Archive for the ‘Alan Dershowitz’ Category

Alan Dershowitz – Legally Speaking

Dec 20, 2017

The U.S. acted properly in vetoing a misguided Security Council resolution designed to undo President Trumps recognition of Jerusalem as Israels capital.

Dec 19, 2017

The Trump team is probably not going to seek to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller. To do so would be to provoke Trumps crucial supporters in Congress.

Dec 9, 2017

Violence should be responded to by police and military action, not by giving in to the unreasonable demands of those who use violence as a tactic.

Dec 6, 2017

President Trump is doing the right thing by telling the United Nations that the United States now rejects the one-sided U.N. Security Council Resolution.

Dec 4, 2017

Flynn’s plea may be a show of weakness on the part of Muller rather than strength. So far Mueller has charged potential witnesses with crimes bearing little or no relationship to any possible crimes committed by current White House incumbents. The investigation may end with whimpers.

Nov 29, 2017

Palestinian terrorist leaders often use teenagers to commit acts of terror because they know that the Israeli legal system treats child terrorists more leniently than adult terrorists.

Nov 7, 2017

On November 3, The Daily Californian published an op-ed by Matthew Taylor, explicitly accusing me of having blood on his [my] hands and being culpable for the perpetuation of[Israeli] atrocities.

Oct 31, 2017

By publishing an op-ed that defends bigoted caricatures only of a Jewish supporter of Israel , when no college newspaper would ever peddle stereotypes of other ethnic, religious or social groups , the Forward too engages in an unacceptable double standard.

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Alan Dershowitz – Legally Speaking

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December 20, 2017   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Alan Dershowitz: Why Trump is right in recognizing Jerusalem …

President Trumps decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israels capital is a perfect response to President Obamas benighted decision to change American policy by engineering the United Nations Security Council Resolution declaring Judaisms holiest places in Jerusalem to be occupied territory and a flagrant violation under international law. It was President Obama who changed the status quo and made peace more difficult, by handing the Palestinians enormous leverage in future negotiations and disincentivizing them from making a compromised peace.

It had long been American foreign policy to veto any one-sided Security Council resolutions that declared Judaisms holiest places to be illegally occupied. Obamas decision to change that policy was not based on American interests or in the interests of peace. It was done out of personal revenge against Prime Minister Netanyahu and an act of pique by the outgoing president.

It was also designed improperly to tie the hands of President-elect Trump. President Trump is doing the right thing by telling the United Nations that the United States now rejects the one-sided U.N. Security Council Resolution.

So if there is any change to the status quo, let the blame lie where it should be: at the hands of President Obama for his cowardly decision to wait until he was a lame-duck president to get even with Prime Minister Netanyahu. President Trump deserves praise for restoring balance in negotiations with Israel and the Palestinians. It was President Obama who made peace more difficult. It was President Trump who made it more feasible again.

The outrageously one-sided Security Council Resolution declared that any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, have no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law. This means, among other things, that Israels decision to build a plaza for prayer at the Western Wall Judaisms holiest site constitutes a flagrant violation of international law. This resolution was, therefore, not limited to settlements in the West Bank, as the Obama administration later claimed in a bait-and-switch. The resolution applied equally to the very heart of Israel.

Before June 4, 1967, Jews were forbidden from praying at the Western Wall, Judaisms holiest site. They were forbidden to attend classes at the Hebrew University at Mt. Scopus, which had been opened in 1925 and was supported by Albert Einstein. Jews could not seek medical care at the Hadassah Hospital on Mt. Scopus, which had treated Jews and Arabs alike since 1918. Jews could not live in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, where their forbearers had built homes and synagogues for thousands of years. These Judenrein prohibitions were enacted by Jordan, which had captured by military force these Jewish areas during Israels War of Independence, in 1948, and had illegally occupied the entire West Bank, which the United Nations had set aside for an Arab state. When the Jordanian government occupied these historic Jewish sites, they destroyed all the remnants of Judaism, including synagogues, schools and cemeteries, whose headstones they used for urinals. Between 1948 and 1967, the United Nations did not offer a single resolution condemning this Jordanian occupation and cultural devastation.

When Israel retook these areas in a defensive war that Jordan started by shelling civilian homes in West Jerusalem, and opened them up as places where Jews could pray, study, receive medical treatment and live, the United States took the official position that it would not recognize Israels legitimate claims to Jewish Jerusalem.

It stated that the status of Jerusalem, including these newly liberated areas, would be left open to final negotiations and that the status quo would remain in place. That is the official rationale for why the United States refused to recognize any part of Jerusalem, including West Jerusalem, as part of Israel. That is why the United States refused to allow an American citizen born in any part of Jerusalem to put the words Jerusalem, Israel on his or her passport as their place of birth.

But even that historic status quo was changed with President Obamas unjustified decision not to veto the Security Council Resolution from last December. The United Nations all of a sudden determined that, subject to any further negotiations and agreements, the Jewish areas of Jerusalem recaptured from Jordan in 1967 are not part of Israel. Instead, they were territories being illegally occupied by Israel, and any building in these areas including places for prayer at the Western Wall, access roads to Mt. Scopus, and synagogues in the historic Jewish Quarter constitutes a flagrant violation under international law. If that indeed is the new status quo, then what incentives do the Palestinians have to enter negotiations? And if they were to do so, they could use these Jewish areas to extort unreasonable concessions from Israel, for which these now illegally occupied areas are sacred and nonnegotiable.

President Obamas refusal to veto this one-sided resolution was a deliberate ploy to tie the hands of his successors, the consequence of which was to make it far more difficult for his successors to encourage the Palestinians to accept Israels offer to negotiate with no preconditions. No future president can undo this pernicious agreement, since a veto not cast can never be retroactively cast. And a resolution once enacted cannot be rescinded unless there is a majority vote against it, with no veto by any of its permanent members, which include Russia and China, who would be sure to veto any attempt to undo this resolution.

President Trumps decision to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israels capital helps to restore the appropriate balance. It demonstrates that the United States does not accept the Judenrein effects of this bigoted resolution on historic Jewish areas of Jerusalem, which were forbidden to Jews. The prior refusal of the United States to recognize Jerusalem as Israels capital was based explicitly on the notion that nothing should be done to change the status quo of that city, holy to three religions. But the Security Council Resolution did exactly that: It changed the status quo by declaring Israels de facto presence on these Jewish holy sites to be a flagrant violation under international law that the U.N. will not recognize.

