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Dershowitz: Sitting Presidents Can’t Be Indicted | Fox News …

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Alan Dershowitz said that the Justice Department made very clear that sitting presidents cannot be “indicted, prosecuted, or tried while serving in office.”

The Harvard law professor reminded everyone that the president must first be impeached and removed from office before he can be charged with a crime.

The information waters have been murky lately on what exactly is being investigated as far as alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

The Washington Post reported last week that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is currently investigating the president for obstruction of justice over his firing of former FBI Director James Comey. Subsequent reports contradicted this, saying that Mueller has not decided whether to investigate the president.

Regarding the investigation Dershowitz said, “The answer is ‘ish.’ He’s under investigation ‘ish.'”

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“The president would be making a terrible mistake by getting into the weeds of arguing the facts rather than sticking to the conceptual constitutional issues,” Dershowitz said.

He was quick to lament that President Trump often finds himself the weeds because he is always tweeting.

“If I were the president’s lawyer the first thing I would do is bring some masking tape and a pair of mittens,” Dershowitz quipped.

“This president got elected by tweeting so no lawyer is going to tell him to stop tweeting,” he admitted.

Dershowitz told Martha MacCallum that Trump is “entitled to make judgments” for what’s in America’s best interest when it comes to Russia.

“Imagine if a single prosecutor could end the presidency of somebody by simply indicting them,” he said.

Watch the clip above, and check out further analysis from Dershowitz below.

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August 10, 2017   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

WATCH: Alan Dershowitz blows up on MSNBC when called out on …

Appearing with MSNBC host Ari Melber, former law professor and attorney Alan Dershowitz grew aggravated when asked to defend his comments about the racial composition of the D.C. grand jury looking at President Donald Trump.

Last week, during a radio interview, Dershowitz commented The District of Columbia, which is always solidly Democratic and has an ethnic and racial composition that might be very unfavorable to the Trump Administration.

Pressed on his comments, Dershowitz told Melber that demography matters, before stating that the MSNBC host was deliberately distorting his words.

If the ultimate jury for a potential indictment has not been selected yet, and the grand jury is secret, and nobody knows the race of either of those potential groups, how is race relevant? Melber asked.

Dershowitz attempted to make the point that jury pools in D.C. and Virginia, would be demographically different.

Pressed again by Melber over his comments, Dershowitz shot back, I am not making a controversial point. Youre trying to make it controversial.

You have no idea why Im trying to ask you a question or not, and youre sidetracking by suggesting my question is in pursuit of controversy, Melber responded.

After some back and forth, Melber asked Dershowitz, Have you provided any formal counsel to Donald Trump or his aides or accepted any money or would you consider providing counsel to them?

Dershowitz replied, Please dont try to insult my integrity.

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AM Joy panel destroys race-baiting lawyer Alan Dershowitz …

Former Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz was accused of being a race-baiter on MSNBC on Saturday morning over his comments that the grand jury looking into allegations against President Donald Trump was too diverse to give the president a fair shake.

During a panel discussion on AM Joy, host Joy Reid brought up Dershowitzs comments on a New York radio station where he claimed, The District of Columbia, which is always solidly Democratic and has an ethnic and racial composition that might be very unfavorable to the Trump Administration.

Trumps supporters are trying to back him up is by saying the compostion of this grand jury is unfair to Donald Trump, Ried began. On Friday, on WABC, Alan Dershowitz told Rita Cosby the racial and ethnic makeup is stacked against Donald Trump because D.C. so many black people in it. That seems one of the more absurd arguments against the grand jury process.

Former prosecutor and current Georgetown law professor Paul Butler took offense at Dershowitzs comments.

Alan Dershowitz was my criminal law professor but Im here to teach, Professor Dershowitz youre just wrong on that issue. Period, Butler stated. Ive been before that grand jury many times and they take their job as objectively as any other group.

You know, people can complain the grand jury process is unfair because the prosecutor controls it, but why complain in this case? he continued. Why not complain in literally hundreds of thousands of indictments that grand juries bring every year especially against people of color. We dont hear Trump and Sessions complaining about the process then, only when it applies to these rich white guys who are implicated in Russia-gate.

Former Bush era ethic czar, Richard Painter went even farther in his criticism calling Dershowitz a race-baiter.

I find Alan Dershowitzs comments about a grand jury very offensive, Painter remarked. Black people could be just as fair to Donald Trump as white people. This race-baiting something unacceptable. Im a graduate of the university that employs him and for him to be shooting his mouth off talking about the racial makeup of a grand jury its offensive. Its offensive to our system of democracy and the United States.

Of course he doesnt like grand juries because he spent most of his life defending very rich people who were very guilty going back to the von Bulow trial, Painter raged. He doesnt like grand juries, but doesnt need to bring race into it. This race-baiting is something that is unacceptable and we should not be encouraging that and President Trump has been doing a lot of it, as are people working for him. Im shocked to see a prominent law professor engage in the race-baiting.

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Alan Dershowitz On Trump And Grand Juries – WBUR

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August 08, 2017 Updated August 08, 2017 6:32 PM

Celebrated Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitzmade headlines on Friday in an interview with WABC radio, when he said that a new Washington, D.C.-based grand jury impaneled by special counselRobert Mueller could give prosecutors a “tremendous tactical advantage” if they want to bring a case against anybody in the Trump administration.

“The case now can be brought not in northern Virginia, which is a swing area, sometimes Democrats and sometimes Republicans, but the District of Columbia, which is always solidly Democratic and has an ethnic and racial composition that might be very unfavorable to the Trump administration,” Dershowitz said.

On Monday, Dershowitz furthered his thinking in an opinion piece for the Hill. He wrote, “Prosecutors, who have wide discretion in choosing where a case will be tried, often consider the racial composition of the jury pool, along with other factors, in deciding the venue of a trial. That is simply a fact of life that few will dispute.”

Alan Dershowitz, legal scholar and professor of law emeritus at Harvard Law School. He tweets @AlanDersh.

Nancy Gertner, retired federal judge and WBUR legal analyst. She tweets @ngertner.

This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.

Alan Dershowitz:People are arguing with me, but I haven’t heard a single experienced, honest lawyer actually get on the radio or television and say, “Dershowitz is wrong. It doesn’t give any kind of tactical advantage to the prosecutor to have the trial in the District of Columbia rather than in Virginia.” Every experienced lawyer knows that that’s true. Every experienced lawyer knows that prosecutors and defense attorneys venue-shop. They try very hard to get their cases in places where they think they will have an advantage. There’s nothing wrong with it. I’m not saying that jurors in District of Columbia are less fair than jurors in Virginia. I’m just saying that life experiences, political affiliation, ethnicity, race, wealth, poverty all of these things educational level all impact jury selection. And every lawyer knows that. The Supreme Court knows that.

Meghna Chakrabarti:First of all, let’s just get to the the race part. Just for clarity, are you saying at all that you think that African-Americans cannot faithfully and impartially do their jobs on a Mueller grand jury or any subsequent trial jury that might involve members of the Trump campaign?

Alan Dershowitz:Of course not. Of course not. African-Americans are as fair as any other group, but they bring their life experiences to bear as just as whites bring their experiences to bear.

Meghna Chakrabarti:But this is an investigation about Russia about possible collusion, about maybe even espionage. I mean, if we were talking about police shootings it might matter.

Alan Dershowitz: And I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn if you believe that. This is an investigation of Donald Trump, one of the most unpopular people in the District of Columbia. Yes, it involves Russia and yes, it involves other things. But when you have a trial, you’re talking about the person who’s on trial. I’ve had prosecutors look me in the eye and tell me, “Your client can’t plead not guilty in this case. Look at the ethnicity of the jury. He’s going to walk in there, and they’re going to think he’s guilty.” Prosecutors use that as a tactic all the time in eliciting plea bargains. Every lawyer in a civil suit picks the venue based on these facts. It doesn’t matter whether the trial is involving Russia or whether it involves something else.

Meghna Chakrabarti: I want to get to the venue picking in detail in a second, but I can’t quite let the issue of race go because as you know it’s one of the things that it is–

Alan Dershowtiz: It’s the third rail.

Meghna Chakrabarti: It is.But how far does your logic extend? As you recall, during the campaign, then-candidate Trump very openly and aggressively criticized a federal judge, Gonzalo Curiel, for his Mexican heritage, saying that he couldn’t be an impartial judge because of his heritage in the Trump University case. He called that common sense.

Alan Dershowtiz: It’s not common sense. He was wrong about that.

Meghna Chakrabarti: So then how does it differ with with a jury?

Alan Dershowtiz:I didn’t say that anybody would be unfair. I just said that people bring their life experiences to bear.

Meghna Chakrabarti:That’s exactly what Donald Trump said as a candidate about Judge Curiel.

Alan Dershowitz:But he’swrong. There’s no experiences. The guy was born in Indiana. Let me give you an example. When the prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson case, which I was involved in, decided to bring the case in central Los Angeles rather than in Brentwood, he did it because he understood the difference in the racial composition in the two areas. When Marcia Clark picked a jury that had nine black women, she did it because she understood that it would, in her view, give her a certain advantage. The Supreme Court recognized that …and that’s why they said, you have to make sure that juries are diverse, representing people who have different life experiences. It’s not that juries will be unfair or that they will be consciously discriminatory. It’s that juries are not computers. They analyze the evidence based on their life experiences. You talked about a police shooting. One of the reasons we, the O.J. Simpson defense team, wanted a predominantly black jury is because we understood that black jurors in Los Angeles probably have more experience with police abuse personally and through relatives, and would be more open to accepting an argument that the police may have tampered with the evidence.

Meghna Chakrabarti:But what experiences of members of a possible jury pool from Washington, D.C., who are African-American would pertain to allegations and possible indictments regarding Russia and the Trump campaign?

Alan Dershowitz:Ithas nothing to do with what the allegations are. It has everything to do with who the defendants are. It’s the defendant who’s on trial. And jurors look at the defendant.

