Archive for the ‘Alan Dershowitz’ Category

Alan Dershowitz destroys Democrats’ ‘unconstitutional’ argument … – Washington Examiner

Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz on Saturday dismissed a major argument Democrats have been making against Donald Trump Jr., and said it’s clearly unconstitutional.

Several Democrats have argued that U.S. election laws prevent campaigns from receiving anything of “value” from foreign entities, and have said in Congress and in television interviews that items of “value” can be more than money, and can also be information.

That, Democrats say, is why President Trump’s campaign violated election laws when Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer who said she had dirt on Hillary Clinton.

But in an interview that aired Saturday night on Fox News, Dershowitz said campaign finance laws have never been prosecuted that way. He also said using the law to prosecute people who obtain information from non-U.S. sources would violate the First Amendment.

“Under the campaign finance laws, I mean, there is a claim that if you get something of value, and they’re alleging that information… from a foreign national could be, you know, stretched out to mean, you know, words,” Fox News host Jeanine Pirro said Saturday night. “Is that’s something that’s ever been prosecuted?”

“Of course not, and if it were to be prosecuted, the First Amendment would trump,” Dershowitz replied. “A candidate has a right to get information from whatever source the information comes.”

Dershowitz went on to say that just as newspapers are free to print any information they obtain from others, even when the source obtains it illegally, candidates for office have the same right to get information anywhere they want.

He also stressed again there is no legal precedent to treat information as money under U.S. campaign finance laws.

“You can’t include information under the campaign finance law,” he said. “That would be unconstitutional.”

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Alan Dershowitz destroys Democrats’ ‘unconstitutional’ argument … – Washington Examiner

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Alan Dershowitz: ‘I Don’t See a Crime’ With Don Jr.

Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz told Newsmax TV on Tuesday that “I don’t see a crime” in Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting last year with a lawyer with ties to the Russian government.

“Even if there was coordination, even if the worst-case scenario as far as we know now is the Russians getting in touch with Trump Jr. and saying: ‘We have some dirt on Hillary Clinton. Come. We’ll give it to you,'” he told Miranda Khan on “America Talks Live” in an interview.

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“And he goes and gets the information.

“That’s what The New York Times did in the Pentagon Papers. That’s what The Washington Post did and many other newspapers did with information from [Edward] Snowden and [Chelsea] Manning.

“You are allowed legally to use material that was obtained illegally, as long as you had nothing to do with the illegal nature of obtaining the information.

“So, at the moment, I see no legal jeopardy for Trump Jr.,” Dershowitz concluded, “but of course we have to know more facts.

“Simply using the material that you know was obtained illegally is not at the moment regarded as a crime.

“It would be wrong to prosecute somebody for that non-crime.”

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July 13, 2017   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Alan Dershowitz: Donald Trump Jr.’s conduct likely covered by First Amendment – Washington Times


Washington Times
Alan Dershowitz: Donald Trump Jr.'s conduct likely covered by First Amendment
Washington Times
Prominent Harvard law professor and liberal author Alan Dershowitz says Donald Trump Jr.'s controversial meeting last year with a Russian lawyer is likely protected under the First Amendment. There's a big difference between the act of stealing, or

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Alan Dershowitz: Donald Trump Jr.’s conduct likely covered by First Amendment – Washington Times

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Legal scholar Alan Dershowitz debunks the idea … – Breitbart

Dershowitz questioned the timing of Comeys firing, however, and urged a new, independent investigation into the Russia case.

Dershowitz appeared next to CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, who was apoplectic. The fact that he did this will disgrace his memory for as long as this presidency is remembered. There is only one date that will be remembered after Januarth 20th so far in the Trump presidency, and it is the day of the Tuesday Night Massacre,’ Toobin said, referencingPresident Richard Nixons firing of Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox during the Watergate scandal.

Toobin had also told CNNs Anderson Cooper earlier that Trump would likely name a campaign stooge as Comeys replacement at the FBI.

But Dershowitz disagreed.

Should Comey be the director of the FBI? The answer to that is no, he said, noting that he had called earlier for Comey to resign.He lost his credibility. A lot of this is his fault.

Dershowitz said there were three more questions to address.

The second question is: should it be the President of the United States who makes the decision to fire him? Not while hes under an investigation, Dershowitz said (though Trump is not actually under investigation, a point he stressed in firing Comey).

