Jan 19, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Schiff dismisses "absurdist position" that abuse of power is not impeachable

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said on ABC's "This Week" that Alan Dershowitz's argument that abuse of power is not an impeachable offense — even if proven — is an "absurdist position" that President Trump is only making because the facts are so "dead set" against him.

Why it matters: Dershowitz is a member of President Trump's legal defense team for the upcoming Senate impeachment trial. He plans to argue that the House can only impeach a president who has committed "criminal-like" conduct, and that the case should be dismissed because the impeachment charges are of a "political" nature.

  • Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo.), who along with Schiff is one of the Democrats' seven impeachment managers, said on CNN's "State of the Union" that if a president can't be indicted and abuse of power isn't impeachable, then "no president can be held accountable."

What they're saying:

"The logic of that absurdist position that's being now adopted by the president is he could give away the state of Alaska. He could withhold execution of sanctions on Russia for interfering in the last election to coerce Russia to interfere in the next one. The mere idea of this would have appalled the founders who were worried about exactly that kind of solicitation of foreign interference in an election for a personal benefit. The danger it poses to national security — that goes to the very heart of what the framers intended to be impeachable."
— Rep. Schiff

Go deeper: Trump's concede-nothing defense

Go deeper