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August 10, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Alan Dershowitz Destroys Michael Avenattis Theory Of A Trump …

Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz challenged porn star Stormy Daniels attorney Michael Avenatti on Tucker Carlson Tonight Monday and said its absurd to think President Donald Trump will resign.

Dershowitz said its problematic ifAvenattigained access to sealed tapes of Trump and his lawyer Michael Cohen and called him out for claiming the president was going to leave office in May.(RELATED: Michael Avenatti Accuses Daily Caller News Foundation Of Unethical Journalism)

Either [he has the tapes], or hes making it up,Dershowitzsaid. He accused me of making false predictions whereas all of his predictions are correct. His major prediction in May was that President Trump would resign were waiting to see that happen.

Dershowitz also defended his own political predictions and said Avenatti has yet to show any valuable insight into future events.

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I predicted accurately what the Supreme Court would decide in the travel ban case, he continued. I predicted accurately who President Trump would nominate to the Supreme Court. All of my predictions have come true and almost none of Avenattis predictions have come true.

Dershowitz slammed Avenattis professional conduct, before calling his statements total nonsense.

I just call them as I see them and sometimes my predictions help one side or help the other, he declared. But Im not trying to make self-fulfilling prophecies the way Avenatti and others on the extreme side of this, are making.

Lets wait to see if President Trump resigns and if he doesnt, put Avenatti on the show, Dershowitz concluded. Confront him with that prediction. He not only made a prediction he said I guarantee you, guarantee you that President Trump will resign after hearing what Rudy Giuliani said and what Avenatti said Its total nonsense.

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July 26, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Alan Dershowitz concedes: He didnt realize how …

VINEYARD HAVEN Alan Dershowitz picked a bad week to defend President Trump.

Nonetheless there was the famed former Harvard Law professor Wednesday night, sitting on the stage at the Katharine Cornell Theater on Marthas Vineyard, arguing that a special counsel should not have been appointed to investigate Trumps ties to Russia.

A polite, somewhat subdued, crowd turned out to hear Dershowitz, who is a longtime summer resident, tell the gathering why he defends the man so despised by many on the island.

Look, I was born provocative. Thats why I was a successful teacher. My job is to provoke conversation, he said, commenting on the backlash to his defense of Trump. Maybe I didnt realize enough how emotionally people are invested in opposing Trump.

I was talking to their minds and I probably wasnt sufficiently in tune to their heart and soul and emotions, he said. Ive lived a contentious life all of my life and this is the first time that this kind of contentious approach has had such a profound impact on friendships and personal relationships.

It was a bold move to defend Trump, especially this week, considering the presidents baffling utterances in Helsinki, where he appeared to pledge allegiance to Russian President Vladimir Putin over US intelligence agencies, prompting some Americans to label Trump a traitor. The presidents clumsy attempts to clarify his remark have only raised more questions.

But Dershowitz has been steadfast in his belief that Trump did not obstruct justice when he fired FBI Director James Comey he was merely exercising his authority and shouldnt be impeached. Predictably, that assessment has upset some of the legal scholars longtime friends on the Vineyard a liberal enclave far friendlier to Trumps predecessor and Dershowitz has lamented that a few of his left-leaning pals had shunned him for his views on Trump.

Dershowitz arranged Wednesdays event with the idea that his frenemies friends whove become enemies, at least for now might show up and debate him. But no one knew quite what, or who, to expect, so a police officer was conspicuous at the theater named for a long-ago stage actress whos buried in Tisbury.

Security proved unnecessary. Even if few agreed with Dershowitz and it was clear from their questions that some in the audience did not everyone was civil as the former law professor explained his defense of a president even he abhors. Dershowitz, who said he voted for Hillary Clinton and contributed, along with his wife, over $10,000 to her campaign, said he opposes pretty much everything Trump has done so far.

So its a great challenge for me to make constitutional arguments that have the effect of helping somebody with whom I so strongly disagree, said Dershowitz, adding that hes never voted for a Republican in a national election and only one William Weld for Massachusetts governor in a state election.

Dershowitz has been a prolific writer throughout his career, and is still at it, even at 79. His latest book his 37th is titled The Case Against Impeaching Trump, and it was on sale Wednesday night for $20. (The book is blurbed by Trumps good buddy Sean Hannity, the conservative Fox News host, who gushes: This brand new book by Professor Dershowitz is absolutely amazing.)

Dershowitz insisted hed be making the same arguments if the shoe was instead on Clintons foot.

Im there not only defending the rights of our incumbent president, but the rights, I hope, of all Americans, he said.

The depth of the rift between Dershowitz and some in his Vineyard social circle became public a few weeks ago when an angry e-mail exchange made its way to the media. Dershowitzs critics, who included prominent LA entertainment lawyer Walter Teller and MIT professor Nicholas Negroponte, accused Dershowitz of a quenchless appetite to be in the public eye, to have a seat at the table, even if the table is at Fox News, Mar-a-Lago, the White House.

Dershowitz has indeed been in the public eye a lot over the past 50 years, having represented such high-profile characters as televangelist Jim Bakker, socialite Claus von Bulow, Mike Tyson, and O.J. Simpson. He admitted he didnt like all of them, but he defended them nonetheless.

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July 21, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Dershowitz: Indictments Against Russian Agents Prove There’s …

Alan Dershowitz said that the indictments of 12 Russian intelligence officers related to interference in the 2016 presidential election make the case for impeachment against President Trump much weaker.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the indictments on Friday and said that there is no evidence that the alleged offenses had an effect on the outcome of the election.

Dershowitz said that the charges prove “any U.S. attorney’s office” could have conducted the Mueller probe and could have come back with the charges.

“There’s no need for a special counsel to do the kind of investigation that led to this indictment,” Dershowitz, a Harvard Law professor emeritus, said on “Fox & Friends.”

Rosenstein Announces Indictments of 12 Russians: ‘We Will Not Try Cases on TV or in Congress’

Rosenstein on Friday said that entities linked to the Russian intelligence agency GRU engaged in “spearfishing” — when victims are sent “misleading emails [that] trick users into disclosing passwords.”

Rosenstein said other entities hacked into American networks and installed “malicious software” that could track keystrokes and glean other personal information.

Dershowitz said that the indictment against the Russian agents will not prevent election meddling from happening in the future.

“I don’t think it does us very much good to see these indictments to come down,” he said.

Rosenstein said there are “no allegations that Americans knew they were corresponding with Russian intelligence officers.”

He added that President Trump was made aware of the indictments earlier in the week, adding that the suspects have not been apprehended as of yet.

Dershowitz added that he thinks it’s a good idea by Trump to ask Russian President Vladimir Putin about any election meddling, but that Putin will simply deny it happened.

Watch more above.

‘Organized Cruelty: Clinton Blasts Trump Administration for ‘Trying to Rip the Heart Out of America’

Gohmert: Strzok Was Told By Feds Hillary’s Server Breached By Non-Russian ‘Foreign Entity’

‘Control Yourself… This Isn’t Benghazi’: NJ Dem Rips Gowdy, Says GOP Should ‘Kiss Strzok’ For ‘Illegitimate POTUS’

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July 16, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Dershowitz On Special Counsel: The Investigation Should End

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) Civil Liberties attorney Alan Dershowitz said Wednesday that he is fearful of the criminalization of political differences in todays discourse and that he doesnt think special counsels are the right way to approach criminal justice.

Dershowitz spoke to CBS 11 political reporter Jack Fink about Special Counsel Robert Muellers investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians to affect the outcome of the 2016 election.

I think the investigation should end and I think the Congress should appoint a special non-partisan commission, said Dershowitz. He said he thinks a Congressional committee would be too partisan.

Thats the way its done in other western democracies, he continued. They dont appoint a special counsel and tell them to Get that guy thats what they did in the Soviet Union. Lavrentiy Beria, the head of the KGB said to Stalin, Show me the man, and Ill find you the crime!’ Thats what special counsel does.