The third question, Dershowitz said, is who he appoints next. He disagreed with Toobin: If he appoints a man or a woman of great integrity, this date will not go down in history because we will have been proved wrong that it was some kind of a cover-up if he picks somebody who can pursue the investigation.

Fourth, Dershowitz suggested that Congressestablishan independent commission not a special prosecutor, there is no probable cause to continue the Russia investigation.

When Toobin objectedthat Trump had fired former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates and former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara as well as Comey, all three of whom had the potential to investigate and trouble the Trump presidency, Dershowitz argued that they were all Democrat appointees and had all been dismissed appropriately by a Republican president.

Former federal prosecutor Laura Coates chimed in that while she did not believe Trump fired Comey for the reasons he stated, Comey had given President Trump reason to fire him.

Comey was wrong to usurp the role of the Attorney General, she said, and noted that he had justified doing so again last week in testimony before Congress.

Host Don Lemon pushed back against Dershowitz and Coates, noting that he agreed with Toobin that the simpler explanation that Trump was trying to cover something up was more likely.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the most influential people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author ofHow Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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Legal scholar Alan Dershowitz debunks the idea … – Breitbart

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July 12, 2017   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Alan Dershowitz: ‘I don’t see any crime’ that Donald Trump Jr. committed – Washington Examiner

Famed lawyer Alan Dershowitz said Wednesday that he doesn’t see how Donald Trump Jr. committed any crime, after revealing he met in 2016 with a Russian lawyer who said she had incriminating information about Hillary Clinton.

“I don’t see any crime at this point in time,” Dershowitz told Newsmax.

He said the worst case scenario now seems to be that Russians got in touch with Trump Jr. and promised him information that may have been obtained illegally. But he said current law allows people to use illegally obtained information, and compared Trump Jr.’s actions to those of famous U.S. newspapers.

“That’s what the New York Times did in the Pentagon Papers,” he said. “That’s what the Washington Post did and many other newspapers did with information from Snowden and Manning.”

“You allowed legally to use material that was obtained illegally as long as you had nothing to do with the illegal nature of obtaining the information,” he said.

In a separate appearance on Fox Business, Dershowitz continued by saying there’s a “big difference between the act of stealing or the act of hacking, and the act of using it.”

“There’s really no difference under the first amendment between a campaigner using information he obtained … from somebody who obtained it illegally, and a newspaper doing it,” he said. “So I think this is conduct that would be covered by the first amendment. It’s also not prohibited by law.”

“There’s been so much overwrought claim… there are people who are talking about treason,” he added. “I can’t believe the New York Times had an op-ed yesterday in which treason was mentioned without even looking at the definition.”

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Alan Dershowitz: ‘I don’t see any crime’ that Donald Trump Jr. committed – Washington Examiner

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Alan Dershowitz on James Comey’s leaked memos: Who will guard the guardians? – Washington Examiner

President Trump has accused former FBI Director James Comey of illegality in leaking memos that may have contained classified information. If it is true that the leaked Comey memos laundered through a law professor in an effort to pressure Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein into appointing a special counsel contained classified information, who will investigate Comey?

Surely the special counsel, Robert Mueller, Comey’s friend who he helped get appointed, could not conduct a credible investigation. Nor could Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller. Will yet another special counsel have to be appointed to conduct an investigation into Comey’s leaking?

On the basis of what we now know, it does not appear that Comey committed a crime. What he did, if the allegation turns out to be true, is remarkably similar to what he investigated with regard to Hillary Clinton’s improper use of a private email server. Both Clinton and Comey were sloppy in their handling of classified material and both deserve to be criticized for their negligence. But neither crossed the line into willful criminality.

Of course, Hillary’s enemies argue that she did cross the line. And Comey’s enemies will argue the same as to his conduct. But judged by a uniform standard, neither should be prosecuted for what appear to be honest mistakes.

We don’t know at this point whether the Comey memos actually contained information that is classified, and even if so, was it so designated before or after Comey disclosed it? We also don’t know the level of classification, if any. What we do know is that Comey’s claim that he was entitled to leak the memos because he was a “private citizen” is bogus. The memos contained information he obtained as a government employee and the memos were the property of the government. If they contained classified information, he was not entitled to leak them without prior approval.

President Trump was quick to tweet that Comey’s actions were “so illegal.” That is, of course, what Trump’s critics are saying about his actions, and those of his family, his campaign aides, and his transition team members. Both sides are rushing to judgment when it comes to criminalizing the political acts of their opponents. Both sides seem to believe that if something done by their opponents is wrong, it should be criminal. But that’s not how our system of justice works.

