ECLECTIC RANT:Dershowitz Got it Wrong

Ralph E. Stone
Sunday February 02, 2020 - 05:45:00 PM

During the Senate trial, President Trump’s defense defense attorney Alan Dershowitz's claimed that even if the president did what people accuse him of doing, without a criminal element, the conduct didn't rise to the level of impeachable. However, this argument is, as one author put it, just “Constitutional crabgrass.”  

“High crimes and misdemeanors” is not defined in the Constitution, and as impeachment is solely a power of Congress, there is no judicial review. Thus, there is no court precedent for what constitutes “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Rather, it is whatever Congress decides it is. A majority of the House decides if there are impeachable offense(s) and if so, forwards the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate. If two-thirds of the senators vote to convict, Trump will be removed from office. Otherwise, Trump will be acquitted. 

The 2015 Congressional Research Service Report, “Impeachment and Removal” is instructive on what is impeachable conduct: "Impeachable conduct does not appear to be limited to criminal behavior. Congress has identified three general types of conduct that constitute grounds for impeachment, although these categories should not be understood as exhaustive: (1) improperly exceeding or abusing the powers of the office; (2) behavior incompatible with the function and purpose of the office; and (3) misusing the office for an improper purpose or for personal gain." 

Ergo, no criminal or criminal-like conduct is required to impeach. It has been established that Trump withheld military aid and a coveted White House meeting to pressure Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, a political rival, as well as his son Hunter Biden, who served on the board of Burisma, an Ukrainian gas company while his father was vice president, and then engaged in a coverup. Clearly, Trump is guilty of impeachable offenses.