Dershowitz was quick to point out that he was not making a direct correlation between the United States and the former Soviet Union. Im not comparing obviously the Soviet Union and the United States. We have structural protections in our Bill Of Rights but its going down the wrong direction.

The issue of criminalization [of political differences] has not been subject to rational discourse, said Dershowitz. Democrats hate when they politicize and criminalize political differences against Democrats when they did it with Bill Clinton. Republicans hate when they do it against their people President Trump. But each one supports it when theyre against their enemies and partisanship prevails over principle. Its very hard to have a reasonable discussion.

Dershowitz said that citizens should fear the direction of this investigation for their own sake. He warned that today criminalization of political differences appears now to only affect presidents and political leaders. Tomorrow it can affect you and me. If you give the prosecutor the ability to stretch the criminal law to fit a target, its very dangerous.

Dershowitz said that special counsels are not the right way to approach criminal justice. When you appoint a special counsel you give them targets and you say, You better get that guy or the people around himand were going to give you tens of millions of dollars. And if you come up empty handed youre a failure.’

Dershowitz said that if an ordinary prosecutor goes months without finding a crime then thats great, no there have been no crimes committed. He says not so with a special counsel. Special Counsel always has the goal of getting the people. Theyre going to find crimes, or theyre going to manufacture crimes or theyre going to stretch the criminal law to fit the crimes because theyre not going to come away empty handed.

Dershowitz was asked what he thinks should happen now. Should Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein curtail the investigation? I think Rod Rosenstein needs to say to the special counsel, Do not investigate the private finances of the president before he became president; do not investigate his relatives; do not investigate his sex life. Dont do to President Trump what Ken Starr did to President Clinton, said Dershowitz . It started with Whitewater and ended up with a blue dress. Thats not the appropriate way a special counsel should operate.

Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from any existing or future investigations of any matters related in any way to the campaigns for President of the United States.

Dershowitz had some strong words for Rosenstein. I think Rod Rosenstein is concerned more about his reputation than anything else. I dont understand why hes not recused, said Dershowitz. He is the key witness in the firing of Comey.

Dershowitz said if he were President Trumps lawyer, Rosenstein would be the first witness he would call asking him, Rod Rosenstein, you wrote the memo you justified the firing explain how you justified the firing. Did the President tell you to do it? Did you tell the President to do the firing?

Dershowitz said the American public is quickly losing faith in the justice system and he called that a terrible, terrible tragedy. We need neutral objective people administering justice. You cant have an FBI agent like Strzok who is writing messages saying oh we have to stop Trump from becoming President.’

Dershowitz was referring to text messages between FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, a senior FBI lawyer who was also working on the Mueller team.

During the campaign, Strzok led the investigation into Hillary Clintons use of a private server while Clinton was Secretary of State. The texts sent between Page and Strzok were dated between August 2015 and December 2016, the duration of the campaign. They raise concerns about Strzoks impartiality and were likely to prompt more questions about the investigation into Clintons server.

Strzok was dismissed from Special Counsel Robert Muellers team in August, 2017.

The American public insists that justice not only be fair, but be seen to be fair appear to be fair. You need the appearance and the reality of justice. Were not having that today, said Dershowitz.

Dershowitz said he thought Trump should not have fired former FBI Director James Comey in the way that he did. Look, Comey should have been fired. I think Clinton would have fired him had she been elected, said Dershowitz. [Comey] did a terrible, terrible thing during the election and he may have influenced the election. Thats not the job of the FBI. He should have been fired but I think it was a mistake for the President to fire him in the manner that he did, he continued. I dont think it was illegal I think it was a constitutionally authorized act but I think we wouldnt have a special counsel today if not for that firing.

Dershowitz said he sees absolutely no evidence that there was either collusion between Trump and the Russian government and/or obstruction of justice. I would think by this time there would be some public disclosure of any such charges, said Dershowitz.

Collusion if it happened, and theres no evidence that it happened would be a sin, it would not be a crime, said Dershowitz. It is not a crime to collude about an election unless there are payments made, or violations of the federal law involving gifts to campaigns from foreign governments. But collusion itself is not a crime.

I think that the president cannot be charged with obstruction of justice for exercising his constitutional authority. He has the authority to fire anybody in the executive branch the Supreme Court has said that.

Regarding a possible impeachment, Dershowitz said no one knows whether or not there has to be a crime committed by the President while he is in office for him to be impeached.

I believe the Constitution says what it means. The Constitution says in order to be impeached, the President must have committed bribery, treason or other high crimes and misdemeanors, said Dershowitz. I take that seriously. And I dont think a President can be impeached for doing something that isnt criminal. He said he did not think President Bill Clinton should have been impeached either.

Dershowitz said he believes that no party should take up impeachment unless they are sure they can remove the President.

You dont go after the President unless hes committed an act which would warrant removal. And for that to happen, [there] would have to be wide bipartisan support, said Dershowitz. There is no bipartisan support for impeachment of this president today.

Dershowitz said he has taken a lot of heat from friends because some of his positions appear to help President Trump. I didnt vote for President Trump, I voted for Hillary Clinton. But Im going to be honest about the law, whoever is the President.

Dershowitz was in town to speak before the Institute of Policy Innovations Hatton W. Sumners Distinguished Lecture Series Wednesday. The Institute of Policy Innovation is a free-market think tank based in Irving.

He also talked with CBS11 about how its likely the census citizenship question issue will end up at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Follow On Twitter | Jack Fink | Geoff Petrulis

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Dershowitz On Special Counsel: The Investigation Should End

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July 16, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Alan Dershowitz: Backing Trump is worse than defending O.J …

In this April 25, 2012 file photo attorney Alan Dershowitz attends a premiere of a film during the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival, in New York. Dershowitz, a renowned defense lawyer who represented O.J. Simpson, and who identifies as a centrist Democrat, has lamented that even though he voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton, invitations to dinner and other highbrow social events on the island of Martha’s Vineyard off Massachusetts have dried up over his backing of President Trump(Photo: Evan Agostini, AP)

Harvard law professoremeritusAlan Dershowitz said backing President Donald Trump in certain caseshas been harder thandefendingO.J. Simpson and other celebrity clients, according toan interview with The New York Times.

When asked, “Is this actually worse than when you defended O.J. Simpson?” of his defense of the president,Dershowitz replied:

“Of course. Or Claus von Bulow or Leona Helmsley or Michael Milken or Mike Tyson. This is much worse than all that.”

Dershowitz continued, “In those cases people were critical of me, but they were prepared to discuss it. They were prepared to have a dialogue. Here, the people that Im objecting to want to stop the dialogue. They dont want to have the conversation.”

Dershowitz was an appellate adviser to O.J. Simpson during his murder trial and also defended Claus vonBulow.

The attorney’s response comes amid recent media buzz over a column he wrote last month for The Hill in which he compared his social shunning at Martha’s Vineyard to 1950s McCarthyism.

WhileDershowitz has been critical of Trump and many of his policies, he wrote that he defends the president’s “civil liberties.” In turn,Dershowitz said he’s been ostracized in social circles for sometimes backing the president.

“(My old friends)are shunning me and trying to ban me from their social life on Marthas Vineyard,”Dershowitz wrote in The Hill. “I never thought I would see McCarthyism come to Marthas Vineyard, but I have.”

Dershowitz explained that at least one friend has said he won’t attend parties ifDershowitz were invited.

O.J. Simpson reacts as he speaks with attorney Alan Dershowitz after entering the courtroom for a pre-trail hearing of his double-murder case Wednesday, Sept. 21, 1994.(Photo: Vince Bucci/AP Photo)

USA TODAY Opinion: Donald Trumps better off litigating,Alan Dershowitz writes

Dershowitz has argued that Trump had the constitutional authority to fire former FBI director James Comey and therefore should not be charged with obstruction of justice. He addedthat an independent, non-partisan commission, rather than a special counsel, should have been appointed to investigate Russia’s influence in the 2016 presidential election.

