Donald Trump’s impeachment lawyers are making case against themselves

Alan Dershowitz, an attorney for President Donald Trump, answers a question during the impeachment trial against Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020.

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The saying “Academic politics is the most vicious and bitter form of politics, because the stakes are so low,” is often attributed to the late Columbia Professor Wallace Stanley Sayre. Late last night, retired Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz seemed to both prove and disprove that statement. 

Dershowitz launched into a criticism of the entire legal academy for disagreeing with his theory of impeachable conduct and even called out a fellow Harvard Professor Laurence Tribe for (like Dershowitz) changing his views. That was the petty part. But this was the Senate floor and the stakes are hardly low with a presidency in the balance. 

I found myself, again, thrown into the fight through a video played by the House Managers on the Senate floor declaring, in contradiction to Dershowitz, that impeachment can be based on abuse of power and non-criminal acts (The managers cut off the clip before I ended the line with “but it is just not easy.”).



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