Since virtually everyone in the international community acknowledges that any reasonable peace would recognize Israels legitimate claims to these and other areas in Jerusalem, there is no reason for allowing the U.N. Resolution to make criminals out of every Jew or Israeli who sets foot on these historically Jewish areas. (Ironically, President Obama prayed at what he regarded as the illegally occupied Western Wall.)

After the UN, at the urging of President Obama, made it a continuing international crime for there to be any Israeli presence in disputed areas of Jerusalem, including areas whose Jewish provenance is beyond dispute, President Trump was right to untie his own hands and to undo the damage wrought by his predecessor. Some have argued that the United States should not recognize Jerusalem because it will stimulate violence by Arab terrorists. No American decision should ever be influenced by the threat of violence. Terrorists should not have a veto over American policy. If the United States were to give in to threat of violence, it would only incentivize others to threaten violence in response to any peace plan.

So lets praise President Trump for doing the right thing by undoing the wrong thing President Obama did at the end of his presidency.

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Alan Dershowitz: Why Trump is right in recognizing Jerusalem …

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December 13, 2017   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Guys, Im Worried About Alan Dershowitz | Above the Law

One of the more painful parts of the Trump Era is how it takes people from you. The high school buddy, the respected colleague, the celebrity icon: people who you used to love or respect or both are BODY SNATCHED by the Trump regime, and deployed against you. Were faced with a president who is openly bigoted, is an admitted sexual predator, courts nuclear war, lies, cheats, steals, and yet so many people are willing to serve him or give him aide and comfort publicly.

Trump makes you lose so much. He causes so much anguish.

There are three categories of loss. In bucket A, you have all the private people, the friends and family, who you can no longer talk to. How can you still break bread with people who think that their economic grievances are so important that it justifies national racism towards you, your children, and your immigrant wife? Ive lost friends because post-Trump I cant even trust them to be around my kids.

In bucket B, there are the public people. The ones you dont know personally but whose work or art you respected. I cannot respect somebody who will raise their voice and expend their effort on the same side that the Nazis are fighting for. I cannot forgive that. Some of these people openly support Nazis, others merely compartmentalize the white supremacy away from whatever policy point they think is really important. Either way, these people are irredeemable. When you decide to roll around in trash it matters little if you are rotten to the core or if you just smell that way. Im keeping a list, for when the wheel comes back around.

In bucket C, there are those who are silently complicit. They dont say anything overtly Trumpish, but they also dont do anything at all to resist. These are the both siders. They are LEGION in media. I see you. Youre dead to me too.

I say body snatched, but the reality is that all of these people have made a choice. Theyve all purposefully decided to throw themselves into the service of evil. Theyre not confused, theyre not mislead, theyve decided to be bad people. Theres a difference.

And yet I still want there to be a group of people who have simply, literally, turned into some kind of brain eating, p***y-grabbing zombies. If its a virus, maybe they can come back.

I think, I hope, Alan Dershowitz falls into that category.

Hes out there making trash arguments about how the president cant do anything illegal and saying that Black Lives Matter is Anti-Semitic. Its bad.

My colleague, Joe Patrice, has detailed the problems with Dershowitzs newfound foolishness. Ive stayed out of it because Im compromised. I never had Dershowitz for a class, but I have been to his office hours. I have debated him. I have respect for him. My wife took his class. He was our favorite law professor. Hes met my parents.

What hes doing is so painful that I need to believe that he can come back.

The Washington Post ran a piece today that allowed Dershowitz to, essentially, bitch and moan that nobody likes him anymore because hes become a Trump person. In it, he sounds like a parody of a law professor. He sounds like a junkie who gets high off of playing devils advocate to a hypothetical overdose.

Check out the end, where he seems giddy that his wife and children are concerned that everybody hates him now:

But look, I have a very thick skin, he said. Its upsetting my children. Its upsetting my wife a little bit. For me, its energizing.

Ill give Harvard Law Professor Larry Tribe the credited response:

I need to believe that Dershowitz will find his way out of bigot Jumanji before its too late.

Elsewhere in the Washington Post article, Dershowitz spends a lot of time complaining that people are questioning his motives.

People have accused me of everything, Dershowitz told The Post. Of taking money. A guy on MSNBC asked me if I was being paid by Trump. Others have asked me if Im writing a book about it, he said. The answer to both is no and no.

Everybodys questioning motive, he said, with some suggesting hes jockeying for a seat on the Supreme Court (Im 79 years old) or that he wants to be Trumps lawyer. None of this is true, he said.

He doesnt get it. People are questioning his motives because impure motives are EASIER to believe than the possibility that Alan Dershowitz is just a trash-person now. Its EASIER to think that hes getting paid or that hes got some kind of long game hes playing, than to have to confront that reality that yet another person is fundamentally okay with bigots and predators running the country.

If Dershowitz had been, say, BITTEN by something, then somebody could just find the patient zero monkey that started this, synthesize an anti-virus, and inject Dershowitz with the cure, and hed go back to normal.

And then we could try that anti-virus on your uncle, and my buddy, and Tom Brady, and somehow this whole nightmare would end and we could start rebuilding society.

But this aint no fairy tale, is it? Dershowitz isnt an actual zombie, is he? People are just like this now. Evil continues to win the day.

Alan Dershowitzs new reality: Tweeted by Trump, shunned by liberal friends [Washington Post]

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Guys, Im Worried About Alan Dershowitz | Above the Law

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December 9, 2017   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Alan Dershowitz Calls on Not Prosecuting Trump or Clinton …

On Monday night, Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz attempted to address the toxic political climate that has consumed numerous investigations.

He agreed with Laura Ingraham that the DOJ inspector general should release the anti-Trump text messages of FBI investigatorPeter Strzok and that he should have recused himself from the very beginning.

What Im concerned about in your monologue, youre doing to Hillary Clinton exactly what the Democrats are trying to do to Donald Trump, Dershowitz told Ingraham. Youre trying to criminalize political differences.

Dershowitz insisted that the former Secretary of State didnt commit any crimes and that she was in fact extremely careless, which he noted was ultimately decided by then-FBI Director James Comey and not just Strzok.

But I think we have to stop criminalizing political differences on both sides, Dershowitz continued. Hillary Clinton shouldnt be locked up. Donald Trump shouldnt be prosecuted for any crimes. If you dont like what they did, dont vote for them. Thats the answer; democracy.

Ingraham pushed back, saying that people in the military are prosecuted for mishandling classified information on a regular basis and people at home ask why do the Clintons get special treatment. Dershowitz responded by saying that no one in American history in a position as high as Clinton was in had ever been prosecuted.

When youre in a position like Secretary of State and you have a lot of underlings working beneath you, Dershowitz elaborated, its very different than if you are your own officer in the army and you take things home in a clear violation of rules.

