Yes, you read that right. According to the UK Guardian:
The Harvard legal scholar Alan Dershowitz, a member of Donald Trump’s team for his impeachment 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”.
(He said this in a BBC interview, which is behind a paywall. The Guardian doesn’t have a paywall, but they do like donations — h/t to Clio2.)
On the BBC, Dershowitz was asked if he thought Trump was a good president and how he felt about potentially facilitating his re-election.
“It’s a very, very different issue,” he said. “I’m a Democrat. I intend to vote Democrat. I think that Democrats would be disappointed to see the president re-elected and Republicans would be pleased.”
Pressed on his personal feelings about Trump’s impeachment, Dershowitz said it “creates ambivalence in me as it does whenever I represent somebody whose acquittal would produce results that make me unhappy as an individual. But I would never, ever allow my own partisan views to impact my views on the constitution.”
So why did he join Trump’s defense team?
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”.
Exactly how defending a president who has done everything in his power to trash the Constitution would help its survival is not, shall we say, entirely clear. But Dershowitz is a known contrarian and gadfly.
I have to admit it doesn’t make all that much sense. Dershowitz, who used to talk about his liberal credentials, has since become a favorite on Fox News, defending Trump and reveling in the attention it brought him.
He did say he wouldn’t be playing a large role, according to Harry Litman in the WaPo:
As for Dershowitz, he had scarcely been announced as joining the president’s defense team before he began backpedaling from any suggestion that he would be defending Trump on the facts.
It might explain a tidbit I saw earlier today (can’t locate it at the moment, unfortunately) that Dershowitz did not want to be part of the defense team and had to be pressured into it.
So far, no reaction from the White House. But the photo at top is kind of what I imagine IMPOTUS’s response will be.