WSJ Endorses Alan Dershowitz

Link to source BEHIND PAYWALL.

The House of Representatives did shockingly shoddy work in investigating and drafting its articles of impeachment against President Trump. One facet among others of their embarrassment received much attention in yesterday’s question-and-answer session during the Senate trial: The “Corrupt Motives” Doctrine.

The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board highlighted it today, writing, “it isn’t legitimate to toss a President from office because the House thinks otherwise legal acts were done with ‘corrupt motives.’

“House managers concede that President Trump broke no laws with any specific actions. Instead, they claim that he abused his power because his motives for asking Ukraine’s President to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden were self-interested—to assist his re-election rather than as Mr. Trump claims to investigate corruption.

“Alan Dershowitz…elaborated that every politician, every President, tends to equate his re-election interest with the public or national interest. If the House can impeach a President for what it claims are self-interested motives, then majorities will have cause to impeach any future President.

“This is one reason, among many, that the Senate should reject the current House articles lest they define impeachment down.”

But of course, the House attempt to define impeachment down is another facet of its embarrassment. Because the House of Representatives failed so miserably to do its job, any self-respecting Senator might feel he has an institutional responsibility to reject them out of hand — no witnesses, no debate, just dismiss the case. The enormity of such a strategical (and unforced) error is difficult to overstate.

28 thoughts on “WSJ Endorses Alan Dershowitz

  1. Absolutely laughable.

    Dershowitz is not only adding something to the Constitution that is not there – “intent” – he is offering the absurd argument that since a politician believes that his re-election is in the best interest of the nation he has carte blanche to do virtually ANYTHING in furtherance of that goal.

    How does the Dershowitz Doctrine apply here? Easy. Since Trump believes that his re-election is in the national interest withholding vital military aid to compel a Ukraine announcement of a Biden investigation will help in that cause his “intent” is benign – helping the country.

    In essence it is a longer form of Trump’s real defense – “Yeah, I did it. So what?”

    If anyone is stupid enough to buy such an argument then as Jeff Foxworthy might say – “You may be a Trump supporter.”

    Liked by 3 people

    1. RE: “Absolutely laughable.”

      Only if you misrepresent the argument, as your comment does.

      Obviously, it is absurd to claim carte blanche. But the argument doesn’t offer that possibility.


      1. @Roberts

        I said “virtually” carte blanche. Introducing the UNKNOWABLE factor of “intent” means exactly that. THAT is what Dershowitz is saying and it is absurd.

        The Constitutional reality is that there are NO criteria for what constitutes a “High crime and misdemeanor.” It is up to Congress on a case by case basis. Democrats decided in the case of Clinton that lying under oath out of embarrassment was not one. Republicans seem posed to decided the same for breaking campaign and bribery laws and betraying a beleaguered ally for personal political gain is not one either. That is within their power. Impeachment is there is for political crimes and the constraints on it are political in nature. Those voting to convict will have to answer to the voters. So too will those who vote to acquit.

        This whole line of argument about what does it take to be an impeachable offense is a political argument – not a legal one. If the idea that “Gee, Trump meant well” works on you and enough people like you then letting this scumbag stay in office could be a political win. We will see. But for the sake of our country, I hope not. I hope it turns into a political disaster for Republicans as it should.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. RE: “THAT is what Dershowitz is saying and it is absurd.”

        You have that backwards. THAT is what Dershowitz and WSJ claim the DEMOCRATS are (wrongly) saying.

        Dershowitz and WSJ are merely pointing out that it is not legitimate to impeach a president solely on the basis of reading his mind. Sounds commonsensical to me.


        1. @Roberts
          I have it backwards? And then you go on to say that the impeachment is based on the Democrats reading Trump’s mind and therefore knowing that his intent was corrupt. So, I do not “have it backwards.” You do. You and Dershowitz are saying that intent matters. And it doesn’t.

          Intent has nothing to do with the impeachment. It is the actions and their predictable results that matter. Helping Trump win the next election. And contrary to the absurd Dershowitz logic, that is NOT an exculpatory purpose if you have any “commonsensical” at all.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. RE: “Intent has nothing to do with the impeachment.”

