High-profile defense attorney Alan Dershowitz — who helped defend Jeffrey Epstein — is now arguing in defense of Donald Trump for the Senate impeachment trial. Although he argued Monday that the president’s conduct did not meet the criteria for impeachment, Fox News judge Andrew Napolitano appeared on the network Tuesday morning and claimed the opposite, Newsweek reports.
“That’s obviously the opposite of what he said the last time around and reasonable lawyers can disagree,” Napolitano told Fox & Friends, referring to Dershowitz’s CNN interview in 1998 in which he said a “technical crime” is not necessary to impeach a president.
Contrary to his past comments, Dershowitz said Monday that criminal conduct is necessary for Trump to be impeached.
“That is clear from the language of the Constitution,” he stressed. “You cannot turn conduct that is not impeachable into impeachable conduct simply by using words like ‘quid pro quo’ and ‘personal benefit.'”
Dershowitz also referenced the report that former national security adviser John Bolton wrote in the manuscript for his book that Trump ordered him to freeze Ukraine aid until they helped investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. However, he said even if this is true, the requirements for impeachment are not met.
Napolitano disagreed with Dershowitz, although he nevertheless called him a “brilliant guy” and suggested that people will ultimately choose to “believe the lawyer they want to believe.”
In response to people noting his change in views, Dershowitz claims that he hadn’t “thoroughly researched” the issue in 1998 as he has today. He stands by his claim that “criminal like behavior” such as bribery and treason is required for impeachment.
Napolitano is not the only one who disagrees with Dershowitz’s view. Independent Justin Amash, who is also a lawyer, previously claimed that the GOP is attempting to mislead the public about the impeachment process. The Michigan congressman said that — contrary to the current Republican argument — the charge of high crimes and misdemeanors does not include statutory crimes.
“In fact, the Constitution doesn’t provide for impeachment for ordinary crimes; they must be ‘high.’ Impeachable wrongdoing must relate to abuse of office,” he said, noting that presidents are not impeached for ordinary crimes and misdemeanors.
“You impeach a president for high crimes and misdemeanors. You don’t look to statutes.”
Napolitano previously predicted that Trump would testify live as part of the trial, which has yet to happen. He said that the president will give sworn testimony live to 200 million viewers, who will watch along with the chief justice of the United States Supreme Court and all members of the Senate, who will watch in the chamber.