The report released Saturday, Dec. 7, by the House Judiciary Committee concluded that the president can be charged for alleged “illegitimate motives” even if he has not committed anything illegal.
The Judiciary Committee is the body charged with presenting the articles of impeachment that will eventually be cited when President Donald J. Trump is charged with allegedly pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate former Democratic Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter for serious suspicions of corruption in Ukraine.
The 52-page document was drafted by 20 committee members, most of them Democrats, and seeks to create a legal and constitutional basis to justify the increasingly questioned accusation against the president, according to Breitbart.
“The question is not whether the president’s conduct could have resulted from permissible motives. It is whether the president’s real reasons, the ones in his mind at the time, were legitimate,” the report states.
A surprising statement given the impossibility of knowing the president’s motivations, let alone condemning him for what one might think he was thinking when he acted.
In fact, the report devotes a great deal of space to trying to argue that a president does not have to commit a crime to be removed from office, drawing on precedents with which Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz finds no parallel.
“They have created open-ended criteria, which bear no relationship to the word of the Constitution itself. If President Trump is impeached, it will set a terrible precedent, which will weaponize impeachment, and the next Democrat who gets elected will be impeached,” Dershowitz warned during an interview on Fox News program “Life, Liberty & Levin.”
The text mentions the “abuse of power” 43 times, however, for Dershowitz this is in no way a reason to impeach a president on the basis of the Constitution, which specifically states that he can only be impeached if he has committed some serious crime: treason, bribery, or other crimes in that line.
“Opposition to a political leader, especially in times of crisis, always finds ‘abuse of power,'” the Dershowitz explained.
“How many foreign policy decisions have been made by presidents over the years in order to help them get re-elected? If we start making that an impeachable offense, there will be no presidents left,” Dershowitz said.
“It would be unconstitutional to remove President Trump on the basis of this process. It would be a blatant ‘abuse of power’ by Congress and a violation of its official oath,” he said.
But this is not the only irregular feature of this report, according to a Breitbart analysis, the report ignores the statements of law professors who testified last week, suggesting that the document could have been written long before the hearing with legal experts.
“The report does cite published works by one of the witnesses, Michael Gerhardt, but ignores those of his writings unhelpful to their case,” explained Joel B. Pollack.
In addition, the text includes a well-known “quote” from President Trump that was extracted from a video manipulated to alter the meaning of the president’s statements so that he appeared to say that he could do what he wanted as president with reference to Ukraine, when in fact he was referring to his legal ability to fire the director of the FBI.
Pollack also pointed out that, although the report asserts that the removal of a president is the “last and most extraordinary resort,” the Democrats and some academics mentioned in the report have been pressing to remove President Trump even before he took office in January 2017.