Meghna Chakrabarti:But then how could a Republican-based jury pool be any more objective?

Alan Dershowitz:I’m not suggesting they would be more objective … All these juries could be fair and impartial. In their own mind they are. But certain jurors, certain juries, certain venues, give advantages to one side rather than the other. Every lawyer in the world who’s honest knows that. That’s why many people oppose the jury system and would prefer to go to the European system, where we have trained professional judges. But we opted for a jury system, which is hopefully diverse, representing a wide range of views and a wide range of life experiences that jurors can bring to bear. This is an observation that is utterly uncontroversial. And if Donald Trump were not involved in this, nobody would have even mentioned it or picked it up. Everybody would have said, ho hum. Of course that’s true. Read the [Batson v. Kentucky] case. Read NAACP briefs. Read what Johnnie Cochran argued. You know, Maxine Waters, who called me a racist, proposed Johnnie Cochran for a Medal of Honor basically after he died. And it was Johnnie Cochran who probably taught me more than any other of my mentors about how salient race, ethnicity and educational levels are in jury selection. Every honest lawyer will tell you that. But they might not tell you on the air. That’s the difference. Isay publicly what other lawyers whisper privately.And I’m still waiting for a lawyer to come on the air and say that what I said is not accurate. They may say I shouldn’t have said it, but I challenge you to get a lawyer to come on the air and to say the following words: “I do not believe that the prosecutor has obtained any advantage in jury selection of a petit jury involving associates of Donald Trump by having the case in the District of Columbia rather than in Virginia.” You’re not going to get anybody to say that.

Meghna Chakrabarti:So you are implying political intent, though.

Alan Dershowtiz:I am not. I am not. I’m talking about effect.

Meghna Chakrabarti:But I want to explore whether or not Robert Mueller even had a choice regarding this D.C. grand jury.

Alan Dershowitz:Of course he did.

Meghna Chakrabarti:Well, hang on here for just a second, Professor if you could. We talked to a bunch of folks today. And what I’m hearing from several people is that he may not have had a choice. That the grand jury that was impaneled in Alexandria in Virginia may have been a regular grand jury with a fixed period of time. He may have been running out of time with that grand jury.

Alan Dershowitz:Whoever told youthat doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

Meghna Chakrabarti:Itwas a former U.S. attorney.

Alan Dershowitz:It doesn’t matter. Then he’s not telling you the truth.

Meghna Chakrabarti:It does matter.And then also, the main U.S. attorney’s manual itself says a case should not be presented to a grand jury in a district unless the venue for the offense lies in that district. Implying that Robert Mueller’s investigation may now include offenses potentially or allegedly occurring in the District of Columbia, and therefore he has to impanel the grand jury there.

Alan Dershowitz:Wrong. Wrong. Let’s start with the first one. Running out of time. Very simple. You file a one page statement ex-parte to the judge seeking an extension of the grand jury. Always granted. Never denied. That’s number one. Number two. You want to impanel a second grand jury? You impanel a second grand jury. Grand juries don’t matter. A grand jury will indict a ham sandwich if the prosecutor wants him to. A grand jury consists of 23 puppets sitting on 23 pieces of furniture that are moved around by the grand puppeteer, called the prosecutor. So it’s not the grand jury that matters, it’s the petit jury. So now let’s turn to your venue. [That] could lie almost anywhere in the United States because the investigation involves whether or not Russia influenced the election … It could have been in New York, it could have been in New Jersey, it could have been in Pennsylvania, it could have been in Virginia. It could have stayed in Virginia because once you have the venue over the core elements, then you can have the grand jury investigate other issues as well. Venue is very easy to establish in a federal case. So you’re not getting, really, the correct responses. If this didn’t involve Donald Trump, the same former U.S. attorneys would be giving you different answers. For me the test is always the shoe on the other foot. People say I’m standing up for Donald Trump I would be doing exactly the same thing if Hillary Clinton had been indicted. If she had been elected president, the Republicans who control Congress and the Senate would be saying, “Lock her up, lock her up.”

Meghna Chakrabarti:And Professor, honestly, I would have been asking you the same questions.

Alan Dershowitz:No, you wouldn’t have.

Meghna Chakrabarti: Actually, sir, I would have. A hundred percent.

Alan Dershowitz:Idon’t believe that, but let’s get off your personality for one second and let’s get to general people. So I would have been talking very hard about how we’re expanding the criminal law, and how we shouldn’t be going after Hillary Clinton, and all the people who today hate me would love me, and all the people who today love me would hate me. Because when it comes to partisan politics, everyone is a hypocrite. And all they care about is whether it hurts or helps them … Is it good or bad for the Democrats? Is it good or bad for the Republicans? Is it good or bad for Jews, or good or bad for blacks, or is it good or bad for women? Is it good or bad for men? Is it good or bad for gays? That’s the way people think about issues today. There is very little discussion of enduring principles.

Meghna Chakrabarti: There is a deeper issue I do want to ask you about. And you’re pointing to it right now. These are not normal times. Weare still in a period where the current president of the United States …spent much of his campaign maligning the justice system. He has brought with him a chief adviser in Steve Bannon who has explicitly said part of his mission is to deconstruct the administrative state, to undermine what I consider fundamental aspects of our democratic system. Herewe have, in you, one of the most prominent legal scholars in the country, assigning or impugning the special counsel and sayingthat there’s politics going on here. And in a sense you are giving cover to theories that are now being peddled by Sean Hannity and Newt Gingrich, who also seek to politicize the justice system. Can you understand why people are concerned and outraged about this? Are you not concerned about the strength and fundamental integrity of the justice system?

Alan Dershowitz:No,I am a man of principle. I will stick by my principles. I will tell the truth no matter where the chips fall. I can’t stand Sean Hannity. I refuse to be on his show. He has personally insulted me and attacked me. He has made anti-Semitic comments about me. I can’t stand the guy. The fact that he quotes me, I can’t help that. The fact that Newt Gingrich quotes me, I can’t help that. I have stood by the same positions for 30 years … I have made a career out of arguing that we shouldn’t be criminalizing political differences. I’ve made a career out of arguing that the grand jury is an abusive institution. I have made a career out of arguing that we shouldn’t stretch and expand the criminal law. I’m not going to change it because you think these are abnormal times. When Thomas Jefferson told the Justice Department that they had to prosecute Aaron Burr, and that he was going to have the chief justice impeached unless he found Aaron Burr guilty, those were special times too. When the Kennedy administration went after their political enemies … Those were special times too. Every time seemed special, and that’s when civil liberty suffers when we think special times justify the diminution of civil liberties. And I’m not going to accept that. I may be overruled. I may be outvoted. I’m making a lot of political enemies. Look, I’m spending the summer in Martha’s Vineyard and I’m not getting invited to dinner parties because people think somehow I’m on Trump’s side. I am not on Trump’s side. I am on the side of civil liberties. And for me it’s always the shoe on the other foot test. I made the same test when it was Bush versus Gore. I went after the Supreme Court with a vengeance. I accused five justices of the Supreme Court of violating their oath of office. Liberals loved me when I did that. But now when I criticize the judicial system or the independent counsel system, suddenly the same liberals who loved me during Bush versus Gore hate me now.Well, that’s the cost of being a principled person. So I’m sorry, I’m going to stick to my principles.

Meghna Chakrabarti:No one should ever apologize for sticking to their principles. But you are alsospeaking with someone who feels very fiercely about her own principles and one of them is, it’s hard for me to back down from a challenge.

So I have a question for you. Earlier in this conversation, you issued a challenge. You said, can we find a lawyer to disagree with you … Well, actually we have Judge Nancy Gertner, retired federal judge and WBUR legal analyst, on the line.

Alan Dershowitz: Nancy,say the following words. “I do not believe that prosecutor will get any tactical advantage by having…”

Meghna Chakrabarti:Well, maybe you should let her say her words.

Nancy Gertner: In the article that you wrote, you said that Muellerbrought a grand jury in Washington in order to obtain a tactical advantage. As someone who has presided over grand juries, and somebody who has defended people who have been indicted, and now as someone who writes about grand juries, that’s simply wrong. Mueller had a grand jury to D.C. because he’s investigating White House crimes. And just like Bill Clinton, were investigated in a venue where those crimes took place, so will Trump be investigated. The eastern District of Virginia is a narrowly focused investigation. In fact, it pertains to the time after Michael Flynnleft the Obama administration andbefore he entered the Trump administration, and it is focused on Virginia-venued crimes. In addition, it is not at all clear to me that one can extend the grand jury in Virginia, both because of venue, and because it’s a regular grand jury can only sit for 18 months. We have every reason to believe thatMueller wants time and needs a different setting. The only venue here that makes sensewould have been Washington, D.C., possibly New York. It could not have been anywhere in the country, and had he chosen anywhere in the country, that’s the moment that we would have said, “Aha. Tactical.” But Washington, where Clinton and Andrew Johnson, and Trump is now being investigated, ispar for the course.

Alan Dershowitz:So you have two issues. And on one you’re refusing to disagree with me because you know I’m right. And on the other you’re disagreeing, and that’s reasonable. The two issues are very very distinct. One is an empirical issue. A factual issue. And that is, has Miller obtained a tactical advantage?

Nancy Gertner: What you said on the radio was that he did this for the purpose of securing a tactical advantage.

Alan Dershowitz:There are two points. One is an empirical effect point. And I’ve made it very clear. The effect is to give Mueller a tactical advantage. Nancy I challenge you to disagree with that.

Nancy Gertner:I do disagree for this in this respect. This notion that African-Americans would stand differently with respect to allegations of espionage is troubling. If this were a police abuse case, it would have been one thing. But the notion that there’s any meaningful difference between the races with regard to a foreign power’s intervention in the American election is really extraordinary.

Alan Dershowtiz:But you and I, Nancy, have talked about cases over and over again where you have a person, whether it’s a Hasidic Jew with a long beard, whether it’s a black person you get a black person in front of an all-white jury in Mississippi, it doesn’t matter what the crime is. There’s going to be a different view there.