Dershowitz ended by calling for a cease-fire on both sides of the aisle.

Watch the clip above, via Fox News.

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Alan Dershowitz | HuffPost

ALAN M. DERSHOWITZ is a Brooklyn native who has been called the nations most peripatetic civil liberties lawyer and one of its most distinguished defenders of individual rights, the best-known criminal lawyer in the world, the top lawyer of last resort, and Americas most public Jewish defender. He is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. Dershowitz, a graduate of Brooklyn College and Yale Law School, joined the Harvard Law School faculty at age 25 after clerking for Judge David Bazelon and Justice Arthur Goldberg.While he is known for defending clients such as Anatoly Sharansky, Claus von Blow, O.J. Simpson, Michael Milken and Mike Tyson, he continues to represent numerous indigent defendants and takes half of his cases pro bono.

Dershowitz is the author of 20 works of fiction and non-fiction, including 6 bestsellers. His writing has been praised by Truman Capote, Saul Bellow, David Mamet, William Styron, Aharon Appelfeld, A.B. Yehoshua and Elie Wiesel. More than a million of his books have been sold worldwide, in numerous languages, and more than a million people have heard him lecture around the world.

His most recent nonfiction titles are Trials of Zion (October 2010, Grand Central Publishing), Rights From Wrongs: A Secular Theory of the Origins of Rights (November 2004, Basic Books), The Case for Israel (September 2003, Wiley), America Declares Independence, Why Terrorism Works, Shouting Fire, Letters to a Young Lawyer, Supreme Injustice, and The Genesis of Justice. His novels include The Advocates Devil and Just Revenge. Dershowitz is also the author of The Vanishing American Jew, The Abuse Excuse, Reasonable Doubts, Chutzpah (a #1 bestseller), Reversal of Fortune (which was made into an Academy Award-winning film), Sexual McCarthyism and The Best Defense.

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Alan Dershowitz: President Cannot Be Charged With Obstructing …

BY: Charles RussellDecember 5, 2017 10:02 am

Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz said Tuesday that the president cannot be charged with obstruction of justice for exercising his authority under the Constitution to pardon or fire someone.

Dershowitz joinedCNN’s “New Day” to discuss the issue of whether the president can obstruct justice after Trump s attorney John Dowd defended a tweet sent by the president’s account and said Trump could not obstruct justice. When Chris Cuomo asked if Dowd’s claim was accurate, Dershowitz said in response that the president could obstruct justice “if he engages in acts beyond what Article II of the constitution allows him to do.”

“Of course a president can be charged with obstruction to justice if he engages in acts beyond what Article II of the Constitution allows him to do,” Dershowitz said. “President Nixon and Clinton were both impeached for obstruction justice by telling witnesses to lie.”

The law professor explained why, however, he thinks we shouldn’t jump to obstruction of justice charges.

“My point is that the president cannot be charged for simply exercising his authority under the Constitution by pardoning people, by firing people he’s allowed to fire, without regard to what his subjective intent’ may be,” he said.

Dershowitz argued that if a president’s behavior is unlawful,it could likely fall under a different charge.

“You can convict the president of bribery; you can convict the president of telling witnesses to lie. What you cannot convict the president of is simply and merely exercising his Article II authority by pardoning somebody or by firing somebody,”Dershowitz said. “That’s my point. You cannot do that. You may be able to impeach him for misuse of his power, but you cannot prosecute him for exercising his constitutional authority.”

Dowd toldAxios Mike Allen on Monday that the president cannot obstruct justice because he has every right to express his views of any case under Article II of the Constitution.

The “president cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer under [the Constitution’s Article II] and has every right to express his view of any case,” hesaid.

Dowdwas responding to a tweet sent from the president’s account over the weekend, a tweet Dowd admits drafting.

“I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!” the tweet read.

The president’s advisorstands by the tweet, saying it “did not admit obstruction” but he is “out of the tweeting business” and “did not mean to break news.”

“The tweet did not admit obstruction. That is an ignorant and arrogant assertion,” Dowd said.

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‘Hope Over Reality’: Dershowitz Doesn’t See Obstruction of …

Tucker: Flynn’s Guilty Plea Doesn’t Prove Collusion

Judge Nap: How Flynn Plea Deal Could Lead to ‘Constitutional Crisis’

Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz disagreed with claims that there is an obstruction of justice case building against President Donald Trump, calling it “hope over reality” from some Democrats.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said on “Meet the Press”that a Senate investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election has revealed possible obstruction.

“I see it in the hyper-frenetic attitude of the White House, the comments every day, the continual tweets. And I see it most importantly in what happened with the firing of Director Comey, and it is my belief that that is directly because he did not agree to lift the cloud of the Russia investigation. Thats obstruction of justice, Feinstein said.

On “Fox & Friends,” Dershowitz countered that Trump had the constitutional power to fire FBI Director James Comey and to tell the Justice Department who to investigate and who not to investigate.

“If Congress were ever to charge him with obstruction of justice for exercising his constitutional authority under Article II, we’d have a constitutional crisis,” Dershowitz said.

He explained that Congress would have to demonstrate “clearly illegal acts” on Trump’s part, such as former President Richard Nixon paying “hush money,” telling people to lie and destroying evidence in the Watergate scandal.

“There’s never been a case in history where a president has been charged with obstruction of justice for merely exercising his constitutional authority. That would cause a constitutional crisis in the United States,” Dershowitz said, adding that he hopes Special Counsel Robert Mueller understands that before he considers bringing an indictment or recommending that the matter be referred to Congress.

“And Sen. Feinstein simply doesn’t know what she’s talking about when she says it’s obstruction of justice to do what a president is completely authorized to do under the Constitution.”

He added that if Trump truly wanted to impede Mueller’s investigation, he could have pardoned Gen. Michael Flynn to prevent him from cooperating.

“The president would have had the complete authority do so and Flynn never would have been indicted, never would have turned as a witness against him,” said Dershowitz, a lifelong Democrat.

On “America’s Newsroom,” Judge Andrew Napolitanocame down on the side of Feinstein.

He explained that if Trump asked Comey to end the investigation into Flynn for a non-corrupt purpose – such as if he felt sympathy for his former national security adviser or he wanted the bureau to use its resources on more important matters – it’s not obstruction.

However, if Trump did it for a corrupt purpose – such as trying to protect himself or his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, from what Flynn might say – then it is obstruction and there is no presidential immunity, Napolitano said.

“Obstruction of justice is a crime no matter who commits it, if done for a corrupt purpose. It’s also an impeachable offense,” he said, adding that the charge is “intentionally not easy to prove” for a prosecutor.