          Except it does with this impeachment, because the House managers are not alleging any crimes, or even any wrongdoing, except actions committed with corrupt intent.


          1. @Roberts

            Now you are playing with words – the multiple meanings of the word “intent.” In this case the “intent” means the predictable results of an action. It has nothing to do with any mind reading. With respect to Ukraine announcing an investigation of the Bidens, the predictable result is that Biden will be weakened as a candidate. As a matter of fact, the Articles of Impeachment do not mention Trump’s “intent.” The democrats are saying that this predictable result of coercing such an action by Ukraine is a “corrupt purpose.”

            Dershowitz is now – laughably – arguing that seeking an election advantage from foreign interference is not a “corrupt purpose” because Trump thinks that it is in the national interest for him to win. (Does Trump really think that? Is Dersh a mind reader? LOL! Deep down, losers tend to know that they are losers.)

            Furthermore, you are playing with words when you say Trump has not been charged with crimes. In fact, he is charged with “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” and the actions that he is accused of ARE statutory crimes as well.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Are your comments a joke? Please tell me you don’t actually believe that the effect of an action is the same as its purpose, or even its intent. I have better things to do with my time than help you resolve problems in circular reasoning.


          3. @Roberts

            Maybe you don’t read and understand English? There is plenty of evidence that such is the case.

            There is nothing circular except may in your head. The impeachment does not talk about what is in Trump’s head. It is NOT about his state of mind. It talks about the “corrupt purpose” of his actions. Even Dershowitz admits that the purpose of the Ukraine announcement is to hurt Biden. He says that such a purpose is not corrupt. The Democrats say that it is. Simple, really.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. Here’s what’s circular: You’re claiming that the effect of hurting Biden was the purpose of the act. But this ignores that something must have caused the effect. You are claiming, as a joke I assume, that the effect caused itself.


        3. @Roberts

          Your explanation of the circularity of my simple point makes no sense. None whatsoever.

          Here, try again . . . The purpose of compelling Ukraine to announce an investigation was it predictable effect – damage to Biden. Simple, really.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. “On “Fox News Sunday,“ the Louisiana Republican was direct: “The Senate will have a fair trial, and you’ll see an acquittal. Everybody knows it’s going to end in acquittal.”

    A reverse version of “we’ll have a fair trial, then we hang him.”

    Scalise’s comment was December 29, 2019.

    I know, I’m slandering again. I kept saying the fix is in. I will retract that and say the fix has been in for at least 2 months.

    So the truth is that Trump is above the law and his ass kissers will bring their own lipstick.


    BTW, WSJ also opines that Bolton should tell what he knows now. It’ll come out later when the info is even more awkward since it seems like a coverup. The author is afraid to lose the Senate even if Trump wins again.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. RE: “Everybody knows it’s going to end in acquittal.”

      Is it really impossible for you to imagine that acquittal may be a certainly for many reasons other than corruption?


      1. Pretty much. This was weeks out before any evidence was offered at the trial. Before votes on documents. Before votes on witnesses. So how could he be so sure?

        Except, of course, if it was all prearranged.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. RE: “So how could he be so sure?”

        One possibility, as stated at the top of the thread, is the shockingly shoddy work the House did in investigating and drafting the articles of impeachment. This was on display months ago, before even the first hearing was held.

        Another, also stated at the top of the thread, is the Senate’s institutional responsibility to preserve and protect the Constitution against frivolous impeachment.

        But as I’ve said before, if you’re going to allege corruption, the onus is on you to prove it.


        1. I have to admit, you have beaten me down. Trump is guilty, the GOP is spineless and Mitch is corrupt.

          I described it, linked it and wrote it.

          That is my opinion. You are obviously entitled to your own opinions.

          The acquittal is assured. The book will be censored by phony declarations of “top secret”, the same as the “transcript”. Which is a bit odd, since you have said that the “transcript” is substantially accurate. So what is the regime hiding? Some bad grammar?

          Interesting editorial suggests that Trump wanted to be impeached so he pushed the boundaries until the Democrats had little choice.