Nancy Gertner:But the fallacy ofwhat you’re saying is the eastern district of Virginia voted for Hillary Clinton in substantial numbers. The choice to move this case to Washington, D.C., was where venue,records and presidents get investigated. There’s nothing tactical about it.

Alan Dershowitz: You’re talking about the second point now.I want to distinguish the two points. The main point I made, and the reason why Maxine Waters called me a racist, and Dahlia Lithwick called me a racist, and Richard Painter called me a racist, was not the point on which we may have some disagreement. And that is Mueller’s motive. What we’re talking about is the effect. And Nancy, I don’t think honestly you can look in your heart and deny even though you’re right, Northern Virginia went for the Democrats this time it’s split. It’s always a swing area. You cannot deny that there is sometactical advantage in having your case in an area which is 95 percent Democrat when you’re putting the president’s associates on trial. You just cannot persuade me or yourself that that isn’t at least potentially correct view.

Nancy Gertner:The other side of the coin here, by the way, is that the special counsel is subject to regulations of the Department of Justice. It’s entirely possible that the decision to impanel a panel was going about this was going to have the highest levels of the DOJ. And it’s entirely possible that it wouldn’t have even crossed anyone’s mind to even get an approval precisely because this was such an ordinary…

Meghna Chakrabarti:Professor Dershowitz and Judge Gertner, if I may jump in here, this has actually been a truly riveting conversation and I was sitting back and being a listener here but I’m also looking at the clock and reminding myself that I have the rest of my program to attend to.

Alan Dershowitz:Youknow, we argue about so many things over time. It’s so interesting, because Nancy is usually to the left of me and tougher on prosecutors. And I’m usually more to the center. But when it comes to Trump everything changes.

Meghna Chakrabarti:Well, what I would like to say to both of you is to express my extreme gratitude that we had this conversation with you, because there have been extraordinary times in American history, but this is the one we’re living in. So I am grateful.

Alan Dershowitz:Can I ask Nancyone question?

Meghna Chakrabarti:Onlyif it’s very quick.

Alan Dershowtiz: Nancy, do you think I’m a racist?

Nancy Gertner:I refuse to answer on the grounds that it may tend to incriminate me.

Alan Dershowitz:I don’t like that answer. You know me well enough to know that I was not motivated in any way by any thoughts of racism, any more than anyone would be in picking juries and trying to get more blacks on a jury.

This segment aired on August 8, 2017.

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Dershowitz to Maxine Waters: ‘Being black does not give you a license to call me a racist’ – The Hill

Alan Dershowitz late Monday slammed Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) for calling him a racist, arguing that the Democratic congresswoman “dilutes the term” by using it so often.

“She tosses around that term so promiscuously that it dilutes the term. She hurts her own cause because shes crying wolf,” the prominent attorney and constitutional law scholartoldLaura Ingraham, who was filling in for Tucker Carlson on Fox News. “If everybodys a racist, then no one is a racist. If I am a racist, then what is she going to call real, real racism?

“I marched in the South, I was involved in the civil rights movement all of my life,” he continued. “Being black does not give you a license to call someone a racist just like being Jewish doesnt give you a license to call people anti-Semites unless they actually are racists or anti-Semites.”

“What he is saying is all of those black people are there and they don’t like Trump and so he’s not going to get a fair trial and so they should take it out of that jurisdiction. It shouldn’t be there to begin with. I don’t like that, and I’m surprised that Alan Dershowitz is talking like that,” Waters told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes on Friday night.

“We will not stand for it. We will push back against that because that is absolutely racist,” she added.

“For her to use that term when I make an utterly uncontroversial statement, I mean there is not a criminal lawyer or prosecutor or defense attorney who would disagree with the statement that Mueller got an advantage by moving the case to the District of Columbia,” Dershowitz, 78, told Ingraham.

“He has a better chance of getting a favorable jury pool in the District of Columbia than he would in Virginia. Everybody would agree with that.”

The 78-year-old Waters has emerged asone Trump’s most visible critics in Congress, going so far as to call for his impeachment.

Waters, who represents California’s 43rd District, has been in Congress since 1991.

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Alan Dershowitz: ‘Shame’ on Maxine Waters For Dubbing Me ‘Racist’ – Newsmax

Civil-rights legend Alan Dershowitz has come out swinging at Rep. Maxine Waters, who called him “absolutely racist” for saying the Trump administration is in for an “unfavorable” shake from a Washington D.C. grand jury because the district has an “ethnic and racial” bias.

“Maxine Waters uses, throws around the term ‘racist’ to describe anybody she disagrees with,” Dershowitz told Rita Cosby, guest host of Newsmax TV’s “The Todd Schnitt Show.”

“And it diminishes the power of the word, it dilutes the word. It really doesn’t serve the interest of civil rights.”

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Last Friday, Dershowitz told Cosby on her WABC Radio show that special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential race and whether the Trump campaign colluded, has given himself a “tremendous tactical advantage” by convening a grand jury in Washington, D.C.

“The case now can be brought not in Northern Virginia, which is a swing area, sometimes Democrat, sometimes Republican but the District of Columbia, which is always solidly Democratic and has an ethnic and racial composition that might be very unfavorable to the Trump Administration,” Dershowitz said.

To which Waters, a California Democrat, told MSNBC host Chris Hayes, “Oh it’s absolutely unfair. What he is saying is all of those black people are there and they don’t like Trump and so he’s not going to get a fair trial and so they should take it out of that jurisdiction. It shouldn’t be there to begin with.’ I don’t like that, and I’m surprised that Alan Dershowitz is talking like that…. We will not stand for it. We will push back against that because that is absolutely racist.”

But Dershowitz on Monday strongly disagreed.

“Look, every criminal lawyer I know, prosecutor, defense attorney, would agree with me that when you take a case from Virginia and put it in the District of Columbia, you are gaining a tactical advantage for the prosecution in a case in which the defendants are likely to come from the Trump administration,” he said.

“Politics matters. Race matters. Ethnicity matters. Every lawyer know that. I learned it from Johnnie Cochran who Maxine Waters praised to the hilt when he died and wanted to have Congress pass a resolution recognizing his greatness. Would she have called Johnnie Cochran a racist?

“Or does she revere it only for people that are not of her race? It absurdly throws around a word that should be reserved for true racists. When she calls a real racist a racist, nobody is going to believe her. She’s crying wolf and it dilutes the meaning of the word ‘racism.’ So shame on Maxine Waters.”

The renowned Harvard Law professor emeritus also called out Richard Painter, an ethics lawyer in the George W. Bush administration, who demanded in a tweet that Dershowitz “stop the racist B.S.”

“He’s just dead wrong. And he’s been wrong about so many things. He is so determined to find criminal conduct on the part of Trump that he’s prepared to make up crimes that don’t exist. How he served as an ethics lawyer for any administration is unclear to me,” Dershowitz told Cosby.

“I think he has to look in the mirror and question his own ethics using the word ‘racism’ to describe what he understands because he’s a lawyer. He understands that what I’m saying is factually, absolutely correct.

“And I challenge him to deny that it’s correct, that you’ll get a different composition of a jury pool in the District of Columbia than in Virginia and that the different composition will favor the prosecution over what they would’ve gotten in Virginia.”

Dershowitz compared Mueller’s probe into Russia and Trump to the characters in Herman Melville’s classic 1851 novel, “Moby Dick,” in which a vengeful sea captain named Ahab hunts a gigantic whale that chewed off his leg.

“This is Ahab and the white whale Moby Dick. When you give a special counsel or a special prosecutor a job their job is to come back with something. If Mueller does two years of investigation extraordinary expense to the American public and says there’s nothing there, many people will say he failed at his job,” Dershowitz said.

“So there’s an incentive to find something. Remember with Bill Clinton. They started out with Whitewater and ended up with Monica Lewinsky. So in practice there’s very little constraint on what Mueller can find.

“Good lawyers don’t stumble. They discover something because they’re looking for it. I think Mueller will be looking to try to find crime wherever it is and then try to relate it back to the Russia probe.”

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August 8, 2017   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

OPINION | Dershowitz: Why did Mueller impanel a second grand jury in DC? – The Hill (blog)

The decision by Robert Mueller to impanel a grand jury in the District of Columbia raises some intriguing questions, which are unlikely to be answered by the secretive special counsel.

The first and most obvious is why a second grand jury was needed at all. There is already a grand jury in Virginia, which is investigating aspects of the so-called Russian connection. That grand jury is fully capable of doing anything the new grand jury can do. It can issue subpoenas for additional documents, summon additional witnesses and consider additional aspects of the case or cases being investigated by Mueller.

So if grand juries really were independent decision-makers of the kind contemplated by the Bill of Rights if they truly served as a protection for defendants against overaggressive prosecutors then it would make no sense for a special counsel to bifurcate its work into two separate grand juries. A prosecutor would want one grand jury to hear all the evidence before deciding to indict. But all experienced lawyers know that todays grand juries are merely 23 chairs, with 23 puppets, who do whatever their puppet-master, the prosecutor, wants them to do. As the former chief judge of New York famously put it, a prosecutor can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich.

The drafters of our Fifth Amendment, which guarantees a defendant the right to grand jury consideration of his or her case before he or she can be brought to trial in a federal court, would be turning over in their graves if they knew how this shield against over-zealous prosecutors has been turned into a sword for the use of prosecutors against criminal defendants. I dont know a single criminal defense lawyer who wouldnt vote to abolish grand juries if they had that option.

Defendants are brought to trial in the venue where they are indicted. Had the Virginia grand jury remained the only grand jury investigating the Russian connection, then any cases indicted by that grand jury would have been tried in Virginia. But now that a second grand jury has been impanelled in D.C., any defendant indicated by that grand jury would be tried in front of a D.C. petit jury comprised of citizens of the District.