Dershowitz told the New York Times in an interview published Saturday thathe’s been calling for Trump “to be treated fairly. Not to have it considered a crime when you fire, when you exercise your Article II powers under the Constitution.”

The Harvard lawyer has also said he’d have defended Hillary Clinton similarly if she were elected, and he wrote a book defending former president Bill Clinton during his impeachment scandal.Dershowitz’s book “The Case Against Impeaching Trump” is set to publish Monday.

“Im a Hillary Clinton liberal Democrat whos trying hard to restore Congress to the Democrats, who will help finance Democratic candidates all over the country,” Dershowitz told The Times. “Im a liberal Democrat. I havent changed one iota in 50 years. I am not a Trump supporter. Im a supporter of civil liberties. Calling me a Trump supporter is like calling me a communist supporter in the 1950s.”

Among theTrump practicesDershowitz has opposed is the “zero tolerance” policy on immigration that resulted in children separated from their parents.

Despite the backlash Dershowitz has received over his defense of Trump, he told The Times he’s enjoyed the debate he’s sparked.

“Im a teacher and a professor. My job is to provoke and stimulate conversation,” he said. “Im enjoying this. So understand that. For me, its a red badge of courage.”

Follow Ryan Miller on Twitter @RyanW_Miller

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July 12, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Alan Dershowitz Is Enjoying This – The New York Times

CHILMARK, Mass. This is what McCarthyism evidently looks like on Marthas Vineyard.

Alan Dershowitz is holding court on the front porch of the Chilmark General Store, talking to old friends and complete strangers, nearly all of whom stop to tell him, between sips of their iced coffee, to keep doing what hes doing. A young girl compliments his T-shirt (Kids and Guns Dont Mix). His cellphone buzzes constantly, mostly with calls from reporters. Inside Edition, the tabloid-style newsmagazine show, wants an interview. So does The New Yorker.

I did, too. I had called Mr. Dershowitz on Tuesday to tell him I was going to be on the island for a long-planned vacation, and I suggested we get together to talk about the stir he kicked up when he wrote, in a column for The Hill, that he had been subject to McCarthy-like shunning tactics from people in his Vineyard social circles. For some of them, his aggressive questioning of the legitimacy of the special counsel investigation into President Trump was indefensible and unforgivable.

He said I should come over to his house. I said Id rather meet somewhere more public. I wanted to see firsthand how the Harvard University law professor emeritus who helped acquit O.J. Simpson of murder charges with minimal apparent damage to his social or professional reputation was handling the backlash to what some believe is his gravest offense: defending Mr. Trump.

Im enjoying this, he told me. Its a red badge of courage.

He said he believes political debate today has essentially degenerated into a fight over one question: Are you for or against Mr. Trump? We live in a Red Sox/Yankees world, he said. And you have to pick a team.

But whether there is any room for nuance in a conversation about one of the least nuanced presidents of our time seems unlikely at least on Marthas Vineyard. The local library, Mr. Dershowitz said, told him they cant find the time for him to give his regular summer talk this year. (The library’s director, Ebba Hierta, said Mr. Dershowitz did not ask to speak until after their summer lecture series was fully booked, and that declining his request had nothing to do with Mr. Trump or Mr. Dershowitz’s defense of him. She added that the Vineyard Haven library has invited him to speak July 18.) And on Thursday, a local paper, The Marthas Vineyard Times, published the results of an informal poll that asked readers if they would invite Dersh, as he is known to friends, to dinner. Thirty-seven percent said they would; 63 percent said no.

The following is an edited and condensed version of our hourlong interview.

Youre no stranger to defending people who are unpopular. Is this actually worse than when you defended O.J. Simpson?

Of course. Or Claus von Bulow or Leona Helmsley or Michael Milken or Mike Tyson. This is much worse than all that, because in those cases people were critical of me, but they were prepared to discuss it. They were prepared to have a dialogue. Here, the people that Im objecting to want to stop the dialogue. They dont want to have the conversation. It will upset people at the dinner party or on the porch. This is like safe spaces in colleges.

Your issue on the island is tied into something broader. Its this belief that ones personal feelings are paramount. If you are offended, like the people who worked at the restaurant where Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked to leave, that is paramount to her right to eat in that establishment. Is that the world we live in now with Trump as president?

Today the passions are so strong that if I do anything that is perceived as helping Donald Trump, I am an evil conspirator. I go back to the 1950s, when I was one of the few people at Brooklyn College standing up and defending the right of communists to speak and to teach. I hated communism. They would say, You cant defend communists. They wouldnt defend your rights. They would take away your civil liberties.

And thats absolutely true. Every generation Ive lived through, there has been an excuse for taking away civil liberties. Trump is going to destroy the country; you cant defend his civil liberties. Anything you do to help this man is villainy.

You reject the label Trump supporter, dont you?

Absolutely. Im a Hillary Clinton liberal Democrat whos trying hard to restore Congress to the Democrats, who will help finance Democratic candidates all over the country. Im a liberal Democrat. I havent changed one iota in 50 years. I am not a Trump supporter. Im a supporter of civil liberties. Calling me a Trump supporter is like calling me a communist supporter in the 1950s. I was not a communist supporter. I defended the communists right to speak and to teach.

And here, youre defending Trumps right to

To be treated fairly. Not to have it considered a crime when you fire, when you exercise your Article II powers under the Constitution.

(He has said he believes a special counsel never should have been appointed to look into the legality of the presidents campaign activities. Instead, Mr. Dershowitz has called for a nonpartisan, independent commission.)

You enjoy being provocative and contrarian.

Im a teacher and a professor. My job is to provoke and stimulate conversation. The thing I hate most is people who want to shut off conversation.

People only hear one word: Trump.

Thats what reminds me of McCarthyism, when you couldnt speak out on certain issues. Im not comparing myself. (Pauses) First of all, Im enjoying this. So understand that. For me, its a red badge of courage.

You have to pretend to be dumb. Because once you get sophisticated and nuanced youre politically incorrect. Theres no nuance. Theres no sophistication about this. Dont try to slice the salami thinly. This is just baloney. I grew up in New York, and Im a Red Sox fan. So I understand nuance.

People often talk of these moments as overcorrecting and then correcting. At what point are we in that cycle now?

I think were there on university campuses. When I speak on university campuses now, a lot of moderate conservatives and liberals come up to me and say we need to restore the center.

Whats it been like for you on the island? It seems like no one is throwing things at you. No one is hissing. It seems pretty civil. Youve got a nice life here.

The perverse result is that the shunners are shunning themselves because people have been supporting me. People come to me and say, Look. Alan, I have to talk to you. What youre doing is wrong. And you have to do this, do that.

Everybody has advice. Go on television, defend his civil liberties but say hes the most horrible president in the history of the world. But only about 10 people have decided that it wasnt just that they didnt want to talk to me. They wanted to expand it, to get other people not to talk to me. This was

An act of hostility?

An act of hostility. An active hostility. And it failed.

Do you think with Trump, and some of the things he has done that people find indefensible like refusing (at first) to disavow David Duke that the both sides construct is too reductive for this political climate?

Look, Ive spent 55 years teaching nuance. Thats what I do.

During Vietnam, in the 1970s, you had thousands of people dying every month, a president who had so clearly broken the law. How is that somehow not as bad today? Because people seem to think today its worse.

With Trump its personal. His personal style is so confrontational. He provokes. Hes a brilliant politician, and let me tell you why. He is pushing Democrats to the left. Because extremism provokes extremism. And the Democrats cant win from the left. They can only win from the center in a national election. So his fondest hope is that somebody from the left gets the nomination against him.

The reaction to him is seen as such an overreaction at times.

