Alan Dershowitz Is Keeping His Panties On For This Impeachment, So Don't Even Bother Asking
It's Dershowitz v. Dershowitz, in the nudist-on-nudist Fox pundit grudge match absolutely no one asked for. Get your tickets now for a ringside seat, with unlimited whining at the after-party. Or you could stay home and put the relaxer on your home perm if you want to get really wild!
This week we learned that distinguished Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz will take a break from his busy schedule of shouting crazy shit on Fox and writing weirdass editorials about KEEPING HIS PANTIES ON, DAMMIT, to defend Trump at the senate impeachment "trial." Whether as a witness or counsel for the defense is unclear. Also unclear is whether Prof. Dershowitz is aware of the Google and its magical ability to find television clips from the turn of the millennia when we last went through a presidential impeachment.
Here's 1998 Dersh opining that no criminal conduct is required for impeachment:
It certainly doesn't have to be a crime. If you have somebody who completely corrupts the office of president and who abuses trust and who poses great danger to our liberty you don't need a technical crime.
He then went on to say that the impeachment power was so awesome that it shouldn't apply to picayune shit, like, say, lying about a consensual blowjob. It should be reserved for "great offenses of state." Like, perhaps, shaking down a foreign leader for dirt on your political rival using congressionally allocated defense spending.
Clinton-era Dersh clearly acknowledged that the Constitution does not require criminal conduct for impeachment. For starters, the Constitution mentions impeachment as the remedy for an official who takes bribes, and there was no federal bribery statute to violate back in 1776. Moreover, American officials have been impeached for drunkenness, or in the case of President Andrew Johnson, for bringing "disgrace, ridicule, hatred, contempt, and reproach" on Congress, neither of which is a statutory crime.
And yet, 2020 Dersh is singing a different tune, arguing that the standard for impeachment is, was, and always has been whether the president has committed a crime.
When you have somebody who, for example, is indicted for a crime -- let's assume you have a lot of evidence -- but the grand jury simply indicts for something that's not a crime, and that's what happened here, you have a lot of evidence, disputed evidence, that could go both ways, but the vote was to impeach on abuse of power, which is not within the constitutional criteria for impeachment, and obstruction of Congress.
Of course clips of Trumplanders flipping their position on impeachment now that we have a Republican president are common as dogshit and just as smelly. But it takes a special kind of Dunning-Krugerand to do THIS.
Confronted with the above video of himself, Dersh refused to even acknowledge his own inconsistency, insisting that he'd always said impeachment required "criminal-like behavior."
DERSH: In the Clinton case, he was charged with a crime. Now the issue is whether or not you need criminal-type behavior. I've done a lot more research. Back then, I took the word of many academics who said that. I've now done the research --
COOPER: So you were wrong then?
DERSH: No, I wasn't wrong. What I -- I, I have a more sophisticated basis for my argument now having read Justice Curtis's opinion and other opinions. It's very clear now that what you need is criminal-like behavior akin to bribery and treason. What is very clear is obstruction of justice, I'm sorry, obstruction of Congress or abuse of power aren't even close to what the Framers had in mind. And I will show that during my speech by going through all of the debates in Congress, Blackstone's commentaries.
Got that? Dersh was just a naif, dangly his sprightly janglies in the hollandaise on the vineyard back in 1998. Now he's seen the world and knows that you can only impeach a president for bribery-like behavior. Like taking dirt on Joe Biden in exchange for releasing military assistance.
WAIT, NO NOT LIKE THAT! Darnit, you are twisting Dersh's words. He should have stuck to his plan to read Blackstone's commentaries on air, that always makes for for riveting television. But he didn't.
COOPER: So, you were wrong back then?
DERSH: I was saying that I'm much more correct right now, having done much more research.
COOPER: Much more correct? What does that mean?
DERSH: Let me explain. Please don't shut me off. Two against one here. Let me make my point. I didn't do research back then…
COOPER: Ok, so you were wrong.
DERSH: Please let me finish. Because that issue was not presented in the Clinton impeachment. Everybody knew that he was charged with a crime. The issue is whether it was a hard crime. Now the issue is whether a crime or criminal-like behavior is required. I've done all the research.
COOPER: So you didn't do the research back then. Got it.
DERSH: I didn't do the research back then, because that wasn't an issue. I've done the research now. I wasn't wrong. I am just far more correct now than I was then. I said you didn't need a technical crime back then. And I think your viewers are entitled to hear my argument without two bullies jumping on everything I say, trying to pinpoint and nitpick on what I said. Let's talk what the issues are instead of trying to attack the messenger.
It's gonna be such a shitshow. Hey remember that time Counselor NeverNude said he couldn't represent Bill Clinton because the public would always and forever see him as OJ Simpson's lawyer? Because Mr. Google remembers.
Buckle up, kids. Time for some crazy.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.