High-profile attorney Alan Dershowitz on Friday repeatedly sought to clarify his role on President Donald Trump’s impeachment defense team, insisting he was not a “full-fledged” member.
“I will present the history of the constitutional impeachment provisions, the history of impeachments that have gone on … and make a broad argument,” Dershowitz told MSNBC’s Ari Melber. “My sole responsibility is to analyze and present the constitutional arguments against impeachment based on the two articles of impeachment.”
Dershowitz went on to say that he will serve in a “limited” capacity and will not be a part of the president’s tactical strategic team.
"I am trying to present a very nonpartisan view of the Constitution and I think it would be refreshing to have a nonpartisan view introduced on the Senate floor in this highly partisan impeachment and removal,” Dershowitz added.
Hours later, the White House announced Dershowitz's inclusion in a list of the president's Senate trial counsel.
It was reported earlier Friday that the former Harvard Law professor was one of several legal heavyweights tapped by Trump’s team, including former independent counsel Ken Starr and former Florida attorney general Pam Bondi.
Dershowitz also appeared on CNN on Friday evening, where the network’s chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin called out the attorney for what Dershowitz had argued was a neutral role, despite advising Trump throughout the impeachment process and repeatedly defending the president across multiple television networks.
“For some reason you don't want to admit that — that’s up to you,” Toobin said to Dershowitz. “But you are pretending that there is some sort of perfect constitutional sweet spot.”
"Don't criticize me for stating my position,” Dershowitz fired back. “I don't let my political preferences interfere with my constitutional analysis.”
Dershowitz brushed off a question about if he was receiving payment for his work, saying that was to be determined at a later date.
Dershowitz also previewed some of the arguments he would make on the Senate floor regarding the constitutionality of the articles of impeachment brought by Democrats, indicating that in his view the two articles passed against Trump late last year don't rise to the Constitution's "high crimes and misdemeanors" requirement.
Opening arguments for Trump’s impeachment trial will begin Tuesday.