Longtime constitutional scholar Alan Dershowitz says that if President Trump is convicted on an impeachment charge and disqualified from running for office again there would be “questions” about the legitimacy of the 2024 presidential election.
Dershowitz, a professor emeritus at Harvard Law School and a member of Trump’s legal defense in his first impeachment trial, said in an interview Monday with Newsmax that it’s unconstitutional and destructive to the democratic process to impeach a former president.
He said the public would have problems with “a group of Democratic senators with a few Republicans” who would deny them the “right to vote for a candidate who they might want to see as president.”
The Democrats have charged Trump with incitement of insurrection, blaming him for the violent breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. However, while Trump was speaking to supporters, rioters already were vandalizing the Capitol. And he invited his supporters to go the Capitol “peacefully” to “cheer on” Congress members who were exercising their constitutional authority to object to slates of electors.
“We’re going to see an established precedent, a bad precedent, that when presidents leave office, they can be impeached,” Dershowitz said. “Are we going to go after President Carter now? President Obama, President Clinton, President Bush? Are we going to use this impeachment to prevent future people running for office? It’s not what the framers intended.”
A vote Tuesday in the U.S. Senate indicated there is little support for convicting Trump outside of the Democratic Party. In fact, 45 senators wanted to have a discussion about whether such an impeachment trial was even allowed under the Constitution.