Trump defenders push 'no crime' as Democrats seek removal
Added 01-20-20 08:11:02am EST - “President Donald Trump's lawyers on Sunday previewed their impeachment defense with the questionable assertion that the charges against him are invalid, adopting a position rejected by Democrats as "nonsense" as both sides sharpened…” - News.yahoo.com
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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s lawyers on Sunday previewed their impeachment defense with the questionable assertion that the charges against him are invalid, adopting a position rejected by Democrats as “nonsense” as both sides sharpened their arguments for trial.
“Criminal-like conduct is required,” said Alan Dershowitz, a constitutional lawyer on Trump's defense team. Dershowitz said he will be making the same argument to the Senate and if it prevails, there will be “no need" to pursue the witness testimony or documents that Democrats are demanding.
The argument is part of a multi-pronged strategy the president's team is developing ahead of its impeachment trial brief, which is due Monday. Trump asserts that his Ukraine pressure was “perfect” and that he is the victim of a witch hunt.
But the “no crime, no impeachment” approach has been roundly dismissed by scholars and Democrats, who were fresh off a trial brief that called Trump's behavior the “worst nightmare” of the country's founders. In their view, the standard of "high crimes and misdemeanors" is vague and open-ended in the Constitution and meant to encompass abuses of power that aren't necessarily illegal.
The White House is pushing an “absurdist position," said Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the lead Democratic prosecutor of the impeachment case. “That's the argument I suppose you have to make if the facts are so dead set against you.” Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., another impeachment prosecutor, called it “arrant nonsense” and said evidence of Trump's misconduct is overwhelming.
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