On “Outnumbered Overtime,” Dershowitz said Mueller charging Flynn with lying to the FBI is actually a show of weakness, not strength.

He explained that if Flynn had strong evidence against Trump, then Trump would have pardoned him, instead of allowing him to make a deal with Mueller.

“The deal is not a particularly good one for the special counsel, because he had him indicted for lying,” Dershowitz said. “That makes him a worthless witness.”

See more from Dershowitz on “The Ingraham Angle” tonight at 10:00pm ET on Fox News Channel.

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Sen. Cruz: Flynn Guilty Plea Is ‘Disappointing and Disturbing’

Judge Nap on Flynn Plea: ‘Monumental’ Reduction of Charges Doesn’t Come for Free

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December 7, 2017   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Alan Dershowitz: Why did Flynn lie and why did Mueller charge …

Editor’s note: this originally appeared in The Hill.

The charge to which retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn has pleaded guilty may tell us a great deal about the Robert Mueller investigation.

The first question is, why did Flynn lie? People who lie to the FBI generally do so because, if they told the truth, they would be admitting to a crime. But the two conversations that Flynn falsely denied having were not criminal. He may have believed they were criminal but, if he did, he was wrong.

Consider his request to Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the U.S., to delay or oppose a United Nations Security Council vote on an anti-Israel resolution that the outgoing Obama administration refused to veto. Not only was that request not criminal, it was the right thing to do. President Obama’s unilateral decision to change decades-long American policy by not vetoing a perniciously one-sided anti-Israel resolution was opposed by Congress and by most Americans. It was not good for America, for Israel or for peace. It was done out of Obama’s personal pique against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rather than on principle.

Despite the banner headlines calling the Flynn guilty plea a “thunderclap,” I think it may be a show of weakness on the part of the special counsel rather than a sign of strength.

Many Americans of both parties, including me, urged the lame-duck Obama not to tie the hands of the president-elect by allowing the passage of a resolution that would make it more difficult to achieve a negotiated peace in the Middle East.

As the president-elect, Donald Trump was constitutionally and politically entitled to try to protect his ability to broker a fair peace between the Israelis and Palestinians by urging all members of the Security Council to vote against or delay the enactment of the resolution. The fact that such efforts to do the right thing did not succeed does not diminish the correctness of the effort. I wish it had succeeded. We would be in a better place today.

Some left-wing pundits, who know better, are trotting out the Logan Act, which, if it were the law, would prohibit private citizens (including presidents-elect) from negotiating with foreign governments. But this anachronistic law hasn’t been used for more than 200 years. Under the principle of desuetude – a legal doctrine that prohibits the selective resurrection of a statute that has not been used for many decades – it is dead-letter. Moreover, the Logan Act is unconstitutional insofar as it prohibits the exercise of free speech.

If it were good law, former Presidents Reagan and Carter would have been prosecuted: Reagan for negotiating with Iran’s ayatollahs when he was president-elect, to delay releasing the American hostages until he was sworn in; Carter for advising Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to reject former President Clinton’s peace offer in 2000-2001. Moreover, Jesse Jackson, Jane Fonda, Dennis Rodman and others who have negotiated with North Korea and other rogue regimes would have gone to prison.

So there was nothing criminal about Flynn’s request of Kislyak, even if he were instructed to do so by higher-ups in the Trump transition team. The same is true of his discussions regarding sanctions. The president-elect is entitled to have different policies about sanctions and to have his transition team discuss them with Russian officials.

This is the way The New York Times has put it: “Mr. Flynn’s discussions with Sergey I. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, were part of a coordinated effort by Mr. Trump’s aides to create foreign policy before they were in power, documents released as part of Mr. Flynn’s plea agreement show. Their efforts undermined the existing policy of President Barack Obama and flouted a warning from a senior Obama administration official to stop meddling in foreign affairs before the inauguration.”

If that characterization is accurate, it demonstrates conclusively that the Flynn conversations were political and not criminal. Flouting a warning from the Obama administration to stop meddling may be a political sin (though some would call it a political virtue) but it most assuredly is not a crime.

So why did Flynn lie about these conversations, and were his lies even material to Mueller’s criminal investigation if they were not about crimes?

The second question is why did Mueller charge Flynn only with lying? The last thing a prosecutor ever wants to do is to charge a key witness with lying.

A witness such as Flynn who has admitted he lied – whether or not to cover up a crime – is a tainted witness who is unlikely to be believed by jurors who know he’s made a deal to protect himself and his son. They will suspect that he is not only “singing for his supper” but that he may be “composing” as well – that is, telling the prosecutor what he wants to hear, even if it is exaggerated or flat-out false. A “bought” witness knows that the “better” his testimony, the sweeter the deal he will get. That’s why prosecutors postpone the sentencing until after the witness has testified, because experience has taught them that you can’t “buy” a witness; you can only “rent them for as long as you have the sword of Damocles hanging over them.

So, despite the banner headlines calling the Flynn guilty plea a “thunderclap,” I think it may be a show of weakness on the part of the special counsel rather than a sign of strength. So far he has had to charge potential witnesses with crimes that bear little or no relationship to any possible crimes committed by current White House incumbents. Mueller would have much preferred to indict Flynn for conspiracy or some other crime directly involving other people, but he apparently lacks the evidence to do so.

I do not believe he will indict anyone under the Logan Act. If he were to do so, that would be unethical and irresponsible. Nor do I think he will charge President Trump with any crimes growing out of the president’s exercise of his constitutional authority to fire the director of the FBI or to ask him not to prosecute Flynn.

The investigation will probably not end quickly, but it may end with, not a thunderclap, but several whimpers.

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Alan Dershowitz: Mike Flynn ‘will say anything’ to get a deal …

Harvard law school professor Alan Dershowitz speculated Tuesday that former White House national security adviser Mike Flynn will say anything to get a deal from special counsel Robert Mueller in the Russia investigation.

Its not clear that Flynn has anything to offer, Dershowitz told Fox News Laura Ingraham. Hes trying to save his son. Hes trying to save himself. Hell say anything. Hell not only sing, hell compose and create evidence if he has to do that in order to get a deal.

Dershowitz called Flynns credibility worthless because hes been accused of perjury for denying to the FBI that he discussed sanctions with Russias ambassador to the United States.

The New York Times reported Thursday that Flynns lawyers told Trumps lawyers they will no longer share information about the special counsels investigation, signaling that Flynn may be cooperating with Muellers investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Trumps lawyers believe Flynn may try to negotiate a deal because Flynn has indicated hes worried charges might be brought against his son, Michael G. Flynn, who was chief of staff to his father.