For something to be criminal, it must be explicitly prohibited by an existing criminal statute. There must be a criminal act, accompanied by a criminal intent. Moreover, the law must be clear and unambiguous. These salutary rules are designed to protect Democrats and Republicans alike. But they are being abused by Republicans and Democrats alike in the short-term interest of partisan advantage.

Perhaps the most extreme example of stretching the law to target an individual for a political sin is the recent statement by Richard Painter directed against Trump’s son, who attended a meeting with a Russian lawyer who suggested that she might provide him with negative information about Hillary Clinton.

This is what Painter said: “This was an effort to get opposition research on an opponent in an American political campaign from the Russians, who were known to be engaged in spying inside the United States.”

He suggested that Trump’s son might be guilty of treason and should be in custody. But the Constitution specifically defines treason, providing that its definition is exclusive and limited.

Here is what it says: “Treason against the United States shall consist only levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.” [emphasis added]. This definition clearly does not cover “an effort to get opposition research” from the Russians. But the Constitution doesn’t seem to matter to those who are convinced that any wrongful action must also be criminal.

Back to the Comey leaks. It is unlikely there will be any investigation, except perhaps an internal one by the Justice Department. Comey should be rebuked by the Justice Department for violating their rules, but there is not enough evidence at the moment to warrant the appointment of another special counsel. Nor is there enough to conclude, as Trump hastily did, that Comey’s misconduct was “so illegal.”

Alan Dershowitz (@AlanDersh) is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus, at Harvard Law School and author of “Taking the Stand: My Life in the Law” and “Electile Dysfunction: A Guide for the Unaroused Voter.” This article was previously published by Fox News.

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Alan Dershowitz on James Comey’s leaked memos: Who will guard the guardians? – Washington Examiner

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Sorry, Democrats. The holy grail of a Trump crime is still missing. – Washington Post (blog)

What has really happened since Donald Trump Jr. released his email chain setting up a meeting last June with a Russian lawyer? Are Democrats and their allies in the media any closer to having their high crime or misdemeanor?

Answer: No.

As Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz stated yesterday, it is unlikely that attendance at the meeting violated any criminal statute. Well said, Mr. Dershowitz.

And yet, the media would have you believe that the meeting Trump Jr. described as literally just a wasted 20 minutes is a smoking gun that will inevitably take President Trump, his administration and his entire family down forever.

In reality, Trump Jr.s emails show he has nothing to hide.

Further to this point, Trump Jr. went on Hannity last night to speak specifically about his actions. Granted, Sean Hannity is not always interested in giving a complete, unvarnished account of what happens in Trump World and his questions are softballs, but Trump Jr. made some important points nonetheless namely, the fact that there was no subsequent follow-up or contact with the Russian lawyer and nothing to tell then-candidate Trump. Therefore, unless you decide to believe he is lying, there was no collusion.The holy grail is still missing.

I dont think Trump Jr. went on national television last night and told a bunch of lies. Undoubtedly, the presidents enemies will believe that they are justified in feeling otherwise. But Trump Jr. has little incentive todo anything but tell the truth at this point.

Donald Trump Jr. appeared on Fox News’s “Hannity” on July 11 to defend his meeting with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 presidential campaign, and his father jumped to his defense on Twitter. (Amber Ferguson,Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post)

Even if we suppose there was follow-up from the campaign with the Russian lawyer, it is hard to say that more conversations or meetings would have amounted to a crime. And yes, something can be wrong but not illegal. However, that is not the argument Democrats and their allies in the media want to make. They want this to crack the foundation of the Trump presidency. They want it to crumble.

Blinded by disdain for the president, liberals and the media pack are mostly trying to create credibility for accusations of criminal violations and impeachable offenses. They embellish everything just so that they can keep the story moving. Maybe they will get a break and someone will stumble into a crime during the investigation into the non-crimes from the fall campaign.

In their search for a nonexistent smoking gun, Trumps opponents appear at least partially satisfied by the constant hounding of the White House and the presidents family.

In politics, being innocent is just an advantage. It is not determinative. And although the facts do not support the lefts pursuit of criminal wrongdoing on the part of the Trump clan, Trump Jr. is sure to face a lot of harassment and he may make more mistakes. But that is far from being in the crosshairs of an American law enforcement investigation that could bring down a president. Sorry to the Trump haters for being such a buzz-kill.

