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Harvard’s Laurence Tribe nails Alan Dershowitz for mischaracterizing what ‘abuse of power’ actually means

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President Donald Trump’s lawyer Alan Dershowitz took to the Senate podium Monday to explain that the president absolutely did what he’s being accused of, he just shouldn’t be impeached for it.

Dershowitz argued that Trump cares so much about corruption that his actions in Ukraine were about foreign policy, not for Trump’s own personal purposes. It’s a fact that doesn’t hold up to evidence, as Trump has never once indicated in all of his years in office or in the campaign that he cared about corruption in the Ukraine or anywhere else.

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In fact, according to a new book, Trump advocated the opposite.

In a conversation with former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Trump complained about laws that prevented him from international bribery.

“It’s just so unfair that American companies aren’t allowed to pay bribes to get business overseas,” Trump told Tillerson, according to the book. “We’re going to change that.” Per the authors, the president expressed frustration “ostensibly because [the law] restricted his industry buddies or his own company’s executives from paying off foreign governments in faraway lands.”

Dershowitz listed off all of the things that would qualify for abuse of power under the Constitution. He went so far as to even acknowledge that the founders were concerned about the influence of a foreign power over an American president. Still, however, he said none of that fell under the accusation of an abuse of power.

He went so far as to cite Harvard Constitutional Law Professor Laurence Tribe, who has frequently pointed out the flaws in Dershowitz’s arguments. But Tribe took to Twitter Monday night to discredit the president’s lawyer.

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“@AlanDersh thinks he’s shown something significant by demonstrating that lots of things can be called ‘abuse of power,'” tweeted Tribe. “Not so. What counts is whether the SPECIFIC ACTS charged in articles 1 and 2 meet the standard the Constitution sets for removal.”

“Anyone looking for a thorough takedown of @AlanDersh’s whole argument need only check out pgs 259 -266 of the 2019 epilogue to my book with @JoshuaMatz8, To End A Presidency: The Power of Impeachment. Just saying,” he also said.

“The framers were much smarter than @AlanDersh,” he tweeted several minutes later. “They realized the futility of any effort to pin down in advance the infinite number of ways future demagogues might capture the presidency and abuse its powers for their personal benefit. That’s the main reason @AlanDersh is wrong.”

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‘People’s lives will be lost’: Psychiatrist warns ‘sociopath’ Trump is ‘getting worse’ — and failing in coronavirus response

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President Donald Trump's psychological problems are getting worse and could be consequential as America faces a potential COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on Thursday interviewed Dr. Lance Dodes, a former assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

"As you pointed out, Lawrence, this man is about himself. He really is not about the country, he's not about public health," Dr. Dodes said of Trump.

"Although he has already severely damaged the country by being a psychopath or sociopath -- in many ways, he's damaged democracy -- I think people's lives will be lost now," he warned. "Individual lives will be lost because of the way he's mishandling the coronavirus issue."

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2020 Election

‘Something really rotten’: Here’s the evidence of extensive voter suppression in Georgia’s notorious 2018 election

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As the 2020 presidential campaign cycle grinds on, there’s renewed concern about the 21st century’s newest form of warfare: cyber-sabotage of government systems, including elections and online disinformation intended to incite unrest. But as Suppressed: The Fight to Vote, a documentary from Brave New Films, makes clear, partisan voter suppression tactics with 20th-century roots remain and can thwart multitudes of voters from changing their state’s political leaders.

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The real story behind Trump’s new lawsuit against the New York Times

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Wednesday was an ominous day for freedom of the press in this country, and I want to tell you why.

You may have heard or seen that President Trump filed a libel suit against the New York Times. Perhaps you weren’t surprised: the president is known to frequently disparage the Times even as he reads it obsessively. Borrowing a page from what I’ve referred to before as a Mount Rushmore of totalitarians, Robespierre, Hitler, Stalin and Mao, Trump loves to call the press the “enemy of the people.”

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