In line with the US President, Donald Trump’s impeachment defense team, Alan Dershowitz is anticipated to argue on behalf of the president at the Senate trial early next week. But in a 2016 book he authored, the famed defense attorney called Trump a “destabilizing and unpredictable candidate,” warning that the then-presidential candidate “openly embraces fringe conspiracy theories peddled by extremists.”
Dershowitz wrote those statements in his book titled “Electile Dysfunction: A Guide for Unaroused Voters.” As part of Trump’s defense team, Dershowitz will outline the “foundations of what it means to rise to the extent of what’s impeachable and what’s not,” Jay Sekulow, one of Trump’s lead impeachment lawyers, said this week on Fox News.
In his comments in the 2016 book, Dershowitz clarified his views about the president. “I was campaigning for Hillary Clinton at the time. I hadn’t really ever met President Trump and it was just typical campaign rhetoric,” he said. “I wouldn’t repeat that characterization today having met him.”
Several Clinton campaign officials, including Adrienne Elrod, who ran the 2016 campaign’s surrogate operation, said that they do not recall Dershowitz doing anything in coordination with the official campaign.
The controversial defense attorney has recently come under criticism for advancing a constitutional theory that contradicts the stance he took during the 1999 impeachment proceedings against President Bill Clinton, an argument that 500 of the nation’s top constitutional scholars dispute.
In that instance, Dershowitz said there “doesn’t have to be a crime” to impeach a president who is “somebody who completely corrupts the office.” Now, he’s arguing that “criminal-type behavior is required.”
In a recent opinion letter to the New York Times, Dershowitz said he is defending Trump on “principle.”
“I have stood on principle, representing people with whom I disagree as well those with whom I agree. I have never made a distinction based on partisanship,” wrote Dershowitz.