If Trump Jr. is guilty of anything, it is letting someone so lacking in credibility (like music publicist Rob Goldstone) have unfettered access to his schedule. Danger. You usually see your enemies coming, but it is your friends who will blindside you and get you in trouble.

Anyway, Trumps enemies are desperate for something impeachable. But remember, there is no such thing as the crime of collusion. Its not even a misdemeanor. And unless the Russian lawyer provided an illegal contribution, stolen property, etc., to the Trump campaign, there is no crime that will take this story where the media want it to go. But that doesnt mean they will quit trying.

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Sorry, Democrats. The holy grail of a Trump crime is still missing. – Washington Post (blog)

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Dershowitz: Comey Leaking Memos Is ‘Unseemly,’ But Not Necessarily Illegal – Fox News Insider

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Alan Dershowitz appeared on Fox Business Network this morning to react to a new report that former FBI Director James Comey’s memos about his meetings with President Trump contained classified information.

The Hill reported that Comey wrote a total of seven memos describing his talks with Trump on the Russia probe earlier this year, four of which had markings indicating they contained classified material at the secret or confidential level.

Trump took to Twitter Monday morning to declare it was “so illegal” for Comey to leak that classified information to the media.

Dershowitz said Trump is making a mistake by rushing to judgment about an action being illegal, and also by trying to criminalize political differences.

“He doesn’t like Comey. Nobody likes Comey, the Democrats don’t like him, the Republicans don’t like him,” Dershowitz said. “But I’m not so sure that what he did was illegal. We have to know the facts.”

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He acknowledged, however, that it’s “unseemly” for the FBI director to “launder” material that may have contained classified information to the media.

Comey admitted in congressional testimony that he used an old friend at Columbia University to get his memos leaked to The New York Times, with the intention of triggering the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Russian meddling in the campaign and possible collusion with Trump associates.

Dershowitz said we have the right to “condemn” Comey and hold him to the same standard he held Hillary Clinton to, but we’re not entitled to declare his actions illegal before we have all the facts and evidence.

“I think we need an investigation. We shouldn’t rush to call things criminal unless they are clearly criminal,” Dershowitz said. “What I say about the critics of President Trump, I say about the critics of Comey: Let’s not rush. Let’s look at it. Let’s analyze. Let’s call it criminal only if it’s really criminal.”

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Dershowitz: Comey Leaking Memos Is ‘Unseemly,’ But Not Necessarily Illegal – Fox News Insider

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Alan Dershowitz on SCOTUS and Travel Ban: A ‘Nuanced, Calibrated’ Approach – Newsmax

Civil rights attorney Alan Dershowitz told Newsmax TV on Friday that the Supreme Court appeared to be approaching the Trump travel ban case “in a kind of nuanced, calibrated way.”

“I predicted from day one that the court would uphold parts of the order and strike down parts of the order and it would be based largely on standing,” the Harvard Law School professor emeritus told host Bill Tucker on “Newsmax Now” in an interview.

“That is, who has the right to challenge an order like this?

“And the family in Yemen who has never been to the United States, has no connections, simply has no rights under the Constitution and has no ability to challenge this.

“I think that’s what the court will eventually hold,” he said.

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However, on the issue of which relatives would be covered in the meantime, Dershowitz told Tucker that “I would hope that the courts would be generous about who they let in.

“But people forget that it was the Obama administration that indicated which countries they had said and Trump had reduced it to six in the second iteration.

“The Obama administration and existing administrations previously made the kinds of distinctions that are now being made between stepbrothers, nephews, nieces, full brothers, grandparents.

“So, all of these things are fairly traditional.

“Both sides are getting too polemical about this understandably emotional issue,” Dershowitz said. “But in the end, it would be resolved in a calibrated and nuanced way, hopefully.”

