortable, rather than smug, about what his network did — and didn’t do. A little less predictable were the inaccurate accusations about her involvement in People of Praise, a charismatic Christian group in which she held the role of a “handmaid.” Progressives saw this as their “gotcha” moment — as if it were evidence that she would chip away at reproductive and women’s rights. Taking on the Founders -- and 500 Colleagues. Joe Biden’s lead in several key swing states isn’t that much more commanding than Hillary Clinton’s lead was at this late point in the 2016 presidential race, a sign that the race could be closer than some analysts believe. “They’re looking to create something that isn’t there,” he told me in a brief phone interview Monday morning. Well, my calibrated views turned out to be largely right, while CNN’s wishful thinking turned out to be largely wrong. Harvard had no comment on the matter of Dershowitz’s status, while Fried said that “even Harvard faculty members sometimes make arguments with absurd entailments.”. The phrase “high crimes and misdemeanors” is British Parliamentary term of art introduced into the U.S. Constitution by George Mason, “who explained the necessity for expanding impeachment beyond ‘treason and bribery’ by drawing his colleagues’ attention to the ongoing parliamentary impeachment trial of Warren Hastings,” the letter notes. But he’s never been a scholar, ever. Founding Director Alan Lightman is pictured on the center right. Their viewers are entitled to hear contrary views, even those that make them uncomfortable.

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