Georgetown law professor John Mikhail suggested on Sunday that the portion of President Donald Trump’s defense which is being covered by Alan Dershowitz is likely to fail because it has “no sound basis” in history and law.
“There is no sound basis for Alan Dershowitz to claim that abuse of power is not an impeachable offense. In addition to being at odds with common sense, this claim is contradicted by a clear and consistent body of historical evidence,” Mikhail stated.
The law professor cited the impeachment of Warren Hastings in the 1780s.
“Some of the best evidence comes from the case of Warren Hastings, which informed the drafting Art. II, Sec 4,” Mikhail wrote. “The fact that he was not guilty of treason, but still deserved to be impeached, was a major reason ‘other high crimes and misdemeanors’ was added to the Constitution.”
“There are many other sources & precedents that undercut Dershowitz’s claim,” he continued. “For example, abuse of power was one of the articles of impeachment adopted by the House Judiciary Committee against Richard Nixon in 1974 and against Bill Clinton in 1998.”
“All of these sources and others like them (e.g., Hamilton’s remark on the ‘abuse or violation of some public trust’ in Federalist 65) suggest that Dershowitz – and Trump – will have a hard time making a persuasive case that ‘abuse of power’ is not an impeachable offense,” Mikhail concluded.
Read all of the tweets below.