The Harvard legal scholar Alan Dershowitz, a member of Donald Trump’s team for hisimpeachment trial, has said he will not vote for the president in November and that Trump’s acquittal by the Senate “would produce results that make me unhappy as an individual”.
But Dershowitz said acting “for the survival of the constitution” was more important than “the short-term partisan advantage of getting my person elected to be president”.
Dershowitz spoke to theBBC’s Today program on Saturday, broadcast while the US east coast lay in darkness.
His remarks were no surprise: Dershowitz isa familiar voice in the media, to some degree a controversialist or gadfly, willing to goagainst the grainof public opinion or to represent unpopular clients, among themOJ Simpsonand Jeffrey Epstein. He is a regular presence on Fox News.
But as Washington, New York and Boston woke, it remained to be seen how a notoriously changeable president might react to his new lawyer’s remarks.
In the event Trump woke up in determined mood,tweetingabout the strong US economy while seemingly watching Fox. But there was plenty of coverage from less friendly outlets available should Trump choose to darken his mood.
The articles of impeachment charge that the president abused the power of his office by pressuring Ukraine to carry out investigations for his political benefit, including against former vice-president and possible Democratic candidate Joe Biden, and obstructed Congress in its efforts to investigate.
On Friday night, it wasreportedthat documentsreleased by House Democratsshowed that an aide to Devin Nunes, the ranking Republican on the House intelligence committee and a key Trump ally, worked with Lev Parnas on the administration’s approaches to Ukraine last year.
Parnas is a Soviet-born US citizen and associate of Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer who drove the Ukraine effort. Facing charges under federal campaign law, Parnas has turned against the president, detailinghis role in the Ukraine affairin wide-ranging interviews with TV , newspapers andwebsites.
As the White House faces into the storm, Dershowitz will join a Trump legal team that also includesKen Starr, who played a leading role in the impeachment of Bill Clinton. Jay Sekulow, a Trump lawyer and regular media surrogate, and Pat Cipollone, the White House counsel, will also represent the president.
Procedural steps continued on Saturday as the Senate trial drew nearer. House Democrats this week walked the articles of impeachment to the Senate and supreme court chief justice John Roberts arrived on Capitol Hill to preside.