Does this change of venue provide any tactical litigation advantage to the special counsel? Any honest lawyer, with experience as a prosecutor or defense attorney, would say yes. Why? Because this District of Columbia jury pool is different than the Virginia jury pool.

The District of Columbia jury pool will be overwhelmingly Democratic, by a ratio of close to 10 to 1. The Virginia pool is likely to be more diverse in its political affiliations, though probably still more Democratic than Republican. There is no guarantee, of course, that a Democratic juror would vote to convict an indicated member of the Trump administration, or that a Republican juror would vote to acquit. But in selecting jurors from among the pool, most prosecutors would favor Democrats and most defense attorneys would favor Republicans, all other things being equal. For that reason, most prosecutors would prefer to have such a trial in D.C. than in Virginia.

Then there is the third rail issue of race, which prosecutors and defense attorneys do not like to talk about but which plays a significant role in jury selection, as the Supreme Court has recognized. A predominantly white jury can be a different institution than a predominantly black jury. Again, there is no one-to-one association; predominantly black juries convict black defendants and acquit white defendants all the time, and predominantly white juries acquit black defendants and convict white defendants as well. But to say that race doesnt matter at all blinks reality or at least thats what most experienced prosecutors and defense attorneys will tell you, when speaking off the record.

Prosecutors, who have wide discretion in choosing where a case will be tried, often consider the racial composition of the jury pool, along with other factors, in deciding the venue of a trial. That is simply a fact of life that few will dispute.

But when I made this factual point following Muellers decision to impanel the District of Columbia grand jury, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) called me a racist. This is what she said:

What he [Dershowitz] is saying is “all of those black people are there and they don’t like Trump and so he’s not going to get a fair trial and so they should take it out of that jurisdiction. It shouldn’t be there to begin with.” I don’t like that, and I’m surprised that Alan Dershowitz is talking like that. We will not stand for it. We will push back against that because that is absolutely racist.

I responded as follows:

If I had said that race didnt matter, shed have called me a racist. She throws around the term so loosely and so inappropriately, and it weakens her credibility just by calling everybody a racist by calling me a racist, when she calls real racists racists, nobody is going to believe her. … Race matters and Maxine Waters ought to know that. … Being black doesn’t give you a license to call people racist any more than being Jewish gives you a license to call people anti-Semitic. So she ought to understand that every criminal defense lawyer knows that race matters, ethnicity matters, political affiliation matters…she targeted me for no good reason, she ought to be ashamed of herself.

The man who taught me the most about the role of race in jury selection was my friend and colleague Johnnie Cochran, who would clearly have agreed with my point. Would Waters call Cochran a racist? I doubt it. When Cochran died in 2005, Maxine Waters introduced a bill in the House of Representatives proposing that Congress honor Johnnie Cochran, Jr., for his service to the nation, his pioneering work as a lawyer, author, TV commentator, and philanthropist, and his personal integrity and professional excellence.

Alan M. Dershowitz, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus, at Harvard Law School and author of Taking the Stand: My Life in the Law. His new book, Trumped up! How Criminalizing Politics is Dangerous to Democracy, will be published in August. Follow Alan Dershowitz on Twitter @AlanDersh and on Facebook: @AlanMDershowitz

The views expressed by contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.

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THINK ABOUT IT: Alan Dershowitz and the Netanyahu investigations – The Jerusalem Post mobile website

Since the beginning of 2017 Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowtiz a renowned criminal lawyer and defender of human rights hasnt missed an opportunity to appear in the Israeli media (including The Jerusalem Post) to express his views on the investigations into Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In his interviews and articles Dershowitz has raised three basic arguments in support of Netanyahu: that it is wrong and anti-democratic to try to bring down a serving prime minster or president by means of police investigations rather than elections, unless one is speaking of a heinous crime, and that such investigations should be left until after his/her term of office has ended; that the use of state witnesses in investigations against public figures is objectionable; and that none of the suspicions being investigated in Netanyahus cases may be considered more than minor misdemeanors, while most shouldnt be viewed as transgressions at all (he has said the same about some of the suspicions raised against US President Donald Trump).

On principle I agree completely with Dershowitz that in democracies governments and those that head them ought to be replaced, with very rare exceptions, by means of free elections. This assumes, of course, that the democratically elected government and he/ she who heads it do not play foul in their attempts to remain in power. Unfortunately, this is not the case in Israel today.

I believe that there are several reasons why labeling as undemocratic efforts to bring Netanyahu to justice, sooner rather than later, over a whole host of alleged misdemeanors, is a mockery of the poor (laag larash).

Among these reasons are the fact that Netanyahu has been using unfortunately with a fair measure of success backhanded means to ward off any serious challenges to his leadership within the Likud, and to systematically delegitimize the Israeli Left, fighters for human rights, Israels Arab citizens, supporters of the two-state solution and even liberals within his own party. Then there is the fact that there is no term limit for prime ministers in Israel, and the prime minister can call for early elections to ward off undesirable moves by his opponents or to take advantage of circumstances that are favorable to him something that Netanyahu has taken advantage of in the past. So la guerre comme la guerre.

In his interviews and articles Dershowitz has been inclined to compare the situation in Israel with that in the United States, even though the comparison is not always legitimate or relevant. He has also on occasion been flimsy with the facts.

For example, he argues that in the US all of serving presidents expenses both public and private are covered by the state, while in Israel there is a 200-page document that elaborates what is and what is not covered by the state which he believes is ridiculous.

First of all, Netanyahu is not the president of the United States, though he might wish he were. Secondly, said Israeli document is not 200 pages long, and the regulations on the subject are quite simple and straightforward.

One would have expected that the first time the Netanyahus were accused of trying to get the state to cover their private expenses (this happened during Netanyahus first term in the late 1990s) they would have sat down with their lawyers and made a list of what they can and cannot get the Israeli taxpayer to pay for. But they didnt, which accounts for the large number of repeated transgressions listed by the last two state comptrollers.

Another example: Dershowitz claimed that the issue of gifts received by the Netanyahus is ludicrous, and that there is no problem with regard to gifts received from friends, especially if no benefits were granted in return. First of all, Israeli regulations stipulate what gifts are legitimate, there being a strict value limit on them.

Secondly, Netanyahu apparently did provide certain services to those who showered him with gifts valued at hundreds of thousands of shekels.

In one of his interviews Dershowitz said that he once brought prime minister Golda Meir a carton of cigarettes. But for this to be comparable to the cigars Netanyahu received, Dershowitz should have brought Golda a dozen cartons, and continued to have cartons delivered to her residence on a regular basis over time, which is clearly not what transpired.

With regard to Netanyahus recorded talks with Yediot Aharonot owner Arnon Mozes, Dershowitz argued, back in January when the recordings were revealed, that the proof that there was nothing, and that there was no danger to the freedom of the press in Israel, is that Netanyahu voted against the Israel Hayom bill (that passed preliminary reading in November 2014), which was designed (according to Dershowitz) to benefit Yediot, and that Yediot continued to attack Netanyahu.

First of all, the bill was not about helping Mozes, but about stopping the contravention of the Party Financing Law by Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire owner of Israel Hayom, who allegedly contributed hundreds of millions of shekels to Netanyahu by financing (and covering the losses of) the pro-Netanyahu free newspaper.

Secondly, since Netanyahu actually spoke to Adelson about the possibility of limiting the distribution of Israel Hayom in return for a change of Yediot Aharonots editorial line, after he had spoken to Mozes, there is no proof that Netanyahu had no intention of not following up on his conversations with him. We shall apparently be hearing more about all this from Netanyahus former chief of staff turned state witness, Ari Harow, who was present when the conversations took place, and recorded them.

As to the delegitimization of state witnesses, the phenomenon is undoubtedly a messy legal arrangement, by which persons accused of serious misdemeanors clear themselves wholly or partially by providing substantial evidence against public figures or criminals.

That state witnesses are not always reliable is undeniable, but if using their services with all due care helps to do justice, so be it. It is legitimate.

Dershowitz stated in one of his interviews that smoke is not necessarily evidence of fire, but may indicate the presence of arsonists. Harow is certainly not viewed by law enforcement agencies as an arsonist, but rather as someone with the information to verify the suspicions raised by the smoke detectors, namely that Netanyahu may be guilty as announced by the police before requesting a gag order on Harows evidence last week of bribery, fraud and breach of trust.

Are these sufficiently serious suspicions to justify completing the investigations against Netanyahu now rather than later, Prof. Dershowitz , or do you continue to support Netanyahu claim that there will be nothing because there is nothing?

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Alan Dershowitz: Rep. Maxine Waters ‘doesn’t know what she’s talking about’ – Washington Examiner

Famed lawyer Alan Dershowitz hit back at allegations he is a racist Sunday after saying special counsel Robert Mueller chose to impanel a grand jury for the Russia probe in Washington, D.C., because any resulting trial jury would have an “ethnic and racial composition” that would be “unfavorable” to the Trump administration.

“Being black doesn’t give you a license to call people racist any more than being Jewish gives you a license to call people anti-Semitic,” Dershowitz told Abby Huntsman on “Fox and Friends Weekend.”

His fiery response was triggered by statements from Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., who on Friday characterized Dershowitz’s analysis as “absolutely racist.”

“She doesn’t know what she’s talking about,” Dershowitz retorted. “First of all, I wasn’t talking about the grand jury. I was talking about the petty jury. Grand jury doesn’t matter. A grand jury will indict a ham sandwich if the prosecutor wants it to.”

Dershowitz said Waters was being flippant with the charged term when venue shopping and advantageous jury selection are common legal practices.

“If I had said that race didn’t matter, she’d have called me a racist,” Dershowitz continued. “She throws around the term so loosely and so inappropriately, and it weakens her credibility just by calling everybody a racist by calling me a racist, when she calls real racists racists, nobody is going to believe her.”

