Harvard law professor and constitutional law expert Alan Dershowitz on Sunday warned an impeachment of President Donald Trump won’t go to trial — but could “lie around like a loaded weapon” for both parties in the future.
In an interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” Dershowitz said a Senate trial of citizen Trump would be unconstitutional.
“It will not go to trial,” he said. “All Democrats can do is impeach the president in House of Representatives, for that you only need a majority vote.
“The case cannot come to trial in the Senate” because of rules that do no allow it until, “according to the Majority Leader [Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.), until 1 p.m. on Jan. 20” — an hour after Trump leaves office.
“Congress has no power to impeach or try a private citizen, whether it'd be a private citizen in Donald Trump or …. Barack Obama or anyone else,” he said. “The jurisdiction is limited to a sitting president and so there won't be a trial.”
But Dershowitz said he worried more about is“the impact of impeachment on the First Amendment.”
“For 100 years the Supreme Court and other courts have struggled to develop a juris prudence which distinguishes between advocacy and incitement.”
“To impeach a president for having exercised his First Amendment rights would be so dangerous to the Constitution, it would lie around like a loaded weapon ready to be used by either party against the other party and that's not what impeachment nor the 25th amendment were intended to be,” Dershowitz said.
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