News - Alan Dershowitz to Newsmax TV: Lawless Congress 'a Total Mess'
Updated: Feb 3, 2021
Monday, 25 Jan 2021 7:33 PM
By Eric Mack
A lawless Congress is going to hold an unconstitutional Senate impeachment trial and ultimately acquit former President Donald Trump because – get this – it has "no jurisdiction," legal expert Alan Dershowitz predicted on Newsmax TV.
"This is a total mess," Dershowitz told Monday's "Spicer & Co." in a wide-ranging rebuke of: an "above the law" House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.; opportunistic partisan scholars "abusing their expertise"; Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., as judge and juror; and "bad precedent" of abusing
impeachment and disqualification from future office.
"The Senate is not above the law," Dershowitz told co-hosts Sean Spicer and Lyndsay Keith. "It doesn't have the last word on this. We do have a system of rule of law and government of law, not of a majority of senators. "
This is exactly the nightmare that [Founding Father Alexander] Hamilton feared."
Dershowitz began by rejecting Speaker Pelosi's "unconstitutional act" of even bringing a snap article of impeachment against a president leaving office.
"[Pelosi] has placed herself above the law," he said. "She is delivering an unconstitutional article of impeachment to the Senate to conduct an unconstitutional trial of a former office holder who can't be removed from office.
"So, we're seeing multiple violations of the Constitution by a Congress who regards itself above the law. They say, 'look, we have the votes, and if we have the votes, we can do anything we want.'" Dershowitz rejected the anti-Trump partisans posing as constitutional scholars who support this, calling it an "abuse their expertise."
"These are not constitutional scholars; these are zealous partisan advocates who use constitutional scholarship as a cover," Dershowitz said, adding these same experts would argue his way if a Republican Congress ever tried this.
"These are experts – they're just abusing their expertise for partisan purposes."
Dershowitz predicts, using U.S. precedent: The Senate will vote to hold this impeachment trial and then acquit Trump because not enough senators will convict, citing "no jurisdiction in the Senate."
Dershowitz also noted an impeachment trial in the Senate is supposed to be presided over by the Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, but because Trump is not a sitting president, the Senate is going to have Sen. Leahy, a sitting Democrat senator, preside.
Even the Senate recognized Vice President Kamala Harris cannot ethically preside over the impeachment of her potential 2024 presidential campaign opponent, Dershowitz noted.
"So we're going to have Sen. Leahy preside, and the question becomes then, does he get to preside and vote?" Dershowitz continued. "Will he preside fairly? How will he rule? How will the Senate rule?
"This is a total mess."
Dershowitz concluded this is going to set a "bad precedent" of past presidents getting impeached and disqualified after leaving office.
It would also undermine American democracy, he added, saying a conviction would delegitimize the 2024 election, because Senate Democrats and at least 17 Republicans would "have denied the American public the right to vote for a candidate who they may want to see as president."
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