          Which means he knew, of course, that the trial was an assured acquittal. His phone call was “perfect” alright.

          Bolton is just a bump in the road…maybe.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. DerSHOWitz just one more show-boater in the ‘djt’, R.Stone and majority of GOP Senators realm.

    Nothing wrong with a tad of the IN-YOUR-FACE carryings-on for effect; but, when you claim to be a world- class authority on the US constitution, and you change your opinion to fit the day-of-the-week or the situation’s defendant, you end up appearing more than a little silly and a lot unreliable.

    I’ll take the intelligent, well-read, researching, low-key L. Tribe every day of the week.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m curious to know how Dershowitz has changed his opinion. The argument he makes in the current trial is the exact same argument he made during the Clinton impeachment.


      1. @Roberts

        Dershowitz has flip flopped versus what he said at the Clinton impeachment. He has said so himself and claims he was ignorant back then but now he is better informed. Yeah, right. Here are HIS words . . .

        “During the Clinton impeachment, I stated in an interview that I did not think that a technical crime was required, but that I did think that abusing trust could be considered — I said that. At that time, I had not done the extensive research on that issue because it was irrelevant to the Clinton case, and I was not fully aware of the compelling counterarguments. So I simply accepted the academic consensus on an issue that was not on the front burner at the time.”

        Liked by 2 people

      2. RE: “Here are HIS words…”

        There is no flip flop. These also are HIS words, quoted from the video I posted yesterday: “Purely non-criminal conduct, including abuse of power and obstruction of Congress are outside the range of impeachable offenses. That is the key argument I am presenting today.”

        You and Ms. Massey are stumbling over the concept of a “technical crime” being required. Dershowtiz argued for Clinton that it wasn’t. He is still arguing that is isn’t. In other words, “criminal-like” behavior is required when there is no technical crime.

        Dershowitz may be guilty of refining his views, but he is not guilty of changing them.


        1. @Roberts

          Neither of us is “stumbling” over anything. It would be very generous to characterize what you are doing as “stumbling” so I will forego other than to say – ridiculous.

          The quote you now provide confirms that Dershowitz HAS completely changed his views. In Clinton he said that non-crimes WERE impeachable. Now he says they are NOT. That is what your new quote says. Can you read? Better yet, understand? Even he confirms that he has changed his views and says why, but you still argue that he hasn’t? That is simply ridiculous. If it is just too difficult, don’t agree with me. Agree with him instead.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. RE: “In Clinton he said that non-crimes WERE impeachable.”

          No, he didn’t. That’s your construction, not his.

          Read your own quote of Dershowitz where he speaks about “technical crime” and “abusing trust.” The latter, in Dershowtiz’s reasoning would be comparable to what he calls today “criminal-like” behavior, which is, and always has been in his mind, a minimal prerequisite for defining impeachable offenses.


  4. Interesting. Lying about a blow job in the oval office is impeachable, but attempted extortion of a foreign leader for personal political gain, because it MIGHT be in the public interest isn’t. Trump has equated himself as “us” since he was inaugurated. Of course he believes his reelection is in the public interest.

    I like what John Dean said about Dershowitz. He just UNimpeached Nixon… And Trump supporters and his toadies in the Senate (and House, too, I would surmise) are eating it up.


  5. Without an apriori statement by the President that he is about to act against the best interests of the country then anything he does will be, by definition, in the best interests of the country.

    Incompetency is a reason for impeachment. Given the loss of stature of the US in world standing, it’s GROSS incompetence.

    “Well, when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.”

    I repeated Nixon’s theory a couple of days ago in jest. I really didn’t expect that Dershbag would actually go there, but he did.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Mr. Roberts accuses the Democrats of doing a shoddy job in the House. I contend the Trump Dream Team of defenders is more shoddy.

    Darn those pesky PROVEN facts.

    Also, Pam Bondi was absolutely brilliant trying to figure out exactly when Hunter Biden left the Burisma board. If Hunter Biden is such a key player in all of this (which I don’t think he is because he had nothing to do whit Trump’s decision making wrt Ukrainian aid and meetings) you would think a fact like that would be on the same page of notes, not the four she flipped through trying to find the information.


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