And then he overreacts. Overreaction causes overreaction, which causes overreaction. And the parties split further and further apart, which is good for Trump. The more divided we are, the more his base comes to his support. These articles in The Times and The Globe may hurt me on Marthas Vineyard, but they help Trump. If theres one thing you quote me on, I want it to be that.

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July 12, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Alan Dershowitz: Supreme Court could overturn Trump impeachment

Legal scholar Alan Dershowitz writes in a new book that the Supreme Court could intervene if President Trump is impeached, overturning a congressional vote to remove him from office for collusion with Russia during the 2016 election.

Even if public evidence of collusion were to emerge, the Harvard Law School professor emeritus writes in “The Case Against Impeaching Trump” that it would not be a crime, contending Trump could collude to let Russia retake Alaska without grounds for removal from office.

“It’s not a crime to collude with a foreign government. Maybe it should be, but it’s not,” he told the Washington Examiner ahead of the book’s Tuesday release.

Dershowitz argues in the book that collusion would be a “political sin” that doesn’t meet the Constitutions specification of treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors” for removal from office.

Judicial review might be triggered, he writes, because this president (and perhaps others) might well refuse to leave office if Congress voted to impeach and remove him based on offenses that were not among those enumerated in the Constitution.”

“A Supreme Court that inserted itself into the Bush v. Gore election in order to avoid a constitutional crisis might well decide to review a House decision to impeach and a Senate decision to remove a president who is not accused and convicted of a specified constitutional crime,” Dershowitz adds.

The chief justice of the Supreme Court, who presides over Senate trials if a majority of the House votes to impeach, arguably would be able to rule on a motion to dismiss legally invalid charges, Dershowitz writes.

“The decision by the framers to have the chief justice preside over the trial of a president may suggest that the decision was not intended to be entirely political. Indeed, it would be wrong for the chief justice to participate, much less preside over, an entirely political process. Judges are required to stay out of politics,” he writes.

Although a Democrat, Dershowitz has spent much of the past year arguing on TV that Trump has been treated unfairly in the ongoing special counsel investigation of possible campaign collusion with Russia. His new book is largely a rehash of his recent commentary, containing 34 re-published op-eds and transcripts from his TV appearances.

A 28-page introduction expands on his legal arguments against impeaching Trump based on publicly unknown facts, using more extreme hypotheticals, such as allowing Russia to retake Alaska, to demonstrate what he sees as the Constitutions requirement of criminality.

Assume [Russian President Vladimir] Putin decides to retake Alaska, the way he retook Crimea. Assume further that a president allows him to do it, because he believed that Russia has a legitimate claim to its original territory, Dershowitz writes. That would be terrible, but would it be impeachable? Not under the text of the Constitution. He writes that impeachment would be possible, however, if he did it because he was paid or extorted.

Dershowitz told the Washington Examiner he wrote the book as an authoritative case against impeachment ahead of a potential Democratic takeover in Congress. At points in the book, he counters arguments from fellow Harvard scholar Laurence Tribe, who also wrote a recent book on impeachment, To End a Presidency.

Dershowitz said he was motivated to write the book by people such as that jerk Richard Painter, an ex-Republican law professor running for Minnesota Senate as a Democrat on a pro-impeachment platform, and extremist Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif. Dershowitz said he will ask his publisher to send Waters a copy.

Waters argued last year that “impeachment is whatever Congress says it is. There is no law.

Dershowitz notes in the book that similar “extreme” remarks were made by former President Gerald Ford in 1970, when he was a member of the House of Representatives. Ford argued: An impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history; conviction results from whatever offense or offenses two-thirds of the other body considers to be sufficiently serious to require removal.

Still, without evidence that Trump committed a specific crime in the case of treason, defined in a manner Dershowitz believes would be inapplicable there may be avenues to overturn a congressional ruling through the judiciary, Dershowitz said.

Dershowitz cites in his book two former Supreme Court justices Byron White and David Souter as suggesting there may be room for court oversight of impeachment decisions.

Although his defense of Trump has made him a pervasive TV guest, Dershowitz told the Examiner its been the opposite of lucrative, completely, with speaking engagements canceled and other invitations withheld. He said he wont make much money off the new book which goes for $13.19 for a Kindle version, or $19.79 for a hardback copy.

“I’m acting purely in a responsible capacity because the ACLU is dead in the water,” he said. “The ACLU has made a fortune of money going after Trump and they would not endanger their financial base by saying anything to defend Trump’s civil liberties.”

The president and legal director of the ACLU previously told the Washington Examiner that they reject Dershowitz’s claim of bias.

Dershowitz’s new book concludes claiming motivation from history, particularly the anti-communist red scare of the 1950s. He quotes some unpleasant email messages from critics, including a message addressing him as Alan Goebbels Dershowitz and predicting that he will be remembered as a liar and a phony.

Although one of his top defenders, even Trump has given mixed reviews. Dershowitz said one of his most recent calls from Trump was “to correct something I said on television.” He declined to elaborate.

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Alan Dershowitz: Supreme Court could overturn Trump impeachment

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July 12, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Alan Dershowitzs War With Marthas Vineyard Drags On

If you managed to hold back tears of empathy for the recent culinary defenestration of White House spox Sarah Huckabee Sanders at the hands of a Virginia restaurant owner, you probably havent eagerly attended the very public pity party that former Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz has been holding for himself over his shunning from old friends and neighbors at the elite summer playground of Marthas Vineyard.

The parallels arent perfect. Sanders, as the very public face of the Trump presidency day in and day out, is a global celebrity of the highest order not to mention the daughter of a two-time presidential candidate and must have surely known that she checked her ability to enjoy public anonymity at the door upon entering the West Wing.

Its probable that most Americans have only heard of Dershowitz because of his involvement in the legal supernova of the O.J. Simpson case. But still, he has lent his mostly borrowed celebrity to an extremely high-profile habit of defending Donald Trumps efforts to evade the attentions of Robert Mueller. And its his background as a mostly liberal commentator, not his reputation for legal brilliance, that has made him a go-to figure for cable-TV bookers seeking a dependably pro-Trump voice.

So youd think Dershowitz would be able to take some blowback from former political allies in stride. But no: In an op-ed for the Hill last week, he publicly whined about his terrible persecution by denizens of Marthas Vineyard, the island off Cape Cod where many rich and famous people (including Dershowitz) spend large portions of every summer, saying he had been subjected to shunning from old friends who are trying to ban me from their social life on Marthas Vineyard. He then invited derision by comparing this treatment to McCarthyism, as though his social discomfort is equivalent to the catastrophic loss of careers and even liberty at the hands of Joe McCarthy in the 1950s.

Believe it or not, the Dershowitz war with Marthas Vineyard is dragging on into a second week, as some of his Spanish Inquisitionstyle persecutors take to the fiendishly radical medium of email to torment him further, as reported by the Boston Globe:

Walter Teller, a prominent Los Angeles entertainment lawyer and longtime Vineyard resident, sent Dershowitz and others in their circle an e-mail explaining the sudden estrangement.

You proudly announce where you have dined and with whom, going so far as to send out pictures of the menu of your meal with Trump at the White House, Teller wrote. And then you complain publicly when you are not invited to dinner.

Dershowitz fired back with his own email, and he also mixed it up in the presence of a ccd group with Nicholas Negroponte of the MIT Media Lab. It does seem, however, that Trumps new friend isnt simply crouching in his summer home, subsisting on catered meals and fearfully awaiting the fateful knock on the door:

[R]eached Tuesday night, Dershowitz was on his way to the annual soiree hosted by designer Kenneth Cole and his wife, Maria Cuomo.

I was never lamenting or whining about the fact that people are trying to punish me, he said. I was exposing it. I stand by my principles. Im very proud of it. I challenge them to have a conversation with me.

Maybe Fox and Friends can carry it live.

