On Friday, Jason Johnson. politics editor of The Root and MSNBC contributor, attacked President Trump, saying that Trump’s attorney Alan Dershowitz had asserted that Trump could do whatever he wants, and that because Trump would listen to Dershowitz he might shut down voting in the entire state of California. Johnson snapped, “Imagine Donald Trump deciding, sometime in June, well, I heard this conspiracy theory that a whole lot of illegal immigrants voted in California. So, I’ve decided that, during the presidential election, California has to undergo extreme vetting because we can’t trust their votes. We’re going to shut down voting in a state.”
Johnson was responding to Trump defense lawyer Alan Dershowitz, who had stated that the president could not be impeached unless he committed an actual crime. Dershowitz had asserted:
Abuse of power, even if proved, is not an impeachable offense. That’s exactly what the framers rejected. They didn’t want to give Congress the authority to remove a president because he abused his power. They have to prove treason, they have to prove bribery, or they have to prove other crimes and misdemeanors. Virtually half of American presidents — from Adams, to Jefferson, to Lincoln, to Roosevelt — have been accused of abuse of power, and the framers explicitly rejected those kinds of broad, open-ended criteria,
Johnson launched into his rant like this:
And when people spout nonsense, whether its Dershowitz or whether it’s Fox News, Donald Trump always listens. The scenario that he set up yesterday, by basically saying the president can do what he wants; imagine Donald Trump deciding, sometime in June, well, I heard this conspiracy theory that a whole lot of illegal immigrants voted in California. So, I’ve decided that, during the presidential election, California has to undergo extreme vetting because we can’t trust their votes. We’re going to shut down voting in a state. This is literally the kind of thing he will do now. We’re not talking hypotheticals, anymore.
He continued, “And that’s the part that I think disturbs me; for all of these people who were worried about their elections, we’re talking about the actual country. And anything he’ll do to Joe Biden he’ll do to a senator, he’ll do to a senator in his own party. So why people aren’t concerned, why people don’t realize that this is step one to actual autocracy. Not the theoretical one, not the one we talk about in class, but an actual president who will say, ‘This state’s votes don’t count. These people don’t have a right to vote. These people can’t come into the country.’ That is what they are allowing to happen here. And I don’t understand how anyone can not be terrified, not just angry, but literally terrified about what the future’s gonna bring.”
Johnson also ripped Chief Justice John Roberts on Thursday, saying, “I’m on the side of the American people, and I’m on the side of history. And history will look shamefully on this; history will look shamefully on John Roberts, the way that he has sat there through this process; it’s akin, you said he’s sorta fading in the back, it’s like, imagine being at a restaurant where you’re getting really terrible service,; and you keep saying out loud, ‘Man, if only the manager would do something.’ The manager’s right there. He’s watching as you’re being mis-served and everything’s coming out wrong. That is essentially what he’s done.”