Democrat impeachment managers “persist in their deliberate lies, claiming that I argued that a president can do anything – even commit crimes – if he believes his election is in the public interest,” Harvard Law Professor and Trump Defense Counsel Alan Dershowitz said as Democrats made closing arguments in President Donald Trump’s Senate trial.
In the first of a series of Monday night tweets, Dershowitz called out Democrats for willfully distorting his comments to the Senate, which he followed by posting video of his actual remarks:
“The House Managers in their closing argument persist in their deliberate lies, claiming again that I argued that a president can do anything — even commit crimes— if he believes his election is in the public interest. That is a willful lie, as watching my answer will prove. (MTC)”
POTUS cannot commit criminal conduct, regardless of motive. See attachment. https://t.co/8Ah8gdUO5b— Alan Dershowitz (@AlanDersh) February 3, 2020
Dershowitz then accused Democrats of hypocritically invoking the “truth” while “lying through their teeth” – and challenged them to watch the video:
“The Managers repeatedly referred to ‘truth’ while lying through their teeth about what I said. I challenge them to show me saying that Potus can commit a crime if he thinks it’s in the national interest. They can’t because I didn’t. They are lying”
“The Managers lies about me will hurt their credibility with Senators who actually heard what I said. The Senators know I never said that a President can commit any crime as long as he believes his election is in the public interest. Yet the Managers persist in telling that lie.”
In his last tweet of the evening, Dershowitz posted a link to his Wall Street Journal Op-Ed titled, “Democrats Are Lying About My Argument - Their false narrative of impeachment could set a dangerous precedent,” in which Dershowitz explains that his actual argument was that, simply because a president may have taken personal interest into account, Democrats can’t turn his innocent conduct into a crime:
“The main thrust of my hourlong opening presentation was that a president could be impeached if he committed crimes or criminal-like behavior, regardless of whether his claimed motive was the public interest. I made this self-evident point in response to arguments by House impeachment managers that mixed motives could turn innocent conduct into a crime, and that a motive to help one’s re-election could be corrupt. I never suggested that if a politician believed that his re-election was in the public interest, that would excuse criminal or impeachable conduct.”
As CNSNews.com has reported, Dershowitz was making the case that a president can, indeed, legally offer a “quid pro quo” – as long as the “quo” is not illegal.