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MSNBC panel bursts out laughing after watching clip of Alan Dershowitz explaining his Trump defense strategy

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On MSNBC Saturday, a panel of legal experts tore into former Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz’s argument that abuse of power is not an impeachable offense, which anchor Joy Reid played for them in a clip.

“You cannot make any sense out of it. It is an absurd comment,” said former federal prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks, to laughter around the table. “It is the standard by which we have impeached in the past. If you listen to the witnesses at the House, three out of four said that is an impeachable offense. The articles against Richard Nixon included abuse of power. It is clearly what was intended by our framers. It’s what the Federalist Papers say, and it’s the thing that makes sense. Other high crimes and misdemeanors are exactly that. It isn’t under the federal statutes that they were talking about. Bribery isn’t under the federal statute because there was no federal bribery crime when the Constitution was passed. It was whatever people thought it was.”

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Civil rights activist and former police watchdog Maya Wiley concurred.

“Andrew Johnson … was being impeached for abuse of power. There was no criminal offense underlying his impeachment. So that’s number one,” said Wiley. “But the second is, I want to pull out an argument that Alan Dershowitz made during the Mueller probe, which was that even if Donald Trump went to Putin when he was a candidate and said, ‘Hey, Putin, you know what, I’d be a great president for you, because I don’t agree with sanctions against Russia, I don’t agree with the Magnitsky Act, so look, you help me, I help you, we’re good.’ Alan Dershowitz wrote that that would not be impeachable.”

“So when you hear him make this argument, he is literally saying that even if everything Mueller found he could prove in a court of law, Donald Trump would not be impeachable!” said Wiley to another round of laughter.

Watch below:

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‘Didn’t Trump want the death penalty for drug offenses?’: White House mocked for claim Blagojevich was freed to combat ‘aggressive sentencing’

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During an appearance on Fox News this Wednesday, White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley addressed President Trump's recent pardons and commutations, specifically the commutation of Rod Blagojevich, suggesting it was done in an effort to clamp down on "aggressive sentencing" by prosecutors.

"The fact is, the president is clearly against excessive sentencing," Gidley said. "Whether it's Rod Blagojevich or Alice Johnson, he's focused on making sure people who serve time in prison, who have rehabilitated, who show regret and show remorse, don't have to rot away in a jail cell their whole life."

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2020 Election

Will Wednesday’s debate finally prove that Bloomberg is not Batman?

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After months of highly repetitive Democratic primary debates that, with pointless inevitability, turn into tedious squabbles over different health care plans that will never actually be passed in their proposed forms, there's finally going to be some real tension going into a debate again. That's because information billionaire and former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg is expected to show up tonight in Las Vegas, having purchased his way into the debate by infusing the airwaves and our very bloodstreams with a series of ads that are as inspiring as Bloomberg the man is not.

This article was originally published at Salon

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2020 Election

‘Don’t listen to them’: Insurance industry front group to run ads attacking Medicare for All during Democratic debate

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"We are winning, so the industry is attacking Medicare for All to protect their profits and help the politicians defending those profits."

The Partnership for America's Health Care Future, an insurance industry front group formed in 2018 to combat Medicare for All, announced Wednesday that it will run television and social media ads against healthcare reform during the Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas.

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