Two of the most famous names associated with Harvard Law School had competing appearances on MSNBC on Friday.
It began when Alan Dershowitz, a professor emeritus, was interviewed by MSNBC chief legal correspondent Ari Melber about his new role officially representing President Donald Trump during the Senate impeachment trial.
Dershowitz claimed that neither abuse of power nor obstruction of Congress count as “high crimes” under the constitution.
Professor Laurence Tribe, who has also been associated with Harvard Law for five decades, was asked about Dershowitz’s argument during an interview with Chris Hayes.
“What do you think about this idea that abuse of power is not impeachable, even if you establish on the facts that he abused his power?” Hayes asked.
“Well, I almost don’t know where to start. I mean, my colleague has it upside down,” Tribe replied.
“I knew that the Trump defense was going to rely in large part on alternative facts, but I didn’t know they were also going to use alternative law. There is no — there is no legal principle that says something has to violate a federal criminal statute in order to be impeachable,” he explained.
“When the impeachment power was put in the constitution, there were no federal criminal statutes,” Tribe added.
“Allen is just completely wacko on this. I don’t understand why the president thinks it will help him to have this kind of bizarro defense,” he charged.