Harvard's Laurence Tribe nails Alan Dershowitz for mischaracterizing what 'abuse of power' actually means
Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe. Image via screengrab.

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.

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.

"@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."