Harvard law professor emeritus and constitutional law scholar Alan Dershowitz on Monday said impeaching President Donald Trump just to stop him from running in 2024, “is an absurd, ridiculous, unconstitutional argument.”
Democrats in Congress are moving to impeach Trump for incitement of insurrection after demonstrators last week breached the U.S. Capitol as lawmakers were working to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election, saying his claims of election fraud encouraged his supporters to storm the Capitol. Some Republicans have signaled support.
“It’s unconstitutional to impeach a president when you can’t put him on trial while he’s still the president. The jurisdiction of Congress to try a president or anybody else is limited to somebody who is sitting in the office,” Dershowitz said Monday during an appearance on Newsmax TV’s “Spicer & Co.”
“It says the president and vice president shall be removed from office on impeachment. So if he’s already out of office, he cannot be tried. You can’t impeach him just in order to try to stop him from running. If they could, they could impeach you, Sean, they could impeach me. … Could they hold me in front of the Senate and say we’re impeaching you solely to make sure you don’t run in 2024. It’s an absurd, ridiculous, unconstitutional argument.”
Dershowitz also said Trump’s speech calling for supporters to march to the U.S. Capitol is “completely protected by the Constitution.”
“It’s the right to petition government for a redress of grievances. To turn that into impeachable offense is to turn the Constitution on its head,” he added.
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