Trump has added two more people to the legal team that will right his impeachment in the Senate and it’s hard not to laugh out loud at the choices — Alan Dershowitz and Ken Starr, who led the impeachment of Bill Clinton. Dershowitz is offering a laughable legal argument and Starr was once dismissed as a lunatic and a whacko who is off his rocker by Trump himself.
Dershowitz is arguing that even if they can prove that Trump abused his power for personal political gain, that would not be impeachable because it isn’t actually a federal crime. His fellow Harvard Law School professor Lawrence Tribe demolished that argument very quickly in an interview with Chris Hayes.
“I knew that the Trump defense was going to rely in large part on alternative facts, but I didn’t know they were also going to use alternative law. There is no — there is no legal principle that says something has to violate a federal criminal statute in order to be impeachable,” he explained.
“When the impeachment power was put in the constitution, there were no federal criminal statutes,” Tribe added.
“Allen is just completely wacko on this. I don’t understand why the president thinks it will help him to have this kind of bizarro defense,” he charged.
But that seems to be the argument Trump’s defenders are increasingly making. Former RNC chairman and Trump chief of staff Reince Priebus made that argument on Hannity’s show a couple days ago and Senate Republicans will undoubtedly collapse down to that argument in the end because they can’t defend Trump on the substance of the charges.As for Starr, Trump used to have some choice words for him:
“I think Ken Starr’s a lunatic,” Trump said. “I really think that Ken Starr is a disaster.”
Trump added in the same interview: ”I really think that Ken Starr was terrible.”
Trump offered similar comments when Geraldo Rivera asked him about Hillary Clinton running for Senate from New York. Trump again brought up Starr on his own, suggesting that he made her life a living hell.
“She’s had a very tough life the last few years,” Trump said. “I mean, what could be tougher than that? I mean, can you imagine those evenings when he’s just being lambasted by this crazy Ken Starr, who is a total wacko? There’s the guy. I mean, he is totally off his rocker.”
And we see again how Trump dishes out both criticism and praise in the most extreme terms with no justification. If you’re not on his side and he doesn’t need you, you’re the worst person on earth. If you’re on his side and he needs you, you’re the greatest human being the world has ever known. And if he doesn’t need you today but he needs you tomorrow, he’ll just change rhetoric and not care about the contradiction.