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Dershowitz: Sitting Presidents Can’t Be Indicted | Fox News …

ICE: Suspect in Murder of VA Muslim Teen Was in US Illegally Alan Dershowitz said that the Justice Department made very clear that sitting presidents cannot be “indicted, prosecuted, or tried while serving in office.” The Harvard law professor reminded everyone that the president must first be impeached and removed from office before he can be charged with a crime. The information waters have been murky lately on what exactly is being investigated as far as alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. The Washington Post reported last week that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is currently investigating the president for obstruction of justice over his firing of former FBI Director James Comey. Subsequent reports contradicted this, saying that Mueller has not decided whether to investigate the president. Regarding the investigation Dershowitz said, “The answer is ‘ish.’ He’s under investigation ‘ish.'” ‘You’re an Unbalanced Person’: Tucker Spars with NJ Dem Who Tweeted ‘Hunt GOP Congressmen’ “The president would be making a terrible mistake by getting into the weeds of arguing the facts rather than sticking to the conceptual constitutional issues,” Dershowitz said. He was quick to lament that President Trump often finds himself the weeds because he is always tweeting. “If I were the president’s lawyer the first thing I would do is bring some masking tape and a pair of mittens,” Dershowitz quipped. “This president got elected by tweeting so no lawyer is going to tell him to stop tweeting,” he admitted. Dershowitz told Martha MacCallum that Trump is “entitled to make judgments” for what’s in America’s best interest when it comes to Russia. “Imagine if a single prosecutor could end the presidency of somebody by simply indicting them,” he said. Watch the clip above, and check out further analysis from Dershowitz below. ‘DNC Could’ve Used You’: Trump Jokes About Email Hack to Cyber Exec ‘Assassination Porn’: Activist Defends Disrupting NYC Trump Stabbing Play Cruz: Russia Probe Is ‘Political Circus,’ Excuse for Dems & Media to Attack Trump

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WATCH: Alan Dershowitz blows up on MSNBC when called out on …

Appearing with MSNBC host Ari Melber, former law professor and attorney Alan Dershowitz grew aggravated when asked to defend his comments about the racial composition of the D.C. grand jury looking at President Donald Trump. Last week, during a radio interview, Dershowitz commented The District of Columbia, which is always solidly Democratic and has an ethnic and racial composition that might be very unfavorable to the Trump Administration. Pressed on his comments, Dershowitz told Melber that demography matters, before stating that the MSNBC host was deliberately distorting his words. If the ultimate jury for a potential indictment has not been selected yet, and the grand jury is secret, and nobody knows the race of either of those potential groups, how is race relevant? Melber asked. Dershowitz attempted to make the point that jury pools in D.C. and Virginia, would be demographically different. Pressed again by Melber over his comments, Dershowitz shot back, I am not making a controversial point. Youre trying to make it controversial. You have no idea why Im trying to ask you a question or not, and youre sidetracking by suggesting my question is in pursuit of controversy, Melber responded. After some back and forth, Melber asked Dershowitz, Have you provided any formal counsel to Donald Trump or his aides or accepted any money or would you consider providing counsel to them? Dershowitz replied, Please dont try to insult my integrity. Watch the video below via MSNBC:

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AM Joy panel destroys race-baiting lawyer Alan Dershowitz …

Former Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz was accused of being a race-baiter on MSNBC on Saturday morning over his comments that the grand jury looking into allegations against President Donald Trump was too diverse to give the president a fair shake. During a panel discussion on AM Joy, host Joy Reid brought up Dershowitzs comments on a New York radio station where he claimed, The District of Columbia, which is always solidly Democratic and has an ethnic and racial composition that might be very unfavorable to the Trump Administration. Trumps supporters are trying to back him up is by saying the compostion of this grand jury is unfair to Donald Trump, Ried began. On Friday, on WABC, Alan Dershowitz told Rita Cosby the racial and ethnic makeup is stacked against Donald Trump because D.C. so many black people in it. That seems one of the more absurd arguments against the grand jury process. Former prosecutor and current Georgetown law professor Paul Butler took offense at Dershowitzs comments. Alan Dershowitz was my criminal law professor but Im here to teach, Professor Dershowitz youre just wrong on that issue. Period, Butler stated. Ive been before that grand jury many times and they take their job as objectively as any other group. You know, people can complain the grand jury process is unfair because the prosecutor controls it, but why complain in this case? he continued. Why not complain in literally hundreds of thousands of indictments that grand juries bring every year especially against people of color. We dont hear Trump and Sessions complaining about the process then, only when it applies to these rich white guys who are implicated in Russia-gate. Former Bush era ethic czar, Richard Painter went even farther in his criticism calling Dershowitz a race-baiter. I find Alan Dershowitzs comments about a grand jury very offensive, Painter remarked. Black people could be just as fair to Donald Trump as white people. This race-baiting something unacceptable. Im a graduate of the university that employs him and for him to be shooting his mouth off talking about the racial makeup of a grand jury its offensive. Its offensive to our system of democracy and the United States. Of course he doesnt like grand juries because he spent most of his life defending very rich people who were very guilty going back to the von Bulow trial, Painter raged. He doesnt like grand juries, but doesnt need to bring race into it. This race-baiting is something that is unacceptable and we should not be encouraging that and President Trump has been doing a lot of it, as are people working for him. Im shocked to see a prominent law professor engage in the race-baiting. Watch the video below via MSNBC:

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August 8, 2017   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Alan Dershowitz On Trump And Grand Juries – WBUR

