Former Harvard Law School Professor Alan Dershowitz wrote on Thursday that he thinks it’s “difficult to imagine anything more unconstitutional” than House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., withholding the articles of impeachment against President Trump from a Senate trial.
Dershowitz’s comments came in response to Laurence Tribe, another Harvard Law Professor who called for Democrats to delay sending the articles to the Senate — something Pelosi has already indicated she’s willing to do.
“[Tribe] would withhold the trial until the Senate agreed to change its rules, or presumably until a new election put many more Democrats in the Senate. Under his proposal, there might never be a Senate trial, but the impeachment would stand as a final and permanent condemnation of President Trump,” Dershowitz wrote in a Newsmax op-ed.
“It is difficult to imagine anything more unconstitutional, more violative of the intention of the Framers, more of a denial of basic due process and civil liberties, more unfair to the president and more likely to increase the current divisiveness among the American people. Put bluntly, it is hard to imagine a worse idea put forward by good people,” he added.
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Dershowitz has long defended Trump in both the Russia investigation and impeachment. He’s already met with Trump personally and reports indicate he may join Trump’s legal team during a Senate trial.
It’s unclear when Pelosi will send the articles of impeachment to the Senate, but she and Tribe have indicated Senate Republicans would need to stop cooperating so much with the White House.
“Let me tell you what I don’t consider a fair trial,” Pelosi told a crowd of reporters on Wednesday. “This is what I don’t consider a fair trial — that Leader McConnell has stated that he’s not an impartial juror, that he’s going to take his cues, in quotes, from the White House, and he is working in total coordination with the White House counsel’s office.”
Tribe similarly accused Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., of conducting a “whitewash” trial and “letting the president and his legal team call the shots.”
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On Thursday, Tribe also tweeted that the Senate would violate the constitution if it created a rule demanding Pelosi immediately pass along articles of impeachment.
“Senate rules requiring the House to ‘immediately’ present its articles of impeachment to the Senate clearly violate the constitutional clause in Article I giving each house the sole power to make its own rules,” Tribe tweeted on Wednesday.
“It’s up to the House when and how to prosecute its case in the Senate,” he added, just hours before House Democrats voted to approve the two articles of impeachment.
Dershowitz also suggested that Pelosi’s and Tribe’s position would do “violence” to the rule of law in the United States.
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“An impeached president has a right to be tried and acquitted by the Senate,” he wrote.
“Denying him and the American people that fundamental right might serve the temporary interests of the Democratic party, and academics who support it, but would do violence to the rule of Constitutional law that is supposed to serve all Americans, regardless of party or ideology.”