According to Alan Dershowitz, President Trump’s defense lawyer, a president cannot be impeached for “exerting his executive powers to win an election if he believes his victory is in the national public interest,” reported Fox News.
CNN explained the logic behind Dershowitz’s defense: “Trump believes his reelection is what’s best for the country, so therefore whatever he does to secure a second term is, by definition, in the national interest.”
“Every public official that I know believes that his election is in the public interest,” celebrity attorney Dershowitz said at Trump’s impeachment trial. “And mostly you’re right. Your election is in the public interest.” “And if a president does something which he believes will help him get elected, in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment,” he added.
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The lawyer’s defense came in the question phase of the trial when senators get to submit written requests to both sides. The defense was in response to Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) question: “Does it matter if there was a quid pro quo? Is it true that quid pro quos are often used in foreign policy?”
House managers allege that President Trump pressured Ukraine to launch investigations into Joe Biden by withholding nearly $400 million in military aid to the country. According to Fox News, they charge that Trump engaged in a quid pro quo that was ignoring the national interest – and the will of Congress – for the personal political purpose of winning reelection in 2020.
“The only thing that would make a quid pro quo unlawful is if the quo were in some way illegal,” Dershowitz said in an animated speech on the Senate floor.