wbur August 08, 2017 Updated August 08, 2017 6:32 PM Celebrated Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitzmade headlines on Friday in an interview with WABC radio, when he said that a new Washington, D.C.-based grand jury impaneled by special counselRobert Mueller could give prosecutors a “tremendous tactical advantage” if they want to bring a case against anybody in the Trump administration. “The case now can be brought not in northern Virginia, which is a swing area, sometimes Democrats and sometimes Republicans, but the District of Columbia, which is always solidly Democratic and has an ethnic and racial composition that might be very unfavorable to the Trump administration,” Dershowitz said. On Monday, Dershowitz furthered his thinking in an opinion piece for the Hill. He wrote, “Prosecutors, who have wide discretion in choosing where a case will be tried, often consider the racial composition of the jury pool, along with other factors, in deciding the venue of a trial. That is simply a fact of life that few will dispute.” Alan Dershowitz, legal scholar and professor of law emeritus at Harvard Law School. He tweets @AlanDersh. Nancy Gertner, retired federal judge and WBUR legal analyst. She tweets @ngertner. This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity. Alan Dershowitz:People are arguing with me, but I haven’t heard a single experienced, honest lawyer actually get on the radio or television and say, “Dershowitz is wrong. It doesn’t give any kind of tactical advantage to the prosecutor to have the trial in the District of Columbia rather than in Virginia.” Every experienced lawyer knows that that’s true. Every experienced lawyer knows that prosecutors and defense attorneys venue-shop. They try very hard to get their cases in places where they think they will have an advantage. There’s nothing wrong with it. I’m not saying that jurors in District of Columbia are less fair than jurors in Virginia. I’m just saying that life experiences, political affiliation, ethnicity, race, wealth, poverty all of these things educational level all impact jury selection. And every lawyer knows that. The Supreme Court knows that. Meghna Chakrabarti:First of all, let’s just get to the the race part. Just for clarity, are you saying at all that you think that African-Americans cannot faithfully and impartially do their jobs on a Mueller grand jury or any subsequent trial jury that might involve members of the Trump campaign? Alan Dershowitz:Of course not. Of course not. African-Americans are as fair as any other group, but they bring their life experiences to bear as just as whites bring their experiences to bear. Meghna Chakrabarti:But this is an investigation about Russia about possible collusion, about maybe even espionage. I mean, if we were talking about police shootings it might matter. Alan Dershowitz: And I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn if you believe that. This is an investigation of Donald Trump, one of the most unpopular people in the District of Columbia. Yes, it involves Russia and yes, it involves other things. But when you have a trial, you’re talking about the person who’s on trial. I’ve had prosecutors look me in the eye and tell me, “Your client can’t plead not guilty in this case. Look at the ethnicity of the jury. He’s going to walk in there, and they’re going to think he’s guilty.” Prosecutors use that as a tactic all the time in eliciting plea bargains. Every lawyer in a civil suit picks the venue based on these facts. It doesn’t matter whether the trial is involving Russia or whether it involves something else. Meghna Chakrabarti: I want to get to the venue picking in detail in a second, but I can’t quite let the issue of race go because as you know it’s one of the things that it is– Alan Dershowtiz: It’s the third rail. Meghna Chakrabarti: It is.But how far does your logic extend? As you recall, during the campaign, then-candidate Trump very openly and aggressively criticized a federal judge, Gonzalo Curiel, for his Mexican heritage, saying that he couldn’t be an impartial judge because of his heritage in the Trump University case. He called that common sense. Alan Dershowtiz: It’s not common sense. He was wrong about that. Meghna Chakrabarti: So then how does it differ with with a jury? Alan Dershowtiz:I didn’t say that anybody would be unfair. I just said that people bring their life experiences to bear. Meghna Chakrabarti:That’s exactly what Donald Trump said as a candidate about Judge Curiel. Alan Dershowitz:But he’swrong. There’s no experiences. The guy was born in Indiana. Let me give you an example. When the prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson case, which I was involved in, decided to bring the case in central Los Angeles rather than in Brentwood, he did it because he understood the difference in the racial composition in the two areas. When Marcia Clark picked a jury that had nine black women, she did it because she understood that it would, in her view, give her a certain advantage. The Supreme Court recognized that …and that’s why they said, you have to make sure that juries are diverse, representing people who have different life experiences. It’s not that juries will be unfair or that they will be consciously discriminatory. It’s that juries are not computers. They analyze the evidence based on their life experiences. You talked about a police shooting. One of the reasons we, the O.J. Simpson defense team, wanted a predominantly black jury is because we understood that black jurors in Los Angeles probably have more experience with police abuse personally and through relatives, and would be more open to accepting an argument that the police may have tampered with the evidence. Meghna Chakrabarti:But what experiences of members of a possible jury pool from Washington, D.C., who are African-American would pertain to allegations and possible indictments regarding Russia and the Trump campaign? Alan Dershowitz:Ithas nothing to do with what the allegations are. It has everything to do with who the defendants are. It’s the defendant who’s on trial. And jurors look at the defendant. Meghna Chakrabarti:But then how could a Republican-based jury pool be any more objective? Alan Dershowitz:I’m not suggesting they would be more objective … All these juries could be fair and impartial. In their own mind they are. But certain jurors, certain juries, certain venues, give advantages to one side rather than the other. Every lawyer in the world who’s honest knows that. That’s why many people oppose the jury system and would prefer to go to the European system, where we have trained professional judges. But we opted for a jury system, which is hopefully diverse, representing a wide range of views and a wide range of life experiences that jurors can bring to bear. This is an observation that is utterly uncontroversial. And if Donald Trump were not involved in this, nobody would have even mentioned it or picked it up. Everybody would have said, ho hum. Of course that’s true. Read the [Batson v. Kentucky] case. Read NAACP briefs. Read what Johnnie Cochran argued. You know, Maxine Waters, who called me a racist, proposed Johnnie Cochran for a Medal of Honor basically after he died. And it was Johnnie Cochran who probably taught me more than any other of my mentors about how salient race, ethnicity and educational levels are in jury selection. Every honest lawyer will tell you that. But they might not tell you on the air. That’s the difference. Isay publicly what other lawyers whisper privately.And I’m still waiting for a lawyer to come on the air and say that what I said is not accurate. They may say I shouldn’t have said it, but I challenge you to get a lawyer to come on the air and to say the following words: “I do not believe that the prosecutor has obtained any advantage in jury selection of a petit jury involving associates of Donald Trump by having the case in the District of Columbia rather than in Virginia.” You’re not going to get anybody to say that. Meghna Chakrabarti:So you are implying political intent, though. Alan Dershowtiz:I am not. I am not. I’m talking about effect. Meghna Chakrabarti:But I want to explore whether or not Robert Mueller even had a choice regarding this D.C. grand jury. Alan Dershowitz:Of course he did. Meghna Chakrabarti:Well, hang on here for just a second, Professor if you could. We talked to a bunch of folks today. And what I’m hearing from several people is that he may not have had a choice. That the grand jury that was impaneled in Alexandria in Virginia may have been a regular grand jury with a fixed period of time. He may have been running out of time with that grand jury. Alan Dershowitz:Whoever told youthat doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Meghna Chakrabarti:Itwas a former U.S. attorney. Alan Dershowitz:It doesn’t matter. Then he’s not telling you the truth. Meghna Chakrabarti:It does matter.And then also, the main U.S. attorney’s manual itself says a case should not be presented to a grand jury in a district unless the venue for the offense lies in that district. Implying that Robert Mueller’s investigation may now include offenses potentially or allegedly occurring in the District of Columbia, and therefore he has to impanel the grand jury there. Alan Dershowitz:Wrong. Wrong. Let’s start with the first one. Running out of time. Very simple. You file a one page statement ex-parte to the judge seeking an extension of the grand jury. Always granted. Never denied. That’s number one. Number two. You want to impanel a second grand jury? You impanel a second grand jury. Grand juries don’t matter. A grand jury will indict a ham sandwich if the prosecutor wants him to. A grand jury consists of 23 puppets sitting on 23 pieces of furniture that are moved around by the grand puppeteer, called the prosecutor. So it’s not the grand jury that matters, it’s the petit jury. So now let’s turn to your venue. [That] could lie almost anywhere in the United States because the investigation involves whether or not Russia influenced the election … It could have been in New York, it could have been in New Jersey, it could have been in Pennsylvania, it could have been in Virginia. It could have stayed in Virginia because once you have the venue over the core elements, then you can have the grand jury investigate other issues as well. Venue is very easy to establish in a federal case. So you’re not getting, really, the correct responses. If this didn’t involve Donald Trump, the same former U.S. attorneys would be giving you different answers. For me the test is always the shoe on the other foot. People say I’m standing up for Donald Trump I would be doing exactly the same thing if Hillary Clinton had been indicted. If she had been elected president, the Republicans who control Congress and the Senate would be saying, “Lock her up, lock her up.” Meghna Chakrabarti:And Professor, honestly, I would have been asking you the same questions. Alan Dershowitz:No, you wouldn’t have. Meghna Chakrabarti: Actually, sir, I would have. A hundred percent. Alan Dershowitz:Idon’t believe that, but let’s get off your personality for one second and let’s get to general people. So I would have been talking very hard about how we’re expanding the criminal law, and how we shouldn’t be going after Hillary Clinton, and all the people who today hate me would love me, and all the people who today love me would hate me. Because when it comes to partisan politics, everyone is a hypocrite. And all they care about is whether it hurts or helps them … Is it good or bad for the Democrats? Is it good or bad for the Republicans? Is it good or bad for Jews, or good or bad for blacks, or is it good or bad for women? Is it good or bad for men? Is it good or bad for gays? That’s the way people think about issues today. There is very little discussion of enduring principles. Meghna Chakrabarti: There is a deeper issue I do want to ask you about. And you’re pointing to it right now. These are not normal times. Weare still in a period where the current president of the United States …spent much of his campaign maligning the justice system. He has brought with him a chief adviser in Steve Bannon who has explicitly said part of his mission is to deconstruct the administrative state, to undermine what I consider fundamental aspects of our democratic system. Herewe have, in you, one of the most prominent legal scholars in the country, assigning or impugning the special counsel and sayingthat there’s politics going on here. And in a sense you are giving cover to theories that are now being peddled by Sean Hannity and Newt Gingrich, who also seek to politicize the justice system. Can you understand why people are concerned and outraged about this? Are you not concerned about the strength and fundamental integrity of the justice system? Alan Dershowitz:No,I am a man of principle. I will stick by my principles. I will tell the truth no matter where the chips fall. I can’t stand Sean Hannity. I refuse to be on his show. He has personally insulted me and attacked me. He has made anti-Semitic comments about me. I can’t stand the guy. The fact that he quotes me, I can’t help that. The fact that Newt Gingrich quotes me, I can’t help that. I have stood by the same positions for 30 years … I have made a career out of arguing that we shouldn’t be criminalizing political differences. I’ve made a career out of arguing that the grand jury is an abusive institution. I have made a career out of arguing that we shouldn’t stretch and expand the criminal law. I’m not going to change it because you think these are abnormal times. When Thomas Jefferson told the Justice Department that they had to prosecute Aaron Burr, and that he was going to have the chief justice impeached unless he found Aaron Burr guilty, those were special times too. When the Kennedy administration went after their political enemies … Those were special times too. Every time seemed special, and that’s when civil liberty suffers when we think special times justify the diminution of civil liberties. And I’m not going to accept that. I may be overruled. I may be outvoted. I’m making a lot of political enemies. Look, I’m spending the summer in Martha’s Vineyard and I’m not getting invited to dinner parties because people think somehow I’m on Trump’s side. I am not on Trump’s side. I am on the side of civil liberties. And for me it’s always the shoe on the other foot test. I made the same test when it was Bush versus Gore. I went after the Supreme Court with a vengeance. I accused five justices of the Supreme Court of violating their oath of office. Liberals loved me when I did that. But now when I criticize the judicial system or the independent counsel system, suddenly the same liberals who loved me during Bush versus Gore hate me now.Well, that’s the cost of being a principled person. So I’m sorry, I’m going to stick to my principles. Meghna Chakrabarti:No one should ever apologize for sticking to their principles. But you are alsospeaking with someone who feels very fiercely about her own principles and one of them is, it’s hard for me to back down from a challenge. So I have a question for you. Earlier in this conversation, you issued a challenge. You said, can we find a lawyer to disagree with you … Well, actually we have Judge Nancy Gertner, retired federal judge and WBUR legal analyst, on the line. Alan Dershowitz: Nancy,say the following words. “I do not believe that prosecutor will get any tactical advantage by having…” Meghna Chakrabarti:Well, maybe you should let her say her words. Nancy Gertner: In the article that you wrote, you said that Muellerbrought a grand jury in Washington in order to obtain a tactical advantage. As someone who has presided over grand juries, and somebody who has defended people who have been indicted, and now as someone who writes about grand juries, that’s simply wrong. Mueller had a grand jury to D.C. because he’s investigating White House crimes. And just like Bill Clinton, were investigated in a venue where those crimes took place, so will Trump be investigated. The eastern District of Virginia is a narrowly focused investigation. In fact, it pertains to the time after Michael Flynnleft the Obama administration andbefore he entered the Trump administration, and it is focused on Virginia-venued crimes. In addition, it is not at all clear to me that one can extend the grand jury in Virginia, both because of venue, and because it’s a regular grand jury can only sit for 18 months. We have every reason to believe thatMueller wants time and needs a different setting. The only venue here that makes sensewould have been Washington, D.C., possibly New York. It could not have been anywhere in the country, and had he chosen anywhere in the country, that’s the moment that we would have said, “Aha. Tactical.” But Washington, where Clinton and Andrew Johnson, and Trump is now being investigated, ispar for the course. Alan Dershowitz:So you have two issues. And on one you’re refusing to disagree with me because you know I’m right. And on the other you’re disagreeing, and that’s reasonable. The two issues are very very distinct. One is an empirical issue. A factual issue. And that is, has Miller obtained a tactical advantage? Nancy Gertner: What you said on the radio was that he did this for the purpose of securing a tactical advantage. Alan Dershowitz:There are two points. One is an empirical effect point. And I’ve made it very clear. The effect is to give Mueller a tactical advantage. Nancy I challenge you to disagree with that. Nancy Gertner:I do disagree for this in this respect. This notion that African-Americans would stand differently with respect to allegations of espionage is troubling. If this were a police abuse case, it would have been one thing. But the notion that there’s any meaningful difference between the races with regard to a foreign power’s intervention in the American election is really extraordinary. Alan Dershowtiz:But you and I, Nancy, have talked about cases over and over again where you have a person, whether it’s a Hasidic Jew with a long beard, whether it’s a black person you get a black person in front of an all-white jury in Mississippi, it doesn’t matter what the crime is. There’s going to be a different view there. Nancy Gertner:But the fallacy ofwhat you’re saying is the eastern district of Virginia voted for Hillary Clinton in substantial numbers. The choice to move this case to Washington, D.C., was where venue,records and presidents get investigated. There’s nothing tactical about it. Alan Dershowitz: You’re talking about the second point now.I want to distinguish the two points. The main point I made, and the reason why Maxine Waters called me a racist, and Dahlia Lithwick called me a racist, and Richard Painter called me a racist, was not the point on which we may have some disagreement. And that is Mueller’s motive. What we’re talking about is the effect. And Nancy, I don’t think honestly you can look in your heart and deny even though you’re right, Northern Virginia went for the Democrats this time it’s split. It’s always a swing area. You cannot deny that there is sometactical advantage in having your case in an area which is 95 percent Democrat when you’re putting the president’s associates on trial. You just cannot persuade me or yourself that that isn’t at least potentially correct view. Nancy Gertner:The other side of the coin here, by the way, is that the special counsel is subject to regulations of the Department of Justice. It’s entirely possible that the decision to impanel a panel was going about this was going to have the highest levels of the DOJ. And it’s entirely possible that it wouldn’t have even crossed anyone’s mind to even get an approval precisely because this was such an ordinary… Meghna Chakrabarti:Professor Dershowitz and Judge Gertner, if I may jump in here, this has actually been a truly riveting conversation and I was sitting back and being a listener here but I’m also looking at the clock and reminding myself that I have the rest of my program to attend to. Alan Dershowitz:Youknow, we argue about so many things over time. It’s so interesting, because Nancy is usually to the left of me and tougher on prosecutors. And I’m usually more to the center. But when it comes to Trump everything changes. Meghna Chakrabarti:Well, what I would like to say to both of you is to express my extreme gratitude that we had this conversation with you, because there have been extraordinary times in American history, but this is the one we’re living in. So I am grateful. Alan Dershowitz:Can I ask Nancyone question? Meghna Chakrabarti:Onlyif it’s very quick. Alan Dershowtiz: Nancy, do you think I’m a racist? Nancy Gertner:I refuse to answer on the grounds that it may tend to incriminate me. Alan Dershowitz:I don’t like that answer. You know me well enough to know that I was not motivated in any way by any thoughts of racism, any more than anyone would be in picking juries and trying to get more blacks on a jury. This segment aired on August 8, 2017.

