Harvard Law School Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz said he wouldn’t be part of President Trump’s legal team in his second U.S. Senate impeachment trial.
“I am not going to be (involved),” Dershowitz, who defended President Trump in his first impeachment trial, told the Boston Herald on Thursday, Jan. 14.
The House Democrats, joined by 10 Republicans, voted 232-197 to impeach President Trump on Wednesday. With one impeachment article, the president was charged with “incitement of insurrection” for a speech he gave to supporters on Jan. 6 that Democrats said led to the breach of the U.S. Capitol building.
Dershowitz called the House vote “political theater” and said,” There really is no room for a lawyer” to get involved.
“No legal arguments were presented, no lawyer was allowed to defend him,” Dershowitz said of the House’s Wednesday vote. He added that he believes there will be “no trial or a one-day trial without any real role for a lawyer” in the Senate.
In a separate interview with Fox News, Dershowitz slammed Democrats over their move to impeach the president for a second time.
“But they don’t want actually to bring it to trial,” Dershowitz told Hannity. “They just want to have the accusation hanging over him. It would be like a prosecutor indicting somebody for a serious crime and then saying, ‘But we’re not going to give you a trial where you can prove your innocence.’”
In the speech that day, President Trump told his supporters to “peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard” at the Capitol. In a Twitter video deleted by the platform, the president urged them to be peaceful and go home after a group of rioters stormed the Capitol building. Since Jan. 6, he repeatedly condemned the violence and called for peace.
Dershowitz said he believes President Trump’s speech was protected by the First Amendment, adding that he will defend the president “in the court of public opinion.”
Following the impeachment vote in the House of Representatives, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a statement that “there is simply no chance that a fair or serious trial could conclude before President-elect Biden is sworn in next week.”
“Even if the Senate process were to begin this week and move promptly, no final verdict would be reached until after President Trump had left office. This is not a decision I am making; it is a fact,” he added.