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Alan Dershowitz on SCOTUS and Travel Ban: A ‘Nuanced, Calibrated’ Approach – Newsmax

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Alan Dershowitz destroys Democrats’ ‘unconstitutional’ argument … – Washington Examiner

Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz on Saturday dismissed a major argument Democrats have been making against Donald Trump Jr., and said it’s clearly unconstitutional. Several Democrats have argued that U.S. election laws prevent campaigns from receiving anything of “value” from foreign entities, and have said in Congress and in television interviews that items of “value” can be more than money, and can also be information. That, Democrats say, is why President Trump’s campaign violated election laws when Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer who said she had dirt on Hillary Clinton. But in an interview that aired Saturday night on Fox News, Dershowitz said campaign finance laws have never been prosecuted that way. He also said using the law to prosecute people who obtain information from non-U.S. sources would violate the First Amendment. “Under the campaign finance laws, I mean, there is a claim that if you get something of value, and they’re alleging that information… from a foreign national could be, you know, stretched out to mean, you know, words,” Fox News host Jeanine Pirro said Saturday night. “Is that’s something that’s ever been prosecuted?” “Of course not, and if it were to be prosecuted, the First Amendment would trump,” Dershowitz replied. “A candidate has a right to get information from whatever source the information comes.” Dershowitz went on to say that just as newspapers are free to print any information they obtain from others, even when the source obtains it illegally, candidates for office have the same right to get information anywhere they want. He also stressed again there is no legal precedent to treat information as money under U.S. campaign finance laws. “You can’t include information under the campaign finance law,” he said. “That would be unconstitutional.”

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Alan Dershowitz: ‘I Don’t See a Crime’ With Don Jr.

Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz told Newsmax TV on Tuesday that “I don’t see a crime” in Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting last year with a lawyer with ties to the Russian government. “Even if there was coordination, even if the worst-case scenario as far as we know now is the Russians getting in touch with Trump Jr. and saying: ‘We have some dirt on Hillary Clinton. Come. We’ll give it to you,'” he told Miranda Khan on “America Talks Live” in an interview. See “America Taks Live” on Newsmax TV: Tune in beginning at 12 p.m. ET on DirecTV 349, U-verse 1220, FiOS 615, YouTube Livestream, Newsmax TV App from any smartphone, NewsmaxTV.com, Roku, Amazon Fire More Systems Here “And he goes and gets the information. “That’s what The New York Times did in the Pentagon Papers. That’s what The Washington Post did and many other newspapers did with information from [Edward] Snowden and [Chelsea] Manning. “You are allowed legally to use material that was obtained illegally, as long as you had nothing to do with the illegal nature of obtaining the information. “So, at the moment, I see no legal jeopardy for Trump Jr.,” Dershowitz concluded, “but of course we have to know more facts. “Simply using the material that you know was obtained illegally is not at the moment regarded as a crime. “It would be wrong to prosecute somebody for that non-crime.” Important: Newsmax TV is available on DIRECTV Ch. 349, U-Verse 1220, and Fios 615. If your cable operator does not have Newsmax TV just call and ask them to put us on Call toll-free 1-844-500-6397 and we will connect you right away to your cable operator! For more places to Find Newsmax TV Click Here Now 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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Alan Dershowitz: Donald Trump Jr.’s conduct likely covered by First Amendment – Washington Times

Washington Times Alan Dershowitz : Donald Trump Jr.'s conduct likely covered by First Amendment Washington Times Prominent Harvard law professor and liberal author Alan Dershowitz says Donald Trump Jr.'s controversial meeting last year with a Russian lawyer is likely protected under the First Amendment. There's a big difference between the act of stealing, or … and more »

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Legal scholar Alan Dershowitz debunks the idea … – Breitbart

Dershowitz questioned the timing of Comeys firing, however, and urged a new, independent investigation into the Russia case. Dershowitz appeared next to CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, who was apoplectic. The fact that he did this will disgrace his memory for as long as this presidency is remembered. There is only one date that will be remembered after Januarth 20th so far in the Trump presidency, and it is the day of the Tuesday Night Massacre,’ Toobin said, referencingPresident Richard Nixons firing of Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox during the Watergate scandal. Toobin had also told CNNs Anderson Cooper earlier that Trump would likely name a campaign stooge as Comeys replacement at the FBI. But Dershowitz disagreed. Should Comey be the director of the FBI? The answer to that is no, he said, noting that he had called earlier for Comey to resign.He lost his credibility. A lot of this is his fault. Dershowitz said there were three more questions to address. The second question is: should it be the President of the United States who makes the decision to fire him? Not while hes under an investigation, Dershowitz said (though Trump is not actually under investigation, a point he stressed in firing Comey). The third question, Dershowitz said, is who he appoints next. He disagreed with Toobin: If he appoints a man or a woman of great integrity, this date will not go down in history because we will have been proved wrong that it was some kind of a cover-up if he picks somebody who can pursue the investigation. Fourth, Dershowitz suggested that Congressestablishan independent commission not a special prosecutor, there is no probable cause to continue the Russia investigation. When Toobin objectedthat Trump had fired former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates and former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara as well as Comey, all three of whom had the potential to investigate and trouble the Trump presidency, Dershowitz argued that they were all Democrat appointees and had all been dismissed appropriately by a Republican president. Former federal prosecutor Laura Coates chimed in that while she did not believe Trump fired Comey for the reasons he stated, Comey had given President Trump reason to fire him. Comey was wrong to usurp the role of the Attorney General, she said, and noted that he had justified doing so again last week in testimony before Congress. Host Don Lemon pushed back against Dershowitz and Coates, noting that he agreed with Toobin that the simpler explanation that Trump was trying to cover something up was more likely. Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the most influential people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author ofHow Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak. P.S. DO YOU WANT MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS ONE DELIVERED RIGHT TO YOUR INBOX?SIGN UP FOR THE DAILY BREITBART NEWSLETTER.