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August 8, 2017   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Dershowitz to Maxine Waters: ‘Being black does not give you a license to call me a racist’ – The Hill

Alan Dershowitz late Monday slammed Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) for calling him a racist, arguing that the Democratic congresswoman “dilutes the term” by using it so often. “She tosses around that term so promiscuously that it dilutes the term. She hurts her own cause because shes crying wolf,” the prominent attorney and constitutional law scholartoldLaura Ingraham, who was filling in for Tucker Carlson on Fox News. “If everybodys a racist, then no one is a racist. If I am a racist, then what is she going to call real, real racism? “I marched in the South, I was involved in the civil rights movement all of my life,” he continued. “Being black does not give you a license to call someone a racist just like being Jewish doesnt give you a license to call people anti-Semites unless they actually are racists or anti-Semites.” “What he is saying is all of those black people are there and they don’t like Trump and so he’s not going to get a fair trial and so they should take it out of that jurisdiction. It shouldn’t be there to begin with. I don’t like that, and I’m surprised that Alan Dershowitz is talking like that,” Waters told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes on Friday night. “We will not stand for it. We will push back against that because that is absolutely racist,” she added. “For her to use that term when I make an utterly uncontroversial statement, I mean there is not a criminal lawyer or prosecutor or defense attorney who would disagree with the statement that Mueller got an advantage by moving the case to the District of Columbia,” Dershowitz, 78, told Ingraham. “He has a better chance of getting a favorable jury pool in the District of Columbia than he would in Virginia. Everybody would agree with that.” The 78-year-old Waters has emerged asone Trump’s most visible critics in Congress, going so far as to call for his impeachment. Waters, who represents California’s 43rd District, has been in Congress since 1991.

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August 8, 2017   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Alan Dershowitz: ‘Shame’ on Maxine Waters For Dubbing Me ‘Racist’ – Newsmax

Civil-rights legend Alan Dershowitz has come out swinging at Rep. Maxine Waters, who called him “absolutely racist” for saying the Trump administration is in for an “unfavorable” shake from a Washington D.C. grand jury because the district has an “ethnic and racial” bias. “Maxine Waters uses, throws around the term ‘racist’ to describe anybody she disagrees with,” Dershowitz told Rita Cosby, guest host of Newsmax TV’s “The Todd Schnitt Show.” “And it diminishes the power of the word, it dilutes the word. It really doesn’t serve the interest of civil rights.” 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 Last Friday, Dershowitz told Cosby on her WABC Radio show that special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential race and whether the Trump campaign colluded, has given himself a “tremendous tactical advantage” by convening a grand jury in Washington, D.C. “The case now can be brought not in Northern Virginia, which is a swing area, sometimes Democrat, sometimes Republican but the District of Columbia, which is always solidly Democratic and has an ethnic and racial composition that might be very unfavorable to the Trump Administration,” Dershowitz said. To which Waters, a California Democrat, told MSNBC host Chris Hayes, “Oh it’s absolutely unfair. What he is saying is all of those black people are there and they don’t like Trump and so he’s not going to get a fair trial and so they should take it out of that jurisdiction. It shouldn’t be there to begin with.’ I don’t like that, and I’m surprised that Alan Dershowitz is talking like that…. We will not stand for it. We will push back against that because that is absolutely racist.” But Dershowitz on Monday strongly disagreed. “Look, every criminal lawyer I know, prosecutor, defense attorney, would agree with me that when you take a case from Virginia and put it in the District of Columbia, you are gaining a tactical advantage for the prosecution in a case in which the defendants are likely to come from the Trump administration,” he said. “Politics matters. Race matters. Ethnicity matters. Every lawyer know that. I learned it from Johnnie Cochran who Maxine Waters praised to the hilt when he died and wanted to have Congress pass a resolution recognizing his greatness. Would she have called Johnnie Cochran a racist? “Or does she revere it only for people that are not of her race? It absurdly throws around a word that should be reserved for true racists. When she calls a real racist a racist, nobody is going to believe her. She’s crying wolf and it dilutes the meaning of the word ‘racism.’ So shame on Maxine Waters.” The renowned Harvard Law professor emeritus also called out Richard Painter, an ethics lawyer in the George W. Bush administration, who demanded in a tweet that Dershowitz “stop the racist B.S.” “He’s just dead wrong. And he’s been wrong about so many things. He is so determined to find criminal conduct on the part of Trump that he’s prepared to make up crimes that don’t exist. How he served as an ethics lawyer for any administration is unclear to me,” Dershowitz told Cosby. “I think he has to look in the mirror and question his own ethics using the word ‘racism’ to describe what he understands because he’s a lawyer. He understands that what I’m saying is factually, absolutely correct. “And I challenge him to deny that it’s correct, that you’ll get a different composition of a jury pool in the District of Columbia than in Virginia and that the different composition will favor the prosecution over what they would’ve gotten in Virginia.” Dershowitz compared Mueller’s probe into Russia and Trump to the characters in Herman Melville’s classic 1851 novel, “Moby Dick,” in which a vengeful sea captain named Ahab hunts a gigantic whale that chewed off his leg. “This is Ahab and the white whale Moby Dick. When you give a special counsel or a special prosecutor a job their job is to come back with something. If Mueller does two years of investigation extraordinary expense to the American public and says there’s nothing there, many people will say he failed at his job,” Dershowitz said. “So there’s an incentive to find something. Remember with Bill Clinton. They started out with Whitewater and ended up with Monica Lewinsky. So in practice there’s very little constraint on what Mueller can find. “Good lawyers don’t stumble. They discover something because they’re looking for it. I think Mueller will be looking to try to find crime wherever it is and then try to relate it back to the Russia probe.” 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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August 8, 2017   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

OPINION | Dershowitz: Why did Mueller impanel a second grand jury in DC? – The Hill (blog)

