HILLARY Clinton compared an argument made by Trump lawyer Alan Dershowitz to an infamous justification Richard Nixon used for the Watergate scandal.
Dershowitz said yesterday during Trump’s Senate trial that “if the president does something, which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment.”
The 81-year-old lawyer was arguing that the alleged trade of U.S. military aid for political favors could not be grounds for impeachment.
Trump is accused of threatening to withhold help for Ukraine until the country agreed to investigate his political rival Joe Biden and son Hunter Biden.
Clinton weighed on Twitter today, writing that “Richard Nixon once made this argument: ‘When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.”
The former secretary of state, who lost to Trump in the 2016 election, added that Nixon “was forced to resign in disgrace.
“In America, no one is above the law,” Clinton added.
Nixon had made the statement in an interview with David Frost in 1977, three years after he resigned under pressure due to the Watergate scandal.
The disgraced former president told Frost, “Well, when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.”
Dershowitz said the argument he made against impeachment yesterday has been “distorted.”
“They characterized by argument as if I had said that if a president believes that his re-election was in the national interest, he can do anything,” he tweeted today. “I said nothing like that, as anyone who actually heard what I said can attest.”
He said in a series of tweets that there are three broad categories of “relevant motive.”
“1) pure national interest (help the military), 2) pure corrupt motive (get a kickback), and 3) mixed motive (help the national interest in a way that helps your reelection efforts).
He added that the third “was often the reality of politics and that helping one’s own re-election efforts cannot – by itself – necessarily be deemed corrupt.”
Dershowitz said that “under the House Managers quid pro quo theory,” any president who took action with the “mixed motive” would be impeachable.
“That’s what Schiff said,” Dershowitz tweeted, referring to Rep. Adam Schiff, a Democrat who is leading the House prosecutors.
“Under that ‘standard’ we would have no presidents. Please respond to my actual arguments not the media and partisan characterization of them.”
At one point Republican Sen. Ted Cruz asked if it mattered whether there was a quid pro quo, and Dershowitz responded no, saying politicians often equate re-election with the public good.
“That’s why it’s so dangerous to try to psychoanalyze a president,” he said.
Schiff, apparently stunned, responded: “All quid pro quos are not the same.
“And you don’t need to be a mind reader to figure out which is which. For one thing, you can ask John Bolton.”
Clinton’s tweet slamming Dershowitz has been shared more than 10,000 times.
Another target of Clinton, Democratic presidential hopeful Tulsi Gabbard, has filed a defamation lawsuit against her. Clinton had appeared to call her “the favorite of the Russians.”
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Clinton has reportedly twice dodged the arrival of legal papers in connection with the case.
“I find it rather unbelievable that Hillary Clinton is so intimidated by Tulsi Gabbard that she won’t accept service of process,” Gabbard lawyer Brian Dunne told the New York Post.
Gabbard filed her lawsuit in federal court in New York earlier this month.
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