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Alan Dershowitzs War With Marthas Vineyard Drags On

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July 12, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Alan M. Dershowitz – IMDb

Known For (1990) (1988) (1999) (1997) Alternate Names: Alan Dershowitz | Dr. Alan Dershowitz | Prof Alan Dershowitz | Prof. Alan Dershowitz | di

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August 10, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Alan Dershowitz Destroys Michael Avenattis Theory Of A Trump …

Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz challenged porn star Stormy Daniels attorney Michael Avenatti on Tucker Carlson Tonight Monday and said its absurd to think President Donald Trump will resign. Dershowitz said its problematic ifAvenattigained access to sealed tapes of Trump and his lawyer Michael Cohen and called him out for claiming the president was going to leave office in May.(RELATED: Michael Avenatti Accuses Daily Caller News Foundation Of Unethical Journalism) Either [he has the tapes], or hes making it up,Dershowitzsaid. He accused me of making false predictions whereas all of his predictions are correct. His major prediction in May was that President Trump would resign were waiting to see that happen. Dershowitz also defended his own political predictions and said Avenatti has yet to show any valuable insight into future events. WATCH: I predicted accurately what the Supreme Court would decide in the travel ban case, he continued. I predicted accurately who President Trump would nominate to the Supreme Court. All of my predictions have come true and almost none of Avenattis predictions have come true. Dershowitz slammed Avenattis professional conduct, before calling his statements total nonsense. I just call them as I see them and sometimes my predictions help one side or help the other, he declared. But Im not trying to make self-fulfilling prophecies the way Avenatti and others on the extreme side of this, are making. Lets wait to see if President Trump resigns and if he doesnt, put Avenatti on the show, Dershowitz concluded. Confront him with that prediction. He not only made a prediction he said I guarantee you, guarantee you that President Trump will resign after hearing what Rudy Giuliani said and what Avenatti said Its total nonsense. You can Follow Nick on Twitter

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July 26, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Alan Dershowitz concedes: He didnt realize how …

VINEYARD HAVEN Alan Dershowitz picked a bad week to defend President Trump. Nonetheless there was the famed former Harvard Law professor Wednesday night, sitting on the stage at the Katharine Cornell Theater on Marthas Vineyard, arguing that a special counsel should not have been appointed to investigate Trumps ties to Russia. A polite, somewhat subdued, crowd turned out to hear Dershowitz, who is a longtime summer resident, tell the gathering why he defends the man so despised by many on the island. Look, I was born provocative. Thats why I was a successful teacher. My job is to provoke conversation, he said, commenting on the backlash to his defense of Trump. Maybe I didnt realize enough how emotionally people are invested in opposing Trump. I was talking to their minds and I probably wasnt sufficiently in tune to their heart and soul and emotions, he said. Ive lived a contentious life all of my life and this is the first time that this kind of contentious approach has had such a profound impact on friendships and personal relationships. It was a bold move to defend Trump, especially this week, considering the presidents baffling utterances in Helsinki, where he appeared to pledge allegiance to Russian President Vladimir Putin over US intelligence agencies, prompting some Americans to label Trump a traitor. The presidents clumsy attempts to clarify his remark have only raised more questions. But Dershowitz has been steadfast in his belief that Trump did not obstruct justice when he fired FBI Director James Comey he was merely exercising his authority and shouldnt be impeached. Predictably, that assessment has upset some of the legal scholars longtime friends on the Vineyard a liberal enclave far friendlier to Trumps predecessor and Dershowitz has lamented that a few of his left-leaning pals had shunned him for his views on Trump. Dershowitz arranged Wednesdays event with the idea that his frenemies friends whove become enemies, at least for now might show up and debate him. But no one knew quite what, or who, to expect, so a police officer was conspicuous at the theater named for a long-ago stage actress whos buried in Tisbury. Security proved unnecessary. Even if few agreed with Dershowitz and it was clear from their questions that some in the audience did not everyone was civil as the former law professor explained his defense of a president even he abhors. Dershowitz, who said he voted for Hillary Clinton and contributed, along with his wife, over $10,000 to her campaign, said he opposes pretty much everything Trump has done so far. So its a great challenge for me to make constitutional arguments that have the effect of helping somebody with whom I so strongly disagree, said Dershowitz, adding that hes never voted for a Republican in a national election and only one William Weld for Massachusetts governor in a state election. Dershowitz has been a prolific writer throughout his career, and is still at it, even at 79. His latest book his 37th is titled The Case Against Impeaching Trump, and it was on sale Wednesday night for $20. (The book is blurbed by Trumps good buddy Sean Hannity, the conservative Fox News host, who gushes: This brand new book by Professor Dershowitz is absolutely amazing.) Dershowitz insisted hed be making the same arguments if the shoe was instead on Clintons foot. Im there not only defending the rights of our incumbent president, but the rights, I hope, of all Americans, he said. The depth of the rift between Dershowitz and some in his Vineyard social circle became public a few weeks ago when an angry e-mail exchange made its way to the media. Dershowitzs critics, who included prominent LA entertainment lawyer Walter Teller and MIT professor Nicholas Negroponte, accused Dershowitz of a quenchless appetite to be in the public eye, to have a seat at the table, even if the table is at Fox News, Mar-a-Lago, the White House. Dershowitz has indeed been in the public eye a lot over the past 50 years, having represented such high-profile characters as televangelist Jim Bakker, socialite Claus von Bulow, Mike Tyson, and O.J. Simpson. He admitted he didnt like all of them, but he defended them nonetheless. The biggest headlines, delivered to your inbox Get news as it happens. Sign up for Boston.com’s email news alerts. Thanks for signing up!

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July 21, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Dershowitz: Indictments Against Russian Agents Prove There’s …

Alan Dershowitz said that the indictments of 12 Russian intelligence officers related to interference in the 2016 presidential election make the case for impeachment against President Trump much weaker. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the indictments on Friday and said that there is no evidence that the alleged offenses had an effect on the outcome of the election. Dershowitz said that the charges prove “any U.S. attorney’s office” could have conducted the Mueller probe and could have come back with the charges. “There’s no need for a special counsel to do the kind of investigation that led to this indictment,” Dershowitz, a Harvard Law professor emeritus, said on “Fox & Friends.” Rosenstein Announces Indictments of 12 Russians: ‘We Will Not Try Cases on TV or in Congress’ Rosenstein on Friday said that entities linked to the Russian intelligence agency GRU engaged in “spearfishing” — when victims are sent “misleading emails [that] trick users into disclosing passwords.” Rosenstein said other entities hacked into American networks and installed “malicious software” that could track keystrokes and glean other personal information. Dershowitz said that the indictment against the Russian agents will not prevent election meddling from happening in the future. “I don’t think it does us very much good to see these indictments to come down,” he said. Rosenstein said there are “no allegations that Americans knew they were corresponding with Russian intelligence officers.” He added that President Trump was made aware of the indictments earlier in the week, adding that the suspects have not been apprehended as of yet. Dershowitz added that he thinks it’s a good idea by Trump to ask Russian President Vladimir Putin about any election meddling, but that Putin will simply deny it happened. Watch more above. ‘Organized Cruelty: Clinton Blasts Trump Administration for ‘Trying to Rip the Heart Out of America’ Gohmert: Strzok Was Told By Feds Hillary’s Server Breached By Non-Russian ‘Foreign Entity’ ‘Control Yourself… This Isn’t Benghazi’: NJ Dem Rips Gowdy, Says GOP Should ‘Kiss Strzok’ For ‘Illegitimate POTUS’

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July 16, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Dershowitz On Special Counsel: The Investigation Should End