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Alan Dershowitz: ‘I don’t see any crime’ that Donald Trump Jr. committed – Washington Examiner

Famed lawyer Alan Dershowitz said Wednesday that he doesn’t see how Donald Trump Jr. committed any crime, after revealing he met in 2016 with a Russian lawyer who said she had incriminating information about Hillary Clinton. “I don’t see any crime at this point in time,” Dershowitz told Newsmax. He said the worst case scenario now seems to be that Russians got in touch with Trump Jr. and promised him information that may have been obtained illegally. But he said current law allows people to use illegally obtained information, and compared Trump Jr.’s actions to those of famous U.S. newspapers. “That’s what the New York Times did in the Pentagon Papers,” he said. “That’s what the Washington Post did and many other newspapers did with information from Snowden and Manning.” “You allowed legally to use material that was obtained illegally as long as you had nothing to do with the illegal nature of obtaining the information,” he said. In a separate appearance on Fox Business, Dershowitz continued by saying there’s a “big difference between the act of stealing or the act of hacking, and the act of using it.” “There’s really no difference under the first amendment between a campaigner using information he obtained … from somebody who obtained it illegally, and a newspaper doing it,” he said. “So I think this is conduct that would be covered by the first amendment. It’s also not prohibited by law.” “There’s been so much overwrought claim… there are people who are talking about treason,” he added. “I can’t believe the New York Times had an op-ed yesterday in which treason was mentioned without even looking at the definition.”

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July 12, 2017   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Alan Dershowitz on James Comey’s leaked memos: Who will guard the guardians? – Washington Examiner

President Trump has accused former FBI Director James Comey of illegality in leaking memos that may have contained classified information. If it is true that the leaked Comey memos laundered through a law professor in an effort to pressure Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein into appointing a special counsel contained classified information, who will investigate Comey? Surely the special counsel, Robert Mueller, Comey’s friend who he helped get appointed, could not conduct a credible investigation. Nor could Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller. Will yet another special counsel have to be appointed to conduct an investigation into Comey’s leaking? On the basis of what we now know, it does not appear that Comey committed a crime. What he did, if the allegation turns out to be true, is remarkably similar to what he investigated with regard to Hillary Clinton’s improper use of a private email server. Both Clinton and Comey were sloppy in their handling of classified material and both deserve to be criticized for their negligence. But neither crossed the line into willful criminality. Of course, Hillary’s enemies argue that she did cross the line. And Comey’s enemies will argue the same as to his conduct. But judged by a uniform standard, neither should be prosecuted for what appear to be honest mistakes. We don’t know at this point whether the Comey memos actually contained information that is classified, and even if so, was it so designated before or after Comey disclosed it? We also don’t know the level of classification, if any. What we do know is that Comey’s claim that he was entitled to leak the memos because he was a “private citizen” is bogus. The memos contained information he obtained as a government employee and the memos were the property of the government. If they contained classified information, he was not entitled to leak them without prior approval. President Trump was quick to tweet that Comey’s actions were “so illegal.” That is, of course, what Trump’s critics are saying about his actions, and those of his family, his campaign aides, and his transition team members. Both sides are rushing to judgment when it comes to criminalizing the political acts of their opponents. Both sides seem to believe that if something done by their opponents is wrong, it should be criminal. But that’s not how our system of justice works. For something to be criminal, it must be explicitly prohibited by an existing criminal statute. There must be a criminal act, accompanied by a criminal intent. Moreover, the law must be clear and unambiguous. These salutary rules are designed to protect Democrats and Republicans alike. But they are being abused by Republicans and Democrats alike in the short-term interest of partisan advantage. Perhaps the most extreme example of stretching the law to target an individual for a political sin is the recent statement by Richard Painter directed against Trump’s son, who attended a meeting with a Russian lawyer who suggested that she might provide him with negative information about Hillary Clinton. This is what Painter said: “This was an effort to get opposition research on an opponent in an American political campaign from the Russians, who were known to be engaged in spying inside the United States.” He suggested that Trump’s son might be guilty of treason and should be in custody. But the Constitution specifically defines treason, providing that its definition is exclusive and limited. Here is what it says: “Treason against the United States shall consist only levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.” [emphasis added]. This definition clearly does not cover “an effort to get opposition research” from the Russians. But the Constitution doesn’t seem to matter to those who are convinced that any wrongful action must also be criminal. Back to the Comey leaks. It is unlikely there will be any investigation, except perhaps an internal one by the Justice Department. Comey should be rebuked by the Justice Department for violating their rules, but there is not enough evidence at the moment to warrant the appointment of another special counsel. Nor is there enough to conclude, as Trump hastily did, that Comey’s misconduct was “so illegal.” Alan Dershowitz (@AlanDersh) is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus, at Harvard Law School and author of “Taking the Stand: My Life in the Law” and “Electile Dysfunction: A Guide for the Unaroused Voter.” This article was previously published by Fox News. If you would like to write an op-ed for the Washington Examiner, please read our guidelines on submissions here.