The decision by Robert Mueller to impanel a grand jury in the District of Columbia raises some intriguing questions, which are unlikely to be answered by the secretive special counsel. The first and most obvious is why a second grand jury was needed at all. There is already a grand jury in Virginia, which is investigating aspects of the so-called Russian connection. That grand jury is fully capable of doing anything the new grand jury can do. It can issue subpoenas for additional documents, summon additional witnesses and consider additional aspects of the case or cases being investigated by Mueller. So if grand juries really were independent decision-makers of the kind contemplated by the Bill of Rights if they truly served as a protection for defendants against overaggressive prosecutors then it would make no sense for a special counsel to bifurcate its work into two separate grand juries. A prosecutor would want one grand jury to hear all the evidence before deciding to indict. But all experienced lawyers know that todays grand juries are merely 23 chairs, with 23 puppets, who do whatever their puppet-master, the prosecutor, wants them to do. As the former chief judge of New York famously put it, a prosecutor can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich. The drafters of our Fifth Amendment, which guarantees a defendant the right to grand jury consideration of his or her case before he or she can be brought to trial in a federal court, would be turning over in their graves if they knew how this shield against over-zealous prosecutors has been turned into a sword for the use of prosecutors against criminal defendants. I dont know a single criminal defense lawyer who wouldnt vote to abolish grand juries if they had that option. Defendants are brought to trial in the venue where they are indicted. Had the Virginia grand jury remained the only grand jury investigating the Russian connection, then any cases indicted by that grand jury would have been tried in Virginia. But now that a second grand jury has been impanelled in D.C., any defendant indicated by that grand jury would be tried in front of a D.C. petit jury comprised of citizens of the District. Does this change of venue provide any tactical litigation advantage to the special counsel? Any honest lawyer, with experience as a prosecutor or defense attorney, would say yes. Why? Because this District of Columbia jury pool is different than the Virginia jury pool. The District of Columbia jury pool will be overwhelmingly Democratic, by a ratio of close to 10 to 1. The Virginia pool is likely to be more diverse in its political affiliations, though probably still more Democratic than Republican. There is no guarantee, of course, that a Democratic juror would vote to convict an indicated member of the Trump administration, or that a Republican juror would vote to acquit. But in selecting jurors from among the pool, most prosecutors would favor Democrats and most defense attorneys would favor Republicans, all other things being equal. For that reason, most prosecutors would prefer to have such a trial in D.C. than in Virginia. Then there is the third rail issue of race, which prosecutors and defense attorneys do not like to talk about but which plays a significant role in jury selection, as the Supreme Court has recognized. A predominantly white jury can be a different institution than a predominantly black jury. Again, there is no one-to-one association; predominantly black juries convict black defendants and acquit white defendants all the time, and predominantly white juries acquit black defendants and convict white defendants as well. But to say that race doesnt matter at all blinks reality or at least thats what most experienced prosecutors and defense attorneys will tell you, when speaking off the record. Prosecutors, who have wide discretion in choosing where a case will be tried, often consider the racial composition of the jury pool, along with other factors, in deciding the venue of a trial. That is simply a fact of life that few will dispute. But when I made this factual point following Muellers decision to impanel the District of Columbia grand jury, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) called me a racist. This is what she said: What he [Dershowitz] is saying is “all of those black people are there and they don’t like Trump and so he’s not going to get a fair trial and so they should take it out of that jurisdiction. It shouldn’t be there to begin with.” I don’t like that, and I’m surprised that Alan Dershowitz is talking like that. We will not stand for it. We will push back against that because that is absolutely racist. I responded as follows: If I had said that race didnt matter, shed have called me a racist. She throws around the term so loosely and so inappropriately, and it weakens her credibility just by calling everybody a racist by calling me a racist, when she calls real racists racists, nobody is going to believe her. … Race matters and Maxine Waters ought to know that. … Being black doesn’t give you a license to call people racist any more than being Jewish gives you a license to call people anti-Semitic. So she ought to understand that every criminal defense lawyer knows that race matters, ethnicity matters, political affiliation matters…she targeted me for no good reason, she ought to be ashamed of herself. The man who taught me the most about the role of race in jury selection was my friend and colleague Johnnie Cochran, who would clearly have agreed with my point. Would Waters call Cochran a racist? I doubt it. When Cochran died in 2005, Maxine Waters introduced a bill in the House of Representatives proposing that Congress honor Johnnie Cochran, Jr., for his service to the nation, his pioneering work as a lawyer, author, TV commentator, and philanthropist, and his personal integrity and professional excellence. Alan M. Dershowitz, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus, at Harvard Law School and author of Taking the Stand: My Life in the Law. His new book, Trumped up! How Criminalizing Politics is Dangerous to Democracy, will be published in August. Follow Alan Dershowitz on Twitter @AlanDersh and on Facebook: @AlanMDershowitz The views expressed by contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.

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August 8, 2017   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

THINK ABOUT IT: Alan Dershowitz and the Netanyahu investigations – The Jerusalem Post mobile website

Since the beginning of 2017 Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowtiz a renowned criminal lawyer and defender of human rights hasnt missed an opportunity to appear in the Israeli media (including The Jerusalem Post) to express his views on the investigations into Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In his interviews and articles Dershowitz has raised three basic arguments in support of Netanyahu: that it is wrong and anti-democratic to try to bring down a serving prime minster or president by means of police investigations rather than elections, unless one is speaking of a heinous crime, and that such investigations should be left until after his/her term of office has ended; that the use of state witnesses in investigations against public figures is objectionable; and that none of the suspicions being investigated in Netanyahus cases may be considered more than minor misdemeanors, while most shouldnt be viewed as transgressions at all (he has said the same about some of the suspicions raised against US President Donald Trump). On principle I agree completely with Dershowitz that in democracies governments and those that head them ought to be replaced, with very rare exceptions, by means of free elections. This assumes, of course, that the democratically elected government and he/ she who heads it do not play foul in their attempts to remain in power. Unfortunately, this is not the case in Israel today. I believe that there are several reasons why labeling as undemocratic efforts to bring Netanyahu to justice, sooner rather than later, over a whole host of alleged misdemeanors, is a mockery of the poor (laag larash). Among these reasons are the fact that Netanyahu has been using unfortunately with a fair measure of success backhanded means to ward off any serious challenges to his leadership within the Likud, and to systematically delegitimize the Israeli Left, fighters for human rights, Israels Arab citizens, supporters of the two-state solution and even liberals within his own party. Then there is the fact that there is no term limit for prime ministers in Israel, and the prime minister can call for early elections to ward off undesirable moves by his opponents or to take advantage of circumstances that are favorable to him something that Netanyahu has taken advantage of in the past. So la guerre comme la guerre. In his interviews and articles Dershowitz has been inclined to compare the situation in Israel with that in the United States, even though the comparison is not always legitimate or relevant. He has also on occasion been flimsy with the facts. For example, he argues that in the US all of serving presidents expenses both public and private are covered by the state, while in Israel there is a 200-page document that elaborates what is and what is not covered by the state which he believes is ridiculous. First of all, Netanyahu is not the president of the United States, though he might wish he were. Secondly, said Israeli document is not 200 pages long, and the regulations on the subject are quite simple and straightforward. One would have expected that the first time the Netanyahus were accused of trying to get the state to cover their private expenses (this happened during Netanyahus first term in the late 1990s) they would have sat down with their lawyers and made a list of what they can and cannot get the Israeli taxpayer to pay for. But they didnt, which accounts for the large number of repeated transgressions listed by the last two state comptrollers. Another example: Dershowitz claimed that the issue of gifts received by the Netanyahus is ludicrous, and that there is no problem with regard to gifts received from friends, especially if no benefits were granted in return. First of all, Israeli regulations stipulate what gifts are legitimate, there being a strict value limit on them. Secondly, Netanyahu apparently did provide certain services to those who showered him with gifts valued at hundreds of thousands of shekels. In one of his interviews Dershowitz said that he once brought prime minister Golda Meir a carton of cigarettes. But for this to be comparable to the cigars Netanyahu received, Dershowitz should have brought Golda a dozen cartons, and continued to have cartons delivered to her residence on a regular basis over time, which is clearly not what transpired. With regard to Netanyahus recorded talks with Yediot Aharonot owner Arnon Mozes, Dershowitz argued, back in January when the recordings were revealed, that the proof that there was nothing, and that there was no danger to the freedom of the press in Israel, is that Netanyahu voted against the Israel Hayom bill (that passed preliminary reading in November 2014), which was designed (according to Dershowitz) to benefit Yediot, and that Yediot continued to attack Netanyahu. First of all, the bill was not about helping Mozes, but about stopping the contravention of the Party Financing Law by Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire owner of Israel Hayom, who allegedly contributed hundreds of millions of shekels to Netanyahu by financing (and covering the losses of) the pro-Netanyahu free newspaper. Secondly, since Netanyahu actually spoke to Adelson about the possibility of limiting the distribution of Israel Hayom in return for a change of Yediot Aharonots editorial line, after he had spoken to Mozes, there is no proof that Netanyahu had no intention of not following up on his conversations with him. We shall apparently be hearing more about all this from Netanyahus former chief of staff turned state witness, Ari Harow, who was present when the conversations took place, and recorded them. As to the delegitimization of state witnesses, the phenomenon is undoubtedly a messy legal arrangement, by which persons accused of serious misdemeanors clear themselves wholly or partially by providing substantial evidence against public figures or criminals. That state witnesses are not always reliable is undeniable, but if using their services with all due care helps to do justice, so be it. It is legitimate. Dershowitz stated in one of his interviews that smoke is not necessarily evidence of fire, but may indicate the presence of arsonists. Harow is certainly not viewed by law enforcement agencies as an arsonist, but rather as someone with the information to verify the suspicions raised by the smoke detectors, namely that Netanyahu may be guilty as announced by the police before requesting a gag order on Harows evidence last week of bribery, fraud and breach of trust. Are these sufficiently serious suspicions to justify completing the investigations against Netanyahu now rather than later, Prof. Dershowitz , or do you continue to support Netanyahu claim that there will be nothing because there is nothing? Share on facebook

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August 7, 2017   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Alan Dershowitz: Rep. Maxine Waters ‘doesn’t know what she’s talking about’ – Washington Examiner

Famed lawyer Alan Dershowitz hit back at allegations he is a racist Sunday after saying special counsel Robert Mueller chose to impanel a grand jury for the Russia probe in Washington, D.C., because any resulting trial jury would have an “ethnic and racial composition” that would be “unfavorable” to the Trump administration. “Being black doesn’t give you a license to call people racist any more than being Jewish gives you a license to call people anti-Semitic,” Dershowitz told Abby Huntsman on “Fox and Friends Weekend.” His fiery response was triggered by statements from Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., who on Friday characterized Dershowitz’s analysis as “absolutely racist.” “She doesn’t know what she’s talking about,” Dershowitz retorted. “First of all, I wasn’t talking about the grand jury. I was talking about the petty jury. Grand jury doesn’t matter. A grand jury will indict a ham sandwich if the prosecutor wants it to.” Dershowitz said Waters was being flippant with the charged term when venue shopping and advantageous jury selection are common legal practices. “If I had said that race didn’t matter, she’d have called me a racist,” Dershowitz continued. “She throws around the term so loosely and so inappropriately, and it weakens her credibility just by calling everybody a racist by calling me a racist, when she calls real racists racists, nobody is going to believe her.”

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August 6, 2017   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed


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