House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) on Sunday slammed liberal law professor Alan Dershowitz for his stance on the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.
Although Dershowitz voted for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Harvard Law professor is taking part in President Trump's legal defense. Dershowitz's responsibility will be to explain how the Democrats' articles of impeachment fail to meet the Constitutional criteria of "treason, bribery or high crimes and misdemeanors."
"The facts aren't seriously contested. The president withheld hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to an alley at war with Russia, withheld a White House meeting that the president of Ukraine desperately sought to establish with his country and with his adversaries the support of the United States in order to coerce Ukraine into helping him cheat in the next election," Schiff told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos.
The House Intelligence Committee Chairman said the White House is shifting its strategy because the "facts can't be contested." Schiff specifically cited the Trump administration's claim that the president can't be impeached on the two articles the House set forth: obstruction of justice and abuse of power.
Stephanopoulos quoted Dershowitz's previous statement that even if abuse of power could be proven, that isn't an impeachment offense.
"That's the argument you have to make if the facts are so dead set against you," he replied. "...You have to rely on this argument that even if he abused his office in this horrendous way that it's not impeachable. You had to go so far out of the mainstream to find someone to make that argument. You had to leave the realm of constitutional law scholars and go to criminal defense lawyers."
Schiff said a president abusing his or her power is "at the heart of what the founders intended to be an impeachable offense."
"The logic of that absurdist position that is now being adopted by the president is that he could give away the state of Alaska, he could withhold execution of sanctions on Russia for interfering in the last election to induce or coerce Russia to interfere in the next one," he explained. "That would have appalled, the mere idea of this would have appalled the founders who were worried exactly that kind of solicitation of foreign interference in an election for a personal benefit, the danger it causes to our national security. It goes to the heart of what the founders intended to be impeachable."
There is no exact way for any of us to know what the Founding Fathers truly intended when they wrote the Constitution. We can take hints from other writings, like the Federal papers. The one thing we do know is that the founders were worried about a tyrannical government. It's why they left so much power to the people. Making the argument that something is impeachable because it's "what the framers would have wanted" is rather absurd.