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) Civil Liberties attorney Alan Dershowitz said Wednesday that he is fearful of the criminalization of political differences in todays discourse and that he doesnt think special counsels are the right way to approach criminal justice. Dershowitz spoke to CBS 11 political reporter Jack Fink about Special Counsel Robert Muellers investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians to affect the outcome of the 2016 election. I think the investigation should end and I think the Congress should appoint a special non-partisan commission, said Dershowitz. He said he thinks a Congressional committee would be too partisan. Thats the way its done in other western democracies, he continued. They dont appoint a special counsel and tell them to Get that guy thats what they did in the Soviet Union. Lavrentiy Beria, the head of the KGB said to Stalin, Show me the man, and Ill find you the crime!’ Thats what special counsel does. Dershowitz was quick to point out that he was not making a direct correlation between the United States and the former Soviet Union. Im not comparing obviously the Soviet Union and the United States. We have structural protections in our Bill Of Rights but its going down the wrong direction. The issue of criminalization [of political differences] has not been subject to rational discourse, said Dershowitz. Democrats hate when they politicize and criminalize political differences against Democrats when they did it with Bill Clinton. Republicans hate when they do it against their people President Trump. But each one supports it when theyre against their enemies and partisanship prevails over principle. Its very hard to have a reasonable discussion. Dershowitz said that citizens should fear the direction of this investigation for their own sake. He warned that today criminalization of political differences appears now to only affect presidents and political leaders. Tomorrow it can affect you and me. If you give the prosecutor the ability to stretch the criminal law to fit a target, its very dangerous. Dershowitz said that special counsels are not the right way to approach criminal justice. When you appoint a special counsel you give them targets and you say, You better get that guy or the people around himand were going to give you tens of millions of dollars. And if you come up empty handed youre a failure.’ Dershowitz said that if an ordinary prosecutor goes months without finding a crime then thats great, no there have been no crimes committed. He says not so with a special counsel. Special Counsel always has the goal of getting the people. Theyre going to find crimes, or theyre going to manufacture crimes or theyre going to stretch the criminal law to fit the crimes because theyre not going to come away empty handed. Dershowitz was asked what he thinks should happen now. Should Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein curtail the investigation? I think Rod Rosenstein needs to say to the special counsel, Do not investigate the private finances of the president before he became president; do not investigate his relatives; do not investigate his sex life. Dont do to President Trump what Ken Starr did to President Clinton, said Dershowitz . It started with Whitewater and ended up with a blue dress. Thats not the appropriate way a special counsel should operate. Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from any existing or future investigations of any matters related in any way to the campaigns for President of the United States. Dershowitz had some strong words for Rosenstein. I think Rod Rosenstein is concerned more about his reputation than anything else. I dont understand why hes not recused, said Dershowitz. He is the key witness in the firing of Comey. Dershowitz said if he were President Trumps lawyer, Rosenstein would be the first witness he would call asking him, Rod Rosenstein, you wrote the memo you justified the firing explain how you justified the firing. Did the President tell you to do it? Did you tell the President to do the firing? Dershowitz said the American public is quickly losing faith in the justice system and he called that a terrible, terrible tragedy. We need neutral objective people administering justice. You cant have an FBI agent like Strzok who is writing messages saying oh we have to stop Trump from becoming President.’ Dershowitz was referring to text messages between FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, a senior FBI lawyer who was also working on the Mueller team. During the campaign, Strzok led the investigation into Hillary Clintons use of a private server while Clinton was Secretary of State. The texts sent between Page and Strzok were dated between August 2015 and December 2016, the duration of the campaign. They raise concerns about Strzoks impartiality and were likely to prompt more questions about the investigation into Clintons server. Strzok was dismissed from Special Counsel Robert Muellers team in August, 2017. The American public insists that justice not only be fair, but be seen to be fair appear to be fair. You need the appearance and the reality of justice. Were not having that today, said Dershowitz. Dershowitz said he thought Trump should not have fired former FBI Director James Comey in the way that he did. Look, Comey should have been fired. I think Clinton would have fired him had she been elected, said Dershowitz. [Comey] did a terrible, terrible thing during the election and he may have influenced the election. Thats not the job of the FBI. He should have been fired but I think it was a mistake for the President to fire him in the manner that he did, he continued. I dont think it was illegal I think it was a constitutionally authorized act but I think we wouldnt have a special counsel today if not for that firing. Dershowitz said he sees absolutely no evidence that there was either collusion between Trump and the Russian government and/or obstruction of justice. I would think by this time there would be some public disclosure of any such charges, said Dershowitz. Collusion if it happened, and theres no evidence that it happened would be a sin, it would not be a crime, said Dershowitz. It is not a crime to collude about an election unless there are payments made, or violations of the federal law involving gifts to campaigns from foreign governments. But collusion itself is not a crime. I think that the president cannot be charged with obstruction of justice for exercising his constitutional authority. He has the authority to fire anybody in the executive branch the Supreme Court has said that. Regarding a possible impeachment, Dershowitz said no one knows whether or not there has to be a crime committed by the President while he is in office for him to be impeached. I believe the Constitution says what it means. The Constitution says in order to be impeached, the President must have committed bribery, treason or other high crimes and misdemeanors, said Dershowitz. I take that seriously. And I dont think a President can be impeached for doing something that isnt criminal. He said he did not think President Bill Clinton should have been impeached either. Dershowitz said he believes that no party should take up impeachment unless they are sure they can remove the President. You dont go after the President unless hes committed an act which would warrant removal. And for that to happen, [there] would have to be wide bipartisan support, said Dershowitz. There is no bipartisan support for impeachment of this president today. Dershowitz said he has taken a lot of heat from friends because some of his positions appear to help President Trump. I didnt vote for President Trump, I voted for Hillary Clinton. But Im going to be honest about the law, whoever is the President. Dershowitz was in town to speak before the Institute of Policy Innovations Hatton W. Sumners Distinguished Lecture Series Wednesday. The Institute of Policy Innovation is a free-market think tank based in Irving. He also talked with CBS11 about how its likely the census citizenship question issue will end up at the U.S. Supreme Court. Follow On Twitter | Jack Fink | Geoff Petrulis

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July 16, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Alan Dershowitz: Backing Trump is worse than defending O.J …

In this April 25, 2012 file photo attorney Alan Dershowitz attends a premiere of a film during the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival, in New York. Dershowitz, a renowned defense lawyer who represented O.J. Simpson, and who identifies as a centrist Democrat, has lamented that even though he voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton, invitations to dinner and other highbrow social events on the island of Martha’s Vineyard off Massachusetts have dried up over his backing of President Trump(Photo: Evan Agostini, AP) Harvard law professoremeritusAlan Dershowitz said backing President Donald Trump in certain caseshas been harder thandefendingO.J. Simpson and other celebrity clients, according toan interview with The New York Times. When asked, “Is this actually worse than when you defended O.J. Simpson?” of his defense of the president,Dershowitz replied: “Of course. Or Claus von Bulow or Leona Helmsley or Michael Milken or Mike Tyson. This is much worse than all that.” Dershowitz continued, “In those cases people were critical of me, but they were prepared to discuss it. They were prepared to have a dialogue. Here, the people that Im objecting to want to stop the dialogue. They dont want to have the conversation.” Dershowitz was an appellate adviser to O.J. Simpson during his murder trial and also defended Claus vonBulow. The attorney’s response comes amid recent media buzz over a column he wrote last month for The Hill in which he compared his social shunning at Martha’s Vineyard to 1950s McCarthyism. WhileDershowitz has been critical of Trump and many of his policies, he wrote that he defends the president’s “civil liberties.” In turn,Dershowitz said he’s been ostracized in social circles for sometimes backing the president. “(My old friends)are shunning me and trying to ban me from their social life on Marthas Vineyard,”Dershowitz wrote in The Hill. “I never thought I would see McCarthyism come to Marthas Vineyard, but I have.” Dershowitz explained that at least one friend has said he won’t attend parties ifDershowitz were invited. O.J. Simpson reacts as he speaks with attorney Alan Dershowitz after entering the courtroom for a pre-trail hearing of his double-murder case Wednesday, Sept. 21, 1994.(Photo: Vince Bucci/AP Photo) USA TODAY Opinion: Donald Trumps better off litigating,Alan Dershowitz writes Dershowitz has argued that Trump had the constitutional authority to fire former FBI director James Comey and therefore should not be charged with obstruction of justice. He addedthat an independent, non-partisan commission, rather than a special counsel, should have been appointed to investigate Russia’s influence in the 2016 presidential election. Dershowitz told the New York Times in an interview published Saturday thathe’s been calling for Trump “to be treated fairly. Not to have it considered a crime when you fire, when you exercise your Article II powers under the Constitution.” The Harvard lawyer has also said he’d have defended Hillary Clinton similarly if she were elected, and he wrote a book defending former president Bill Clinton during his impeachment scandal.Dershowitz’s book “The Case Against Impeaching Trump” is set to publish Monday. “Im a Hillary Clinton liberal Democrat whos trying hard to restore Congress to the Democrats, who will help finance Democratic candidates all over the country,” Dershowitz told The Times. “Im a liberal Democrat. I havent changed one iota in 50 years. I am not a Trump supporter. Im a supporter of civil liberties. Calling me a Trump supporter is like calling me a communist supporter in the 1950s.” Among theTrump practicesDershowitz has opposed is the “zero tolerance” policy on immigration that resulted in children separated from their parents. Despite the backlash Dershowitz has received over his defense of Trump, he told The Times he’s enjoyed the debate he’s sparked. “Im a teacher and a professor. My job is to provoke and stimulate conversation,” he said. “Im enjoying this. So understand that. For me, its a red badge of courage.” Follow Ryan Miller on Twitter @RyanW_Miller Read or Share this story: https://usat.ly/2tZOudO

