WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- House Democrats Adam Schiff of California and Jerrold Nadler of New York rejected arguments from Donald Trump’s defense team who claims that the president shouldn’t have been impeached for abusing the power of his office.
- Schiff, the Intelligence Committee chairman and lead impeachment manager, blasted the team for arguing that the conduct at the heart of Trump’s impeachment isn’t impeachable and called their claims “absurdist.”
- In an interview on “Face the Nation,” Nadler said the argument from Trump’s defense team is “simply ignorance.”
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), two of the most prominent impeachment managers, rejected arguments from Donald Trump’s defense team claiming the president shouldn’t have been impeached for abusing the power of his office.
Schiff, the Intelligence Committee chairman and lead impeachment manager, lambasted defenders of the president on Sunday for arguing that the conduct at the heart of Trump’s impeachment isn’t impeachable. He called their claims “absurdist.” Nadler also said the same in a separate interview.
Trump’s defense team, which includes lawyer Alan Dershowitz, amplified its assertions that Trump’s demands for Ukraine to investigate his political rivals did not warrant impeachment.
The Democrat-led House voted to impeach the president in December on two articles — abuse of power and obstructing the congressional investigation into the alleged abuse.
In an interview on ABC’s “This Week,” Dershowitz told George Stephanopoulos that Trump should not have been impeached even if all the evidence and arguments laid out by the House are accepted as fact.
The lawyer has often appeared on news broadcasts as one of the president’s most faithful legal allies, arguing against oversight by Congress and against special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference.
“That’s the argument I suppose you have to make if the facts are so dead-set against you,” Schiff responded in a separate “This Week” interview. Schiff noted that along with several administration officials, Trump himself has already admitted to the conduct at the core of his impeachment. Schiff rejected the suggestion Trump’s conduct is unimpeachable.
“You had to go so far out of the mainstream to find someone to make that argument, you had to leave the realm of constitutional law scholars and go to criminal defense lawyers,” Schiff said of Dershowitz.
“The logic of that absurdist position that’s being now adopted by the president is he could give away the state of Alaska, he could withhold execution of sanctions on Russia for interfering in the last election, to induce or coerce Russia to interfere in the next one,” Schiff added.
Nadler, during an interview on “Face the Nation,” said the argument from Trump’s defense team is “simply ignorance,” adding previous impeachments prove “there is no question” as to whether a president can be charged for abuse of power.