Harvard Law Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz is walking back comments he made back in 1998 during the impeachment of then-President Bill Clinton arguing that a president does not have to have committed a crime to put on trial.
Dershowitz, named to Trump's impeachment defense team last week, said "regardless of whether the conduct is regarded as OK by you or me or by voters," the Senate should acquit the president, reports Mediaite.
He's also argued that abuse of power, one of the charges Trump is facing, is not impeachable.
But in the 1998 video, aired on CNN, Dershowitz is shown arguing that in Clinton's case, “it certainly doesn’t have to be a crime if you have somebody who completely corrupts the office of president and who abuses trust and who poses a great danger to our liberty...You don’t need a technical crime.”
On Monday, Dershowitz tweeted that there is "no inconsistency" between what he said in 1998 and what he's saying now.
"I said then that there doesn’t have to be a ‘technical’ crime," Dershowitz tweeted. "I have said now there must be ‘criminal-like’ conduct, or conduct ‘akin to treason and bribery.'”
Meanwhile, Dershowitz also said in an interview with Mediaite founder Dan Abrams that it "overstates it" to say he's part of the Trump team.
"I was asked to present the constitutional argument that I would have presented had Hillary Clinton been elected and had she been impeached,” Dershowitz said.“I was asked to present my constitutional argument against impeachment… I will be there for one hour, basically, presenting my argument. But I’m not a full-fledged member of the defense team in any realistic sense of that term.”
He also denied he's being paid to participate on the team.
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