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July 12, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Alan Dershowitz Is Enjoying This – The New York Times

CHILMARK, Mass. This is what McCarthyism evidently looks like on Marthas Vineyard. Alan Dershowitz is holding court on the front porch of the Chilmark General Store, talking to old friends and complete strangers, nearly all of whom stop to tell him, between sips of their iced coffee, to keep doing what hes doing. A young girl compliments his T-shirt (Kids and Guns Dont Mix). His cellphone buzzes constantly, mostly with calls from reporters. Inside Edition, the tabloid-style newsmagazine show, wants an interview. So does The New Yorker. I did, too. I had called Mr. Dershowitz on Tuesday to tell him I was going to be on the island for a long-planned vacation, and I suggested we get together to talk about the stir he kicked up when he wrote, in a column for The Hill, that he had been subject to McCarthy-like shunning tactics from people in his Vineyard social circles. For some of them, his aggressive questioning of the legitimacy of the special counsel investigation into President Trump was indefensible and unforgivable. He said I should come over to his house. I said Id rather meet somewhere more public. I wanted to see firsthand how the Harvard University law professor emeritus who helped acquit O.J. Simpson of murder charges with minimal apparent damage to his social or professional reputation was handling the backlash to what some believe is his gravest offense: defending Mr. Trump. Im enjoying this, he told me. Its a red badge of courage. He said he believes political debate today has essentially degenerated into a fight over one question: Are you for or against Mr. Trump? We live in a Red Sox/Yankees world, he said. And you have to pick a team. But whether there is any room for nuance in a conversation about one of the least nuanced presidents of our time seems unlikely at least on Marthas Vineyard. The local library, Mr. Dershowitz said, told him they cant find the time for him to give his regular summer talk this year. (The library’s director, Ebba Hierta, said Mr. Dershowitz did not ask to speak until after their summer lecture series was fully booked, and that declining his request had nothing to do with Mr. Trump or Mr. Dershowitz’s defense of him. She added that the Vineyard Haven library has invited him to speak July 18.) And on Thursday, a local paper, The Marthas Vineyard Times, published the results of an informal poll that asked readers if they would invite Dersh, as he is known to friends, to dinner. Thirty-seven percent said they would; 63 percent said no. The following is an edited and condensed version of our hourlong interview. Youre no stranger to defending people who are unpopular. Is this actually worse than when you defended O.J. Simpson? Of course. Or Claus von Bulow or Leona Helmsley or Michael Milken or Mike Tyson. This is much worse than all that, because in those cases people were critical of me, but they were prepared to discuss it. They were prepared to have a dialogue. Here, the people that Im objecting to want to stop the dialogue. They dont want to have the conversation. It will upset people at the dinner party or on the porch. This is like safe spaces in colleges. Your issue on the island is tied into something broader. Its this belief that ones personal feelings are paramount. If you are offended, like the people who worked at the restaurant where Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked to leave, that is paramount to her right to eat in that establishment. Is that the world we live in now with Trump as president? Today the passions are so strong that if I do anything that is perceived as helping Donald Trump, I am an evil conspirator. I go back to the 1950s, when I was one of the few people at Brooklyn College standing up and defending the right of communists to speak and to teach. I hated communism. They would say, You cant defend communists. They wouldnt defend your rights. They would take away your civil liberties. And thats absolutely true. Every generation Ive lived through, there has been an excuse for taking away civil liberties. Trump is going to destroy the country; you cant defend his civil liberties. Anything you do to help this man is villainy. You reject the label Trump supporter, dont you? Absolutely. Im a Hillary Clinton liberal Democrat whos trying hard to restore Congress to the Democrats, who will help finance Democratic candidates all over the country. Im a liberal Democrat. I havent changed one iota in 50 years. I am not a Trump supporter. Im a supporter of civil liberties. Calling me a Trump supporter is like calling me a communist supporter in the 1950s. I was not a communist supporter. I defended the communists right to speak and to teach. And here, youre defending Trumps right to To be treated fairly. Not to have it considered a crime when you fire, when you exercise your Article II powers under the Constitution. (He has said he believes a special counsel never should have been appointed to look into the legality of the presidents campaign activities. Instead, Mr. Dershowitz has called for a nonpartisan, independent commission.) You enjoy being provocative and contrarian. Im a teacher and a professor. My job is to provoke and stimulate conversation. The thing I hate most is people who want to shut off conversation. People only hear one word: Trump. Thats what reminds me of McCarthyism, when you couldnt speak out on certain issues. Im not comparing myself. (Pauses) First of all, Im enjoying this. So understand that. For me, its a red badge of courage. You have to pretend to be dumb. Because once you get sophisticated and nuanced youre politically incorrect. Theres no nuance. Theres no sophistication about this. Dont try to slice the salami thinly. This is just baloney. I grew up in New York, and Im a Red Sox fan. So I understand nuance. People often talk of these moments as overcorrecting and then correcting. At what point are we in that cycle now? I think were there on university campuses. When I speak on university campuses now, a lot of moderate conservatives and liberals come up to me and say we need to restore the center. Whats it been like for you on the island? It seems like no one is throwing things at you. No one is hissing. It seems pretty civil. Youve got a nice life here. The perverse result is that the shunners are shunning themselves because people have been supporting me. People come to me and say, Look. Alan, I have to talk to you. What youre doing is wrong. And you have to do this, do that. Everybody has advice. Go on television, defend his civil liberties but say hes the most horrible president in the history of the world. But only about 10 people have decided that it wasnt just that they didnt want to talk to me. They wanted to expand it, to get other people not to talk to me. This was An act of hostility? An act of hostility. An active hostility. And it failed. Do you think with Trump, and some of the things he has done that people find indefensible like refusing (at first) to disavow David Duke that the both sides construct is too reductive for this political climate? Look, Ive spent 55 years teaching nuance. Thats what I do. During Vietnam, in the 1970s, you had thousands of people dying every month, a president who had so clearly broken the law. How is that somehow not as bad today? Because people seem to think today its worse. With Trump its personal. His personal style is so confrontational. He provokes. Hes a brilliant politician, and let me tell you why. He is pushing Democrats to the left. Because extremism provokes extremism. And the Democrats cant win from the left. They can only win from the center in a national election. So his fondest hope is that somebody from the left gets the nomination against him. The reaction to him is seen as such an overreaction at times. And then he overreacts. Overreaction causes overreaction, which causes overreaction. And the parties split further and further apart, which is good for Trump. The more divided we are, the more his base comes to his support. These articles in The Times and The Globe may hurt me on Marthas Vineyard, but they help Trump. If theres one thing you quote me on, I want it to be that.