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December 1, 2017   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Alan Dershowitz – Legally Speaking

Dec 20, 2017 The U.S. acted properly in vetoing a misguided Security Council resolution designed to undo President Trumps recognition of Jerusalem as Israels capital. Dec 19, 2017 The Trump team is probably not going to seek to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller. To do so would be to provoke Trumps crucial supporters in Congress. Dec 9, 2017 Violence should be responded to by police and military action, not by giving in to the unreasonable demands of those who use violence as a tactic. Dec 6, 2017 President Trump is doing the right thing by telling the United Nations that the United States now rejects the one-sided U.N. Security Council Resolution. Dec 4, 2017 Flynn’s plea may be a show of weakness on the part of Muller rather than strength. So far Mueller has charged potential witnesses with crimes bearing little or no relationship to any possible crimes committed by current White House incumbents. The investigation may end with whimpers. Nov 29, 2017 Palestinian terrorist leaders often use teenagers to commit acts of terror because they know that the Israeli legal system treats child terrorists more leniently than adult terrorists. Nov 7, 2017 On November 3, The Daily Californian published an op-ed by Matthew Taylor, explicitly accusing me of having blood on his [my] hands and being culpable for the perpetuation of[Israeli] atrocities. Oct 31, 2017 By publishing an op-ed that defends bigoted caricatures only of a Jewish supporter of Israel , when no college newspaper would ever peddle stereotypes of other ethnic, religious or social groups , the Forward too engages in an unacceptable double standard.

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Alan Dershowitz: Why Trump is right in recognizing Jerusalem …

President Trumps decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israels capital is a perfect response to President Obamas benighted decision to change American policy by engineering the United Nations Security Council Resolution declaring Judaisms holiest places in Jerusalem to be occupied territory and a flagrant violation under international law. It was President Obama who changed the status quo and made peace more difficult, by handing the Palestinians enormous leverage in future negotiations and disincentivizing them from making a compromised peace. It had long been American foreign policy to veto any one-sided Security Council resolutions that declared Judaisms holiest places to be illegally occupied. Obamas decision to change that policy was not based on American interests or in the interests of peace. It was done out of personal revenge against Prime Minister Netanyahu and an act of pique by the outgoing president. It was also designed improperly to tie the hands of President-elect Trump. President Trump is doing the right thing by telling the United Nations that the United States now rejects the one-sided U.N. Security Council Resolution. So if there is any change to the status quo, let the blame lie where it should be: at the hands of President Obama for his cowardly decision to wait until he was a lame-duck president to get even with Prime Minister Netanyahu. President Trump deserves praise for restoring balance in negotiations with Israel and the Palestinians. It was President Obama who made peace more difficult. It was President Trump who made it more feasible again. The outrageously one-sided Security Council Resolution declared that any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, have no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law. This means, among other things, that Israels decision to build a plaza for prayer at the Western Wall Judaisms holiest site constitutes a flagrant violation of international law. This resolution was, therefore, not limited to settlements in the West Bank, as the Obama administration later claimed in a bait-and-switch. The resolution applied equally to the very heart of Israel. Before June 4, 1967, Jews were forbidden from praying at the Western Wall, Judaisms holiest site. They were forbidden to attend classes at the Hebrew University at Mt. Scopus, which had been opened in 1925 and was supported by Albert Einstein. Jews could not seek medical care at the Hadassah Hospital on Mt. Scopus, which had treated Jews and Arabs alike since 1918. Jews could not live in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, where their forbearers had built homes and synagogues for thousands of years. These Judenrein prohibitions were enacted by Jordan, which had captured by military force these Jewish areas during Israels War of Independence, in 1948, and had illegally occupied the entire West Bank, which the United Nations had set aside for an Arab state. When the Jordanian government occupied these historic Jewish sites, they destroyed all the remnants of Judaism, including synagogues, schools and cemeteries, whose headstones they used for urinals. Between 1948 and 1967, the United Nations did not offer a single resolution condemning this Jordanian occupation and cultural devastation. When Israel retook these areas in a defensive war that Jordan started by shelling civilian homes in West Jerusalem, and opened them up as places where Jews could pray, study, receive medical treatment and live, the United States took the official position that it would not recognize Israels legitimate claims to Jewish Jerusalem. It stated that the status of Jerusalem, including these newly liberated areas, would be left open to final negotiations and that the status quo would remain in place. That is the official rationale for why the United States refused to recognize any part of Jerusalem, including West Jerusalem, as part of Israel. That is why the United States refused to allow an American citizen born in any part of Jerusalem to put the words Jerusalem, Israel on his or her passport as their place of birth. But even that historic status quo was changed with President Obamas unjustified decision not to veto the Security Council Resolution from last December. The United Nations all of a sudden determined that, subject to any further negotiations and agreements, the Jewish areas of Jerusalem recaptured from Jordan in 1967 are not part of Israel. Instead, they were territories being illegally occupied by Israel, and any building in these areas including places for prayer at the Western Wall, access roads to Mt. Scopus, and synagogues in the historic Jewish Quarter constitutes a flagrant violation under international law. If that indeed is the new status quo, then what incentives do the Palestinians have to enter negotiations? And if they were to do so, they could use these Jewish areas to extort unreasonable concessions from Israel, for which these now illegally occupied areas are sacred and nonnegotiable. President Obamas refusal to veto this one-sided resolution was a deliberate ploy to tie the hands of his successors, the consequence of which was to make it far more difficult for his successors to encourage the Palestinians to accept Israels offer to negotiate with no preconditions. No future president can undo this pernicious agreement, since a veto not cast can never be retroactively cast. And a resolution once enacted cannot be rescinded unless there is a majority vote against it, with no veto by any of its permanent members, which include Russia and China, who would be sure to veto any attempt to undo this resolution. President Trumps decision to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israels capital helps to restore the appropriate balance. It demonstrates that the United States does not accept the Judenrein effects of this bigoted resolution on historic Jewish areas of Jerusalem, which were forbidden to Jews. The prior refusal of the United States to recognize Jerusalem as Israels capital was based explicitly on the notion that nothing should be done to change the status quo of that city, holy to three religions. But the Security Council Resolution did exactly that: It changed the status quo by declaring Israels de facto presence on these Jewish holy sites to be a flagrant violation under international law that the U.N. will not recognize. Since virtually everyone in the international community acknowledges that any reasonable peace would recognize Israels legitimate claims to these and other areas in Jerusalem, there is no reason for allowing the U.N. Resolution to make criminals out of every Jew or Israeli who sets foot on these historically Jewish areas. (Ironically, President Obama prayed at what he regarded as the illegally occupied Western Wall.) After the UN, at the urging of President Obama, made it a continuing international crime for there to be any Israeli presence in disputed areas of Jerusalem, including areas whose Jewish provenance is beyond dispute, President Trump was right to untie his own hands and to undo the damage wrought by his predecessor. Some have argued that the United States should not recognize Jerusalem because it will stimulate violence by Arab terrorists. No American decision should ever be influenced by the threat of violence. Terrorists should not have a veto over American policy. If the United States were to give in to threat of violence, it would only incentivize others to threaten violence in response to any peace plan. So lets praise President Trump for doing the right thing by undoing the wrong thing President Obama did at the end of his presidency.

