The possible impeachment of Donald Trump could be overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, should such a challenge arise. That’s the claim being made in a new book by respected Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz.
“The Case Against Impeaching Trump” reveals several signs of trouble for Congress if Trump is found to have colluded with Russia and is ultimately impeached.
“It’s not a crime to collude with a foreign government. Maybe it should be, but it’s not,” Dershowitz tells Washington Examiner.
Dershowitz believes, amazingly, that Trump colluding with Russia would not fit the legal definition of “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors” required to impeach a sitting President.
From Dershowitz’s interview:
“A Supreme Court that inserted itself into the Bush v. Gore election in order to avoid a constitutional crisis might well decide to review a House decision to impeach and a Senate decision to remove a president who is not accused and convicted of a specified constitutional crime.”
As to whether or not the Supreme Court would rule on the matter, Dershowitz, a contributor at The Hill, notes that it would be peculiar for the SCOTUS to become involved in an “entirely political process.”
Dershowitz notes in the book that even in an extreme case of collusion, for example, Trump helping Russian “retake” Alaska, there may still be no legal grounds for prosecution.
The law professor writes:
“Assume Putin decides to ‘retake’ Alaska, the way he ‘retook’ Crimea. Assume further that a president allows him to do it, because he believed that Russia has a legitimate claim to ‘its’ original territory… That would be terrible, but would it be impeachable? Not under the text of the Constitution.”
The Hill points out that Trump isn’t fully above the law with Dershowitz noting that Trump could be tried for collusion “if he did it because he was paid or extorted.”
During an interview with CNN’s John Berman, Dershowitz spoke further about the SCOTUS and Trump’s nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
“Brett Kavanaugh — who has been in the news lately, as the president’s nominee to the Supreme Court — he says if the president does something dastardly…” Berman begins. “He’s wrong!” Dershowitz interrupted.
Berman then added, “impeachment process is available.”
“He’s dead wrong,” Dershowitz repeated.
“He’s about to be a Supreme Court Justice,” Berman said blankly.
Dershowitz then reasserted his own interpretation of current U.S. law:
“He should read the Constitution and I think when he does read the Constitution and when he reads my book and I will send him a copy of it, he will see I’m right and he’s wrong. Dastardly is not a criteria for impeachment. If you allow dastardly to be criteria for impeachment, then you really create a lawless process. What does dastardly mean?”
For now, we have to wait and see if Robert Mueller and his Special Counsel uncover any actual crimes committed by Trump and the Trump administration.