Congress does not have the power to hold an impeachment trial for any official after they’ve left office, Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz argued on “Hannity” Monday.
The House is scheduled to vote on a resolution to impeach President Trump Wednesday in connection with last week’s riot at the Capitol building. If the resolution passes, Trump would be the first president to be impeached twice by the House of Representatives.
“All the Democrats want to do is simply impeach him,” said Dershowitz, who was part of Trump’s defense team at his first Senate impeachment trial last year. “They can do that. All you need is to have the votes, the majority, and [Alexander] Hamilton warned against impeachment simply by having the majority.
“But they don’t want to actually bring it to trial,” Dershowitz added. “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.'”
Dershowitz insisted that Congress has “no jurisdiction” over Trump after he has left the White House.
“The Constitution talks about impeachment as being a mechanism for removing somebody from office. It also says if you remove him from office, then you can disqualify him further, but you can’t just have a trial designed to disqualify him from running in 2024,” he said.
Dershowitz also threw cold water on claims by Democrats and anti-Trump Republicans that Trump incited a riot when he told rallygoers to “go” to the Capitol.
“This has happened 100 times at the Capitol,” Dershowitz said. “That’s quintessential American political rhetoric protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution.”