Alan Dershowitz, a member of President Donald Trump's defense team, says Democrats are lying about his views on impeachment.
Dershowitz made his remarks in a column posted Monday by The Wall Street Journal.
"Democrats tried to put me on trial in the Senate last week, denouncing what they called 'the Dershowitz doctrine,'" he wrote. "Rep. Adam Schiff claimed I advocated a 'lawless' variation on Richard Nixon's view that 'when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.' Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that under my 'doctrine' Nixon didn't commit any impeachable offense — never mind his numerous crimes and my explicit statement that I supported Nixon's impeachment.
"What did I say to warrant such demonization?"
Dershowitz, a professor emeritus at Harvard Law School, said he was asked whether it matters if there was a quid pro quo between the Trump administraiton and Ukraine.
"I answered that it would depend on 'if the quo were in some way unlawful," he wrote.
Dershowitz argued that "if the politician's motive was 'corrupt' — for example, if he sought a kickback — that would be an impeachable crime."
But if the "lawful act" had mixed motives, including re-election, it would not be an impeachable offense, Dershowitz noted.
"The Senate vote to acquit may be taken as a confirmation that a president can do whatever he wants in pursuit of re-election — even commit serious crimes — if he thinks it's in the public interest," Dershowitz wrote.
He called that a "nonsensical view."
"If it happens, don't blame me," Dershowitz wrote. "I don't believe in the 'doctrine' as dishonestly distorted by Democratic leaders."
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