Famed legal expert Alan Dershowitz criticized President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, in an appearance on CNN. Show host John Berman noted an article Kavanaugh wrote in the Minnesota Law Review in 2009, who stated that “dastardly” behavior on the part of a president would suffice for impeachment. According to the Constitution, bribery, treason, high crimes and misdemeanors are the reasons Congress may impeach a president.
Berman said, “Brett Kavanaugh has written extensively about investigating and prosecuting a president in an article in the Minnesota Law Review in 2009. One of the things he says is, ‘The indictment and trial of a sitting president would cripple the federal government, rendering it unable to function with credibility in either the international or domestic arenas.’” Dershowitz agreed with Kavanaugh, while noting that the Constitution allows for prosecution of a president only after impeachment and leaving office. He said that the drafters of the Constitution rejected maladministration as an impeachable offense, but allowed for criminal behavior as a cause for removing a president.
When Berman quoted Kavanaugh saying, “If the president does something dastardly, the impeachment process is available,” Dershowitz answered, “He’s dead wrong. He should read the Constitution, and I think when he does read the Constitution, and when he reads my book, and I will send him a copy of it, he will see I’m right and he’s wrong. Dastardly is not a criteria for impeachment. If you allow dastardly to be a criteria for impeachment, then you really create a lawless process. What does dastardly mean? Who defines dastardly?”
Dershowitz said that for impeachment to be legal, “an actual crime” would have to be found, while it would then fall to Congress to investigate whether that was the case prior to filing articles of impeachment. Dershowitz has recently published his book, “The Case Against Impeaching Donald Trump,” and has been known for coming to the president’s defense with regard to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s continuing probe.
On Monday, Dershowitz predicted that Trump would replace outgoing Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy with Kavanaugh. Speaking on CNN about a recent phone call he had with the president, Dershowitz said, "I think the president is looking at the big picture," adding, "This is only one of several nominations he expects to make. And I think what he's thinking about tonight or what he thought about today was who should be the first of my picks?" Dershowitz continued. "He's anticipating making two, three, four, maybe five picks over the years. And so he's kind of setting out a program for who he would like to pick over the years."
Dershowitz also said that Kavanaugh is not likely to take steps to overturn the 1973 landmark abortion case, Roe v. Wade, despite vociferous opposition from federal contractor Planned Parenthood, Democrats, and progressives.