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July 12, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Alan Dershowitz: Supreme Court could overturn Trump impeachment

Legal scholar Alan Dershowitz writes in a new book that the Supreme Court could intervene if President Trump is impeached, overturning a congressional vote to remove him from office for collusion with Russia during the 2016 election. Even if public evidence of collusion were to emerge, the Harvard Law School professor emeritus writes in “The Case Against Impeaching Trump” that it would not be a crime, contending Trump could collude to let Russia retake Alaska without grounds for removal from office. “It’s not a crime to collude with a foreign government. Maybe it should be, but it’s not,” he told the Washington Examiner ahead of the book’s Tuesday release. Dershowitz argues in the book that collusion would be a “political sin” that doesn’t meet the Constitutions specification of treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors” for removal from office. Judicial review might be triggered, he writes, because this president (and perhaps others) might well refuse to leave office if Congress voted to impeach and remove him based on offenses that were not among those enumerated in the Constitution.” “A Supreme Court that inserted itself into the Bush v. Gore election in order to avoid a constitutional crisis might well decide to review a House decision to impeach and a Senate decision to remove a president who is not accused and convicted of a specified constitutional crime,” Dershowitz adds. The chief justice of the Supreme Court, who presides over Senate trials if a majority of the House votes to impeach, arguably would be able to rule on a motion to dismiss legally invalid charges, Dershowitz writes. “The decision by the framers to have the chief justice preside over the trial of a president may suggest that the decision was not intended to be entirely political. Indeed, it would be wrong for the chief justice to participate, much less preside over, an entirely political process. Judges are required to stay out of politics,” he writes. Although a Democrat, Dershowitz has spent much of the past year arguing on TV that Trump has been treated unfairly in the ongoing special counsel investigation of possible campaign collusion with Russia. His new book is largely a rehash of his recent commentary, containing 34 re-published op-eds and transcripts from his TV appearances. A 28-page introduction expands on his legal arguments against impeaching Trump based on publicly unknown facts, using more extreme hypotheticals, such as allowing Russia to retake Alaska, to demonstrate what he sees as the Constitutions requirement of criminality. Assume [Russian President Vladimir] Putin decides to retake Alaska, the way he retook Crimea. Assume further that a president allows him to do it, because he believed that Russia has a legitimate claim to its original territory, Dershowitz writes. That would be terrible, but would it be impeachable? Not under the text of the Constitution. He writes that impeachment would be possible, however, if he did it because he was paid or extorted. Dershowitz told the Washington Examiner he wrote the book as an authoritative case against impeachment ahead of a potential Democratic takeover in Congress. At points in the book, he counters arguments from fellow Harvard scholar Laurence Tribe, who also wrote a recent book on impeachment, To End a Presidency. Dershowitz said he was motivated to write the book by people such as that jerk Richard Painter, an ex-Republican law professor running for Minnesota Senate as a Democrat on a pro-impeachment platform, and extremist Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif. Dershowitz said he will ask his publisher to send Waters a copy. Waters argued last year that “impeachment is whatever Congress says it is. There is no law. Dershowitz notes in the book that similar “extreme” remarks were made by former President Gerald Ford in 1970, when he was a member of the House of Representatives. Ford argued: An impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history; conviction results from whatever offense or offenses two-thirds of the other body considers to be sufficiently serious to require removal. Still, without evidence that Trump committed a specific crime in the case of treason, defined in a manner Dershowitz believes would be inapplicable there may be avenues to overturn a congressional ruling through the judiciary, Dershowitz said. Dershowitz cites in his book two former Supreme Court justices Byron White and David Souter as suggesting there may be room for court oversight of impeachment decisions. Although his defense of Trump has made him a pervasive TV guest, Dershowitz told the Examiner its been the opposite of lucrative, completely, with speaking engagements canceled and other invitations withheld. He said he wont make much money off the new book which goes for $13.19 for a Kindle version, or $19.79 for a hardback copy. “I’m acting purely in a responsible capacity because the ACLU is dead in the water,” he said. “The ACLU has made a fortune of money going after Trump and they would not endanger their financial base by saying anything to defend Trump’s civil liberties.” The president and legal director of the ACLU previously told the Washington Examiner that they reject Dershowitz’s claim of bias. Dershowitz’s new book concludes claiming motivation from history, particularly the anti-communist red scare of the 1950s. He quotes some unpleasant email messages from critics, including a message addressing him as Alan Goebbels Dershowitz and predicting that he will be remembered as a liar and a phony. Although one of his top defenders, even Trump has given mixed reviews. Dershowitz said one of his most recent calls from Trump was “to correct something I said on television.” He declined to elaborate.

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July 12, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Alan Dershowitzs War With Marthas Vineyard Drags On

If you managed to hold back tears of empathy for the recent culinary defenestration of White House spox Sarah Huckabee Sanders at the hands of a Virginia restaurant owner, you probably havent eagerly attended the very public pity party that former Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz has been holding for himself over his shunning from old friends and neighbors at the elite summer playground of Marthas Vineyard. The parallels arent perfect. Sanders, as the very public face of the Trump presidency day in and day out, is a global celebrity of the highest order not to mention the daughter of a two-time presidential candidate and must have surely known that she checked her ability to enjoy public anonymity at the door upon entering the West Wing. Its probable that most Americans have only heard of Dershowitz because of his involvement in the legal supernova of the O.J. Simpson case. But still, he has lent his mostly borrowed celebrity to an extremely high-profile habit of defending Donald Trumps efforts to evade the attentions of Robert Mueller. And its his background as a mostly liberal commentator, not his reputation for legal brilliance, that has made him a go-to figure for cable-TV bookers seeking a dependably pro-Trump voice. So youd think Dershowitz would be able to take some blowback from former political allies in stride. But no: In an op-ed for the Hill last week, he publicly whined about his terrible persecution by denizens of Marthas Vineyard, the island off Cape Cod where many rich and famous people (including Dershowitz) spend large portions of every summer, saying he had been subjected to shunning from old friends who are trying to ban me from their social life on Marthas Vineyard. He then invited derision by comparing this treatment to McCarthyism, as though his social discomfort is equivalent to the catastrophic loss of careers and even liberty at the hands of Joe McCarthy in the 1950s. Believe it or not, the Dershowitz war with Marthas Vineyard is dragging on into a second week, as some of his Spanish Inquisitionstyle persecutors take to the fiendishly radical medium of email to torment him further, as reported by the Boston Globe: Walter Teller, a prominent Los Angeles entertainment lawyer and longtime Vineyard resident, sent Dershowitz and others in their circle an e-mail explaining the sudden estrangement. You proudly announce where you have dined and with whom, going so far as to send out pictures of the menu of your meal with Trump at the White House, Teller wrote. And then you complain publicly when you are not invited to dinner. Dershowitz fired back with his own email, and he also mixed it up in the presence of a ccd group with Nicholas Negroponte of the MIT Media Lab. It does seem, however, that Trumps new friend isnt simply crouching in his summer home, subsisting on catered meals and fearfully awaiting the fateful knock on the door: [R]eached Tuesday night, Dershowitz was on his way to the annual soiree hosted by designer Kenneth Cole and his wife, Maria Cuomo. I was never lamenting or whining about the fact that people are trying to punish me, he said. I was exposing it. I stand by my principles. Im very proud of it. I challenge them to have a conversation with me. Maybe Fox and Friends can carry it live.

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July 12, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed


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