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December 13, 2017   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Guys, Im Worried About Alan Dershowitz | Above the Law

One of the more painful parts of the Trump Era is how it takes people from you. The high school buddy, the respected colleague, the celebrity icon: people who you used to love or respect or both are BODY SNATCHED by the Trump regime, and deployed against you. Were faced with a president who is openly bigoted, is an admitted sexual predator, courts nuclear war, lies, cheats, steals, and yet so many people are willing to serve him or give him aide and comfort publicly. Trump makes you lose so much. He causes so much anguish. There are three categories of loss. In bucket A, you have all the private people, the friends and family, who you can no longer talk to. How can you still break bread with people who think that their economic grievances are so important that it justifies national racism towards you, your children, and your immigrant wife? Ive lost friends because post-Trump I cant even trust them to be around my kids. In bucket B, there are the public people. The ones you dont know personally but whose work or art you respected. I cannot respect somebody who will raise their voice and expend their effort on the same side that the Nazis are fighting for. I cannot forgive that. Some of these people openly support Nazis, others merely compartmentalize the white supremacy away from whatever policy point they think is really important. Either way, these people are irredeemable. When you decide to roll around in trash it matters little if you are rotten to the core or if you just smell that way. Im keeping a list, for when the wheel comes back around. In bucket C, there are those who are silently complicit. They dont say anything overtly Trumpish, but they also dont do anything at all to resist. These are the both siders. They are LEGION in media. I see you. Youre dead to me too. I say body snatched, but the reality is that all of these people have made a choice. Theyve all purposefully decided to throw themselves into the service of evil. Theyre not confused, theyre not mislead, theyve decided to be bad people. Theres a difference. And yet I still want there to be a group of people who have simply, literally, turned into some kind of brain eating, p***y-grabbing zombies. If its a virus, maybe they can come back. I think, I hope, Alan Dershowitz falls into that category. Hes out there making trash arguments about how the president cant do anything illegal and saying that Black Lives Matter is Anti-Semitic. Its bad. My colleague, Joe Patrice, has detailed the problems with Dershowitzs newfound foolishness. Ive stayed out of it because Im compromised. I never had Dershowitz for a class, but I have been to his office hours. I have debated him. I have respect for him. My wife took his class. He was our favorite law professor. Hes met my parents. What hes doing is so painful that I need to believe that he can come back. The Washington Post ran a piece today that allowed Dershowitz to, essentially, bitch and moan that nobody likes him anymore because hes become a Trump person. In it, he sounds like a parody of a law professor. He sounds like a junkie who gets high off of playing devils advocate to a hypothetical overdose. Check out the end, where he seems giddy that his wife and children are concerned that everybody hates him now: But look, I have a very thick skin, he said. Its upsetting my children. Its upsetting my wife a little bit. For me, its energizing. Ill give Harvard Law Professor Larry Tribe the credited response: I need to believe that Dershowitz will find his way out of bigot Jumanji before its too late. Elsewhere in the Washington Post article, Dershowitz spends a lot of time complaining that people are questioning his motives. People have accused me of everything, Dershowitz told The Post. Of taking money. A guy on MSNBC asked me if I was being paid by Trump. Others have asked me if Im writing a book about it, he said. The answer to both is no and no. Everybodys questioning motive, he said, with some suggesting hes jockeying for a seat on the Supreme Court (Im 79 years old) or that he wants to be Trumps lawyer. None of this is true, he said. He doesnt get it. People are questioning his motives because impure motives are EASIER to believe than the possibility that Alan Dershowitz is just a trash-person now. Its EASIER to think that hes getting paid or that hes got some kind of long game hes playing, than to have to confront that reality that yet another person is fundamentally okay with bigots and predators running the country. If Dershowitz had been, say, BITTEN by something, then somebody could just find the patient zero monkey that started this, synthesize an anti-virus, and inject Dershowitz with the cure, and hed go back to normal. And then we could try that anti-virus on your uncle, and my buddy, and Tom Brady, and somehow this whole nightmare would end and we could start rebuilding society. But this aint no fairy tale, is it? Dershowitz isnt an actual zombie, is he? People are just like this now. Evil continues to win the day. Alan Dershowitzs new reality: Tweeted by Trump, shunned by liberal friends [Washington Post]

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December 9, 2017   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Alan Dershowitz Calls on Not Prosecuting Trump or Clinton …

On Monday night, Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz attempted to address the toxic political climate that has consumed numerous investigations. He agreed with Laura Ingraham that the DOJ inspector general should release the anti-Trump text messages of FBI investigatorPeter Strzok and that he should have recused himself from the very beginning. What Im concerned about in your monologue, youre doing to Hillary Clinton exactly what the Democrats are trying to do to Donald Trump, Dershowitz told Ingraham. Youre trying to criminalize political differences. Dershowitz insisted that the former Secretary of State didnt commit any crimes and that she was in fact extremely careless, which he noted was ultimately decided by then-FBI Director James Comey and not just Strzok. But I think we have to stop criminalizing political differences on both sides, Dershowitz continued. Hillary Clinton shouldnt be locked up. Donald Trump shouldnt be prosecuted for any crimes. If you dont like what they did, dont vote for them. Thats the answer; democracy. Ingraham pushed back, saying that people in the military are prosecuted for mishandling classified information on a regular basis and people at home ask why do the Clintons get special treatment. Dershowitz responded by saying that no one in American history in a position as high as Clinton was in had ever been prosecuted. When youre in a position like Secretary of State and you have a lot of underlings working beneath you, Dershowitz elaborated, its very different than if you are your own officer in the army and you take things home in a clear violation of rules. Dershowitz ended by calling for a cease-fire on both sides of the aisle. Watch the clip above, via Fox News. Have a tip we should know? tips@mediaite.com

