Harvard law professors Dershowitz, Tribe square off over Trump impeachment defense

Renowned Harvard law professors Alan Dershowitz and Laurence Tribe traded jabs this week as the former defended President Trump from Democratic attempts to remove him from office in the Senate impeachment trial.

Dershowitz has been criticized for two specific arguments surrounding impeachment and removal from office-- first, that it required a crime and second, that the president was justified in pressuring Ukraine in order to help his re-election. Doing so, Dershowitz argued, could be part of Trump's attempt to advance the public interest.

DERSHOWITZ, TRIBE SPAR OVER IMPEACHMENT: YOU'D HAVE 'GONE APOPLECTIC' IF CLINTONS RECEIVED SAME TREATMENT

"'A republic — if you can keep it,'" Tribe tweeted Thursday. "With charlatans like @AlanDersh at the gates, I fear we would soon lose it. Happily, no real student of our Constitution would take seriously the made-for-TV views @AlanDersh is bellowing to defend @realDonaldTrump."

The day before, Tribe tweeted that accepting Dershowitz's public interest argument "would put us on a short path toward dictatorship, benevolent or otherwise. It’s incompatible with government of, by, and for the people. It’s government by egomania."

Earlier Wednesday, Dershowitz appeared on "The View" where he defended the president and suggested that Tribe changed his mind "on partisan grounds" with regards to impeachment.

"I didn't change my mind on partisan grounds," Dershowitz said when asked about criminal behavior as a pre-requisite for impeachment. "Larry Tribe, on the other hand, back in 1998, said a sitting president can't be indicted. Now, he says you can be indicted."

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ALAN DERSHOWITZ REBUTS LAURENCE TRIBE: 'UNCONSTITUTIONAL' FOR PELOSI TO DELAY SENATE TRIAL ON IMPEACHMENT

Last week, Dershowitz accused Tribe of trying to censor his arguments when he published an op-ed titled, "Trump’s lawyers shouldn’t be allowed to use bogus legal arguments on impeachment."

On Thursday morning, Dershowitz claimed on Twitter that the media had "willfully distorted" his words.

"They characterized my argument as if I had said that if a president believes that his re-election was in the national interest, he can do anything. I said nothing like that, as anyone who actually heard what I said can attest," he said.

The legal heavyweights previously debated impeachment when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., withheld the articles from the Senate. Dershowitz said it was unconstitutional to delay sending the articles while Tribe urged Pelosi to do so.

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"[Tribe] would withhold the trial until the Senate agreed to change its rules, or presumably until a new election put many more Democrats in the Senate. Under his proposal, there might never be a Senate trial, but the impeachment would stand as a final and permanent condemnation of President Trump," Dershowitz wrote in a Newsmax op-ed.

"It is difficult to imagine anything more unconstitutional, more violative of the intention of the Framers, more of a denial of basic due process and civil liberties, more unfair to the president and more likely to increase the current divisiveness among the American people. Put bluntly, it is hard to imagine a worse idea put forward by good people," he added.