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July 12, 2017   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Sorry, Democrats. The holy grail of a Trump crime is still missing. – Washington Post (blog)

What has really happened since Donald Trump Jr. released his email chain setting up a meeting last June with a Russian lawyer? Are Democrats and their allies in the media any closer to having their high crime or misdemeanor? Answer: No. As Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz stated yesterday, it is unlikely that attendance at the meeting violated any criminal statute. Well said, Mr. Dershowitz. And yet, the media would have you believe that the meeting Trump Jr. described as literally just a wasted 20 minutes is a smoking gun that will inevitably take President Trump, his administration and his entire family down forever. In reality, Trump Jr.s emails show he has nothing to hide. Further to this point, Trump Jr. went on Hannity last night to speak specifically about his actions. Granted, Sean Hannity is not always interested in giving a complete, unvarnished account of what happens in Trump World and his questions are softballs, but Trump Jr. made some important points nonetheless namely, the fact that there was no subsequent follow-up or contact with the Russian lawyer and nothing to tell then-candidate Trump. Therefore, unless you decide to believe he is lying, there was no collusion.The holy grail is still missing. I dont think Trump Jr. went on national television last night and told a bunch of lies. Undoubtedly, the presidents enemies will believe that they are justified in feeling otherwise. But Trump Jr. has little incentive todo anything but tell the truth at this point. Donald Trump Jr. appeared on Fox News’s “Hannity” on July 11 to defend his meeting with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 presidential campaign, and his father jumped to his defense on Twitter. (Amber Ferguson,Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post) Even if we suppose there was follow-up from the campaign with the Russian lawyer, it is hard to say that more conversations or meetings would have amounted to a crime. And yes, something can be wrong but not illegal. However, that is not the argument Democrats and their allies in the media want to make. They want this to crack the foundation of the Trump presidency. They want it to crumble. Blinded by disdain for the president, liberals and the media pack are mostly trying to create credibility for accusations of criminal violations and impeachable offenses. They embellish everything just so that they can keep the story moving. Maybe they will get a break and someone will stumble into a crime during the investigation into the non-crimes from the fall campaign. In their search for a nonexistent smoking gun, Trumps opponents appear at least partially satisfied by the constant hounding of the White House and the presidents family. In politics, being innocent is just an advantage. It is not determinative. And although the facts do not support the lefts pursuit of criminal wrongdoing on the part of the Trump clan, Trump Jr. is sure to face a lot of harassment and he may make more mistakes. But that is far from being in the crosshairs of an American law enforcement investigation that could bring down a president. Sorry to the Trump haters for being such a buzz-kill. If Trump Jr. is guilty of anything, it is letting someone so lacking in credibility (like music publicist Rob Goldstone) have unfettered access to his schedule. Danger. You usually see your enemies coming, but it is your friends who will blindside you and get you in trouble. Anyway, Trumps enemies are desperate for something impeachable. But remember, there is no such thing as the crime of collusion. Its not even a misdemeanor. And unless the Russian lawyer provided an illegal contribution, stolen property, etc., to the Trump campaign, there is no crime that will take this story where the media want it to go. But that doesnt mean they will quit trying.

