President Trump’s legal team offered an extraordinary new defense during Trump’s impeachment trial on Wednesday.
Attorney Alan Dershowitz said that a sitting president could take any action to boost his re-election chances if he felt his re-election was in the public interest.
“If a president does something which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment,” Dershowitz said.
Trump was impeached by the House last month for freezing military aid to Ukraine in an effort to pressure Ukraine to open an investigation of Trump’s political rival, Joe Biden.
Dershowitz’s claim came during a portion of the trial where senators were given a chance to submit written questions to Trump’s legal team and the House impeachment managers. The question-and-answer period continues today.
The impeachment trial could end as soon as Friday if the Senate Republican leadership succeeds in blocking Democrats from calling any witnesses. Democrats are hoping to secure enough votes to get Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton to testify.
For more on President Trump’s ongoing impeachment trial in the Senate, Democracy Now! speaks with Neal Katyal, former acting U.S. solicitor general in the Obama administration, a Supreme Court lawyer and a Georgetown University law professor. Katyal is the author of “Impeach: The Case Against Donald Trump.”
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