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December 9, 2017   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Alan Dershowitz | HuffPost

ALAN M. DERSHOWITZ is a Brooklyn native who has been called the nations most peripatetic civil liberties lawyer and one of its most distinguished defenders of individual rights, the best-known criminal lawyer in the world, the top lawyer of last resort, and Americas most public Jewish defender. He is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. Dershowitz, a graduate of Brooklyn College and Yale Law School, joined the Harvard Law School faculty at age 25 after clerking for Judge David Bazelon and Justice Arthur Goldberg.While he is known for defending clients such as Anatoly Sharansky, Claus von Blow, O.J. Simpson, Michael Milken and Mike Tyson, he continues to represent numerous indigent defendants and takes half of his cases pro bono. Dershowitz is the author of 20 works of fiction and non-fiction, including 6 bestsellers. His writing has been praised by Truman Capote, Saul Bellow, David Mamet, William Styron, Aharon Appelfeld, A.B. Yehoshua and Elie Wiesel. More than a million of his books have been sold worldwide, in numerous languages, and more than a million people have heard him lecture around the world. His most recent nonfiction titles are Trials of Zion (October 2010, Grand Central Publishing), Rights From Wrongs: A Secular Theory of the Origins of Rights (November 2004, Basic Books), The Case for Israel (September 2003, Wiley), America Declares Independence, Why Terrorism Works, Shouting Fire, Letters to a Young Lawyer, Supreme Injustice, and The Genesis of Justice. His novels include The Advocates Devil and Just Revenge. Dershowitz is also the author of The Vanishing American Jew, The Abuse Excuse, Reasonable Doubts, Chutzpah (a #1 bestseller), Reversal of Fortune (which was made into an Academy Award-winning film), Sexual McCarthyism and The Best Defense.

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December 9, 2017   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Alan Dershowitz: President Cannot Be Charged With Obstructing …

BY: Charles RussellDecember 5, 2017 10:02 am Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz said Tuesday that the president cannot be charged with obstruction of justice for exercising his authority under the Constitution to pardon or fire someone. Dershowitz joinedCNN’s “New Day” to discuss the issue of whether the president can obstruct justice after Trump s attorney John Dowd defended a tweet sent by the president’s account and said Trump could not obstruct justice. When Chris Cuomo asked if Dowd’s claim was accurate, Dershowitz said in response that the president could obstruct justice “if he engages in acts beyond what Article II of the constitution allows him to do.” “Of course a president can be charged with obstruction to justice if he engages in acts beyond what Article II of the Constitution allows him to do,” Dershowitz said. “President Nixon and Clinton were both impeached for obstruction justice by telling witnesses to lie.” The law professor explained why, however, he thinks we shouldn’t jump to obstruction of justice charges. “My point is that the president cannot be charged for simply exercising his authority under the Constitution by pardoning people, by firing people he’s allowed to fire, without regard to what his subjective intent’ may be,” he said. Dershowitz argued that if a president’s behavior is unlawful,it could likely fall under a different charge. “You can convict the president of bribery; you can convict the president of telling witnesses to lie. What you cannot convict the president of is simply and merely exercising his Article II authority by pardoning somebody or by firing somebody,”Dershowitz said. “That’s my point. You cannot do that. You may be able to impeach him for misuse of his power, but you cannot prosecute him for exercising his constitutional authority.” Dowd toldAxios Mike Allen on Monday that the president cannot obstruct justice because he has every right to express his views of any case under Article II of the Constitution. The “president cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer under [the Constitution’s Article II] and has every right to express his view of any case,” hesaid. Dowdwas responding to a tweet sent from the president’s account over the weekend, a tweet Dowd admits drafting. “I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!” the tweet read. The president’s advisorstands by the tweet, saying it “did not admit obstruction” but he is “out of the tweeting business” and “did not mean to break news.” “The tweet did not admit obstruction. That is an ignorant and arrogant assertion,” Dowd said.

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December 9, 2017   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

‘Hope Over Reality’: Dershowitz Doesn’t See Obstruction of …

Tucker: Flynn’s Guilty Plea Doesn’t Prove Collusion Judge Nap: How Flynn Plea Deal Could Lead to ‘Constitutional Crisis’ Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz disagreed with claims that there is an obstruction of justice case building against President Donald Trump, calling it “hope over reality” from some Democrats. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said on “Meet the Press”that a Senate investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election has revealed possible obstruction. “I see it in the hyper-frenetic attitude of the White House, the comments every day, the continual tweets. And I see it most importantly in what happened with the firing of Director Comey, and it is my belief that that is directly because he did not agree to lift the cloud of the Russia investigation. Thats obstruction of justice, Feinstein said. On “Fox & Friends,” Dershowitz countered that Trump had the constitutional power to fire FBI Director James Comey and to tell the Justice Department who to investigate and who not to investigate. “If Congress were ever to charge him with obstruction of justice for exercising his constitutional authority under Article II, we’d have a constitutional crisis,” Dershowitz said. He explained that Congress would have to demonstrate “clearly illegal acts” on Trump’s part, such as former President Richard Nixon paying “hush money,” telling people to lie and destroying evidence in the Watergate scandal. “There’s never been a case in history where a president has been charged with obstruction of justice for merely exercising his constitutional authority. That would cause a constitutional crisis in the United States,” Dershowitz said, adding that he hopes Special Counsel Robert Mueller understands that before he considers bringing an indictment or recommending that the matter be referred to Congress. “And Sen. Feinstein simply doesn’t know what she’s talking about when she says it’s obstruction of justice to do what a president is completely authorized to do under the Constitution.” He added that if Trump truly wanted to impede Mueller’s investigation, he could have pardoned Gen. Michael Flynn to prevent him from cooperating. “The president would have had the complete authority do so and Flynn never would have been indicted, never would have turned as a witness against him,” said Dershowitz, a lifelong Democrat. On “America’s Newsroom,” Judge Andrew Napolitanocame down on the side of Feinstein. He explained that if Trump asked Comey to end the investigation into Flynn for a non-corrupt purpose – such as if he felt sympathy for his former national security adviser or he wanted the bureau to use its resources on more important matters – it’s not obstruction. However, if Trump did it for a corrupt purpose – such as trying to protect himself or his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, from what Flynn might say – then it is obstruction and there is no presidential immunity, Napolitano said. “Obstruction of justice is a crime no matter who commits it, if done for a corrupt purpose. It’s also an impeachable offense,” he said, adding that the charge is “intentionally not easy to prove” for a prosecutor. On “Outnumbered Overtime,” Dershowitz said Mueller charging Flynn with lying to the FBI is actually a show of weakness, not strength. He explained that if Flynn had strong evidence against Trump, then Trump would have pardoned him, instead of allowing him to make a deal with Mueller. “The deal is not a particularly good one for the special counsel, because he had him indicted for lying,” Dershowitz said. “That makes him a worthless witness.” See more from Dershowitz on “The Ingraham Angle” tonight at 10:00pm ET on Fox News Channel. Hurt: Mueller’s Attempts to Incriminate Trump ‘Like Lucy With the Football’ Sen. Cruz: Flynn Guilty Plea Is ‘Disappointing and Disturbing’ Judge Nap on Flynn Plea: ‘Monumental’ Reduction of Charges Doesn’t Come for Free