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July 12, 2017   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Dershowitz: Comey Leaking Memos Is ‘Unseemly,’ But Not Necessarily Illegal – Fox News Insider

Putin: TV Trump Very Different From Real Trump Sanctuary Cities Promise to Make 1 Million Immigrants Citizens in 2017 Alan Dershowitz appeared on Fox Business Network this morning to react to a new report that former FBI Director James Comey’s memos about his meetings with President Trump contained classified information. The Hill reported that Comey wrote a total of seven memos describing his talks with Trump on the Russia probe earlier this year, four of which had markings indicating they contained classified material at the secret or confidential level. Trump took to Twitter Monday morning to declare it was “so illegal” for Comey to leak that classified information to the media. Dershowitz said Trump is making a mistake by rushing to judgment about an action being illegal, and also by trying to criminalize political differences. “He doesn’t like Comey. Nobody likes Comey, the Democrats don’t like him, the Republicans don’t like him,” Dershowitz said. “But I’m not so sure that what he did was illegal. We have to know the facts.” Tomi Lahren: The Left ‘Seems to Want to Go to War With Russia’ Hillary Hunts For Role in Midterm Elections Krauthammer: ‘KGB Agent,’ ‘Liar’ Putin Would Never Admit to Election Meddling He acknowledged, however, that it’s “unseemly” for the FBI director to “launder” material that may have contained classified information to the media. Comey admitted in congressional testimony that he used an old friend at Columbia University to get his memos leaked to The New York Times, with the intention of triggering the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Russian meddling in the campaign and possible collusion with Trump associates. Dershowitz said we have the right to “condemn” Comey and hold him to the same standard he held Hillary Clinton to, but we’re not entitled to declare his actions illegal before we have all the facts and evidence. “I think we need an investigation. We shouldn’t rush to call things criminal unless they are clearly criminal,” Dershowitz said. “What I say about the critics of President Trump, I say about the critics of Comey: Let’s not rush. Let’s look at it. Let’s analyze. Let’s call it criminal only if it’s really criminal.” Watch more above. Muslim Author: Activist Who Called For ‘Jihad’ Against Trump Is Using ‘Muslim Brotherhood Playbook’ David Bossie: ‘Feminists in Name Only’ Are Attacking Ivanka Lawrence Jones: The ‘Resistance’ Is Helping Trump 2020 St. Louis Drops Minimum Wage More Than $2

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July 10, 2017   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Alan Dershowitz on SCOTUS and Travel Ban: A ‘Nuanced, Calibrated’ Approach – Newsmax

Civil rights attorney Alan Dershowitz told Newsmax TV on Friday that the Supreme Court appeared to be approaching the Trump travel ban case “in a kind of nuanced, calibrated way.” “I predicted from day one that the court would uphold parts of the order and strike down parts of the order and it would be based largely on standing,” the Harvard Law School professor emeritus told host Bill Tucker on “Newsmax Now” in an interview. “That is, who has the right to challenge an order like this? “And the family in Yemen who has never been to the United States, has no connections, simply has no rights under the Constitution and has no ability to challenge this. “I think that’s what the court will eventually hold,” he said. Tune in to Newsmax TV beginning at 5 PM EDT to see “Newsmax Now” on FiOS 615, YouTube Livestream, Newsmax TV App from any smartphone, NewsmaxTV.com, Roku, Amazon Fire More Systems Here However, on the issue of which relatives would be covered in the meantime, Dershowitz told Tucker that “I would hope that the courts would be generous about who they let in. “But people forget that it was the Obama administration that indicated which countries they had said and Trump had reduced it to six in the second iteration. “The Obama administration and existing administrations previously made the kinds of distinctions that are now being made between stepbrothers, nephews, nieces, full brothers, grandparents. “So, all of these things are fairly traditional. “Both sides are getting too polemical about this understandably emotional issue,” Dershowitz said. “But in the end, it would be resolved in a calibrated and nuanced way, hopefully.” 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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July 9, 2017   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed


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