Two of America’s top legal minds are opposing the Democrat impeachment of President Trump.
Constitutional scholars Alan Dershowitz and Jonathan Turley have both condemned any of Trump’s words that stoked anger – Turley even called the president “reckless” – but both contend his words are not impeachable.
Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, explained, “Many people have said that what President Trump did was actually a crime of incitement—many legal experts have come forward with that view. I have to tell you, I think that is just fundamentally wrong. I know of no case that would say that that speech was criminal incitement.”
“The speech itself was reckless, but at points in the speech, Trump says that people should go there peacefully. That they should go to the Capitol to support members of Congress in challenging the election,” Turley said Monday on Michael Smerconish’s SiriusXM radio show.
“The concept of a snap impeachment is a contradiction in constitutional terms. This is a process that was designed to be deliberative, not impulsive—and this really is not what the framers envisioned. This is trying to run to the floor and skip any inquiry and hearing on these very troubling issues,” Turley said.
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On Fox’s Hannity program, constitutional attorney Alan Dershowitz called the impeachment vote ‘theater’, because the president will likely be out of office before the Senate can hold a trial.
“The Constitution only empowers Congress to impeach and remove a president from office. Once he’s out of office, Congress loses jurisdiction, they can’t have a trial,” he said.
Dershowitz further contends in the Gatestone Institute, “Let us be clear about what those who would impeach and remove President Trump are really trying to do. They know that under the Senate timetable, there is no realistic possibility that a Senate trial could be conducted and completed before January 20 at noon. What they want to do is to impeach President Trump without giving him an opportunity to defend himself at a Senate trial.”
“This would be analogous to a prosecutor deciding to indict someone and then deny him a trial at which he could disprove his guilt or prove his innocence. That would be a core denial of due process, as would impeaching a president based on a majority of the House while denying him a trial in the Senate that requires a two-thirds super majority to remove.”
Dershowitz continued, “President Trump’s opponents are so angry at the President for his volatile speech — which was misguided and wrong but completely protected by the First Amendment — that they are prepared to tear up the Constitution in an effort to remove him by any and all means. They are prepared to ignore the First Amendment, distort the 25th Amendment, stretch the criteria for impeachment, and permit House impeachment without a Senate trial.”
“These efforts, if successful, would do more damage to the rule of law than the horrendous mob did when they criminally stormed the Capitol and inflicted harm to life, property and democracy. What these rioters did deserves serious punishment and it will likely be forthcoming. But the constitutional rights of all Americans should not be compromised based on that terrible singular incident,” he concludes.