Trump lawyer Alan Dershowitz clashed with Fox News’ Chris Wallace over the stunning assertion he made last week during the Senate impeachment trial, arguing that “if a president does something which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment.”
When Wallace pressed him on why he got “into this question of whether or not the President thinks his reelection is in the public interest” given how that seems to imply that “somehow that gives him an extra level of immunity,” Dershowitz pushed back.
“If the President did something completely lawful, the fact that part of his motivation may have been to help his election cannot be the quid pro quo,” Dershowitz said. “That’s what I said.”
Dershowitz went on to say that his stunning assertion, which added to the controversy behind his notorious flip-flopping on what constitutes an impeachable offense, was “deliberately distorted” because “they saw that I was having an impact on some of the senators.”
After Dershowitz insisted that he didn’t argue that Trump could get away with criminal actions, Wallace said he doesn’t “even know why intent is an issue and why you got into it.”
“Because I was asked,” Dershowitz said.
Wallace hit back by telling Dershowitz that his point is that “the activity is what you say is the key.”
“If it’s criminal or criminal-like activity, then it can be impeachable,” Wallace said. “If it’s not criminal activity, it doesn’t matter what the motive is.”
Watch Dershowitz’s remarks below:
Dershowitz says his stunning Senate trial assertion was "deliberately distorted" pic.twitter.com/DMxo8zNE5N
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) February 2, 2020