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December 7, 2017   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Alan Dershowitz: Why did Flynn lie and why did Mueller charge …

Editor’s note: this originally appeared in The Hill. The charge to which retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn has pleaded guilty may tell us a great deal about the Robert Mueller investigation. The first question is, why did Flynn lie? People who lie to the FBI generally do so because, if they told the truth, they would be admitting to a crime. But the two conversations that Flynn falsely denied having were not criminal. He may have believed they were criminal but, if he did, he was wrong. Consider his request to Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the U.S., to delay or oppose a United Nations Security Council vote on an anti-Israel resolution that the outgoing Obama administration refused to veto. Not only was that request not criminal, it was the right thing to do. President Obama’s unilateral decision to change decades-long American policy by not vetoing a perniciously one-sided anti-Israel resolution was opposed by Congress and by most Americans. It was not good for America, for Israel or for peace. It was done out of Obama’s personal pique against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rather than on principle. Despite the banner headlines calling the Flynn guilty plea a “thunderclap,” I think it may be a show of weakness on the part of the special counsel rather than a sign of strength. Many Americans of both parties, including me, urged the lame-duck Obama not to tie the hands of the president-elect by allowing the passage of a resolution that would make it more difficult to achieve a negotiated peace in the Middle East. As the president-elect, Donald Trump was constitutionally and politically entitled to try to protect his ability to broker a fair peace between the Israelis and Palestinians by urging all members of the Security Council to vote against or delay the enactment of the resolution. The fact that such efforts to do the right thing did not succeed does not diminish the correctness of the effort. I wish it had succeeded. We would be in a better place today. Some left-wing pundits, who know better, are trotting out the Logan Act, which, if it were the law, would prohibit private citizens (including presidents-elect) from negotiating with foreign governments. But this anachronistic law hasn’t been used for more than 200 years. Under the principle of desuetude – a legal doctrine that prohibits the selective resurrection of a statute that has not been used for many decades – it is dead-letter. Moreover, the Logan Act is unconstitutional insofar as it prohibits the exercise of free speech. If it were good law, former Presidents Reagan and Carter would have been prosecuted: Reagan for negotiating with Iran’s ayatollahs when he was president-elect, to delay releasing the American hostages until he was sworn in; Carter for advising Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to reject former President Clinton’s peace offer in 2000-2001. Moreover, Jesse Jackson, Jane Fonda, Dennis Rodman and others who have negotiated with North Korea and other rogue regimes would have gone to prison. So there was nothing criminal about Flynn’s request of Kislyak, even if he were instructed to do so by higher-ups in the Trump transition team. The same is true of his discussions regarding sanctions. The president-elect is entitled to have different policies about sanctions and to have his transition team discuss them with Russian officials. This is the way The New York Times has put it: “Mr. Flynn’s discussions with Sergey I. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, were part of a coordinated effort by Mr. Trump’s aides to create foreign policy before they were in power, documents released as part of Mr. Flynn’s plea agreement show. Their efforts undermined the existing policy of President Barack Obama and flouted a warning from a senior Obama administration official to stop meddling in foreign affairs before the inauguration.” If that characterization is accurate, it demonstrates conclusively that the Flynn conversations were political and not criminal. Flouting a warning from the Obama administration to stop meddling may be a political sin (though some would call it a political virtue) but it most assuredly is not a crime. So why did Flynn lie about these conversations, and were his lies even material to Mueller’s criminal investigation if they were not about crimes? The second question is why did Mueller charge Flynn only with lying? The last thing a prosecutor ever wants to do is to charge a key witness with lying. A witness such as Flynn who has admitted he lied – whether or not to cover up a crime – is a tainted witness who is unlikely to be believed by jurors who know he’s made a deal to protect himself and his son. They will suspect that he is not only “singing for his supper” but that he may be “composing” as well – that is, telling the prosecutor what he wants to hear, even if it is exaggerated or flat-out false. A “bought” witness knows that the “better” his testimony, the sweeter the deal he will get. That’s why prosecutors postpone the sentencing until after the witness has testified, because experience has taught them that you can’t “buy” a witness; you can only “rent them for as long as you have the sword of Damocles hanging over them. So, despite the banner headlines calling the Flynn guilty plea a “thunderclap,” I think it may be a show of weakness on the part of the special counsel rather than a sign of strength. So far he has had to charge potential witnesses with crimes that bear little or no relationship to any possible crimes committed by current White House incumbents. Mueller would have much preferred to indict Flynn for conspiracy or some other crime directly involving other people, but he apparently lacks the evidence to do so. I do not believe he will indict anyone under the Logan Act. If he were to do so, that would be unethical and irresponsible. Nor do I think he will charge President Trump with any crimes growing out of the president’s exercise of his constitutional authority to fire the director of the FBI or to ask him not to prosecute Flynn. The investigation will probably not end quickly, but it may end with, not a thunderclap, but several whimpers.

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December 7, 2017   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Alan Dershowitz: Mike Flynn ‘will say anything’ to get a deal …

Harvard law school professor Alan Dershowitz speculated Tuesday that former White House national security adviser Mike Flynn will say anything to get a deal from special counsel Robert Mueller in the Russia investigation. Its not clear that Flynn has anything to offer, Dershowitz told Fox News Laura Ingraham. Hes trying to save his son. Hes trying to save himself. Hell say anything. Hell not only sing, hell compose and create evidence if he has to do that in order to get a deal. Dershowitz called Flynns credibility worthless because hes been accused of perjury for denying to the FBI that he discussed sanctions with Russias ambassador to the United States. The New York Times reported Thursday that Flynns lawyers told Trumps lawyers they will no longer share information about the special counsels investigation, signaling that Flynn may be cooperating with Muellers investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Trumps lawyers believe Flynn may try to negotiate a deal because Flynn has indicated hes worried charges might be brought against his son, Michael G. Flynn, who was chief of staff to his father.

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December 1, 2017   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed


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