comScore Alan Dershowitz Defends Trump from Quid Pro Quo Charge

Dershowitz Argues Trump Can’t Be Impeached — Because He Thought His Re-Election Was in the ‘National Interest’

Alan Dershowitz has maintained that nothing in John Bolton’s book would be impeachable, and when asked today by Ted Cruz if it would matter if President Donald Trump engaged in a quid pro quo, said not when you consider a president’s “mixed motives.”

Dershowitz said: “The only thing that would make a quid pro quo unlawful is if the quo were in some way illegal.”

He mostly focused on the question of motive, highlighting “public motive,” personal political motives, and pure financial motivations.

As far as political motivations go, Dershowitz argued that “every public official that I know believe that his election is 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. I quoted President Lincoln. When President Lincoln told general Sherman to let the troops go to Indiana so that they can vote for the Republican Party, let’s assume the president was running at that point and it was in his electoral interest to have these soldiers put at risk the lives of many, many other soldiers who would be left without their company, would that be an unlawful quid pro quo? No, because the president, A) believed it was in the national interest, but B) he believed that his own election was central to victory in the Civil War. Every president believes that. That’s why it’s so dangerous to try to psychoanalyze a president, to try to get into the intricacies of the human mind. Everybody has mixed motives, and for there to be a constitutional impeachment based on mixed motives would permit almost any president to be impeached. How many presidents have made foreign policy decisions after checking with their political advisers and their pollsters? If you’re just acting in the national interest, why do you need pollsters? Why do you need political advisers? Just do what’s best for the country.”

You can watch above, via CNN.

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac

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