Constitutional scholar Alan Dershowitz claimed Democrats are running an illegitimate impeachment process and that President Trump does not deserve to be removed from office.
“I’m a liberal Democrat,” Dershowitz said on Mark Levin’s radio program Thursday. “And I’m on the side of Donald Trump on this issue.”
“There’s no crime there,” he said. “You can argue that maybe there is an abuse of the foreign policy, but there is no crime there.”
Dershowitz lamented a chorus of former federal prosecutors on cable television who are interpreting the current impeachment proceedings in a politically convenient way.
“They’re just partisan political operatives or spokespeople who just make the law come out the way they want it to,” he said. “I’ve become very unpopular among my liberal friends because I’m telling it the way I’ve always told it.”
Legal scholar Alan Dershowitz Tuesday said invoking the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump would amount to staging a coup d’etat.
“The 25th amendment was intended for a president who is shot, a president who has had a stroke – a president who is incapacitated – not a president who you disagree with, or you think is creating havoc in the White House,” Dershowitz said during an appearance on Fox News.
“That’s what you have an election for. But you don’t use the 25th Amendment promiscuously,” he continued. “The 25th Amendment would constitute an unlawful coup – a coup d’etat” – for the first time in American history.”
The 25th Amendment permits the removal of the president by the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet if the president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”
Dershowitz said that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s willingness to even discuss the notion of using the 25th Amendment against Trump is disqualifying.
“I think he’s done. He’s not going to be the deputy attorney general after the election. The question is only now of timing . . . The day he mentioned the 25th Amendment, he was out,” Dershowitz said. The New York Times last week reported that Rosenstein, during a meeting with FBI DOJ officials, last spring discussed the possibility of invoking the 25th Amendment.
Rosenstein responded that “any suggestion that I have ever advocated for the removal of the President is absolutely false.” But did he discuss it? That’s not clear even in his “denial.”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders Tuesday refused to comment on whether Trump was planning to fire Rosenstein. Trump and Rosenstein plan to meet Thursday. My guess is Trump isn’t quite sure himself what he’s going to do.
Former Havard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz used to be considered a reliable liberal. But I dunno, there is wisdom with age, they say. Or maybe his instincts to protect civil liberties moved him over toward a “Don’t Tread on Me” conservative viewpoint.
President Trump is right in saying that a special counsel should never have been appointed to investigate the so-called Russian connection. There was no evidence of any crime committed by the Trump administration. But there was plenty of evidence that Russian operatives had tried to interfere with the 2016 presidential election, and perhaps other elections, in the hope of destabilizing democracy. Yet, appointing a special counsel to look for crimes, behind the closed doors of a grand jury, was precisely the wrong way to address this ongoing challenge to our democracy.
The right way would have been (and still is) to appoint a nonpartisan investigative commission, such as the one appointed following the terrorist attacks of 9/11, to conduct a broad and open investigation of the Russian involvement in our elections. This is what other democracies, such as Great Britain and Israel, do in response to systemic problems. The virtue of such a commission is precisely the nonpartisan credibility of its objective experts, who have no political stake in the outcome.
The vice of a special counsel is that he is supposed to find crimes, and if he comes up empty-handed, after spending lots of taxpayer money, then he is deemed a failure. If he can’t charge the designated target — in this case, the president — he must at least charge some of those close to the target, even if it is for crimes unrelated to the special counsel’s core mandate. By indicting these low-hanging fruits, he shows that he is trying. Maybe those lesser defendants will flip and sing against higher-ups, but the problem is that the pressure to sing may cause certain defendants to “compose,” meaning make up or enhance evidence in order to get a better deal for themselves.
Right. A criminal investigation was launched, as Andrew McCarthy has written many times over at National Review, without any evidence of a crime being committed. And now every single senior member of the Trump team, including the president, is going to get a thorough prosecutorial colonoscopy to see if they ever stole bubble gum from a candy store when they were children.
This should have been a national security investigation. That’s not what special prosecutors are for. Special prosecutors are for probing crimes and, sometimes, satisfying the political imperatives of the opposition party, if you know what I mean.
Trump has been happily tweeting away in response to the article.
“Special Council is told to find crimes, whether a crime exists or not. I was opposed to the selection of Mueller to be Special Council. I am still opposed to it. I think President Trump was right when he said there never should have been a Special Council appointed because…..
People with knowledge of the investigation said it could last at least another year — pointing to ongoing cooperation from witnesses such as former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos and former national security adviser Michael Flynn, as well as a possible trial of two former Trump campaign officials. The special counsel’s office has continued to request new documents related to the campaign, and members of Mueller’s team have told others they expect to be working through much of 2018, at a minimum.
President Trump is under the impression things are going to wrap up soon. He will be disappointed.
When pressed by two advisers to take the matter more seriously and asked why he is so confident in his lawyers, Trump brushed off the concerns. “He is living in his own world,” the person said, predicting that Trump would erupt at some point in 2018 if the probe continued to drag on.
Working in Trump’s favor is that Mueller supposedly gets that he shouldn’t be hamstringing a president and should at least clear Trump as soon as possible, even if the overall investigation continues.
But he’ll have human nature tugging him the other way. With unlimited time and unlimited resources, Mueller and his Democrat-heavy, anti-Trump investigators will continually be coming up with new morsels of information and think, “Gosh, let’s take a bite out of that! Delicious!”
Republicans have every reason, each one given to them by Mueller’s own team, to suspect bias in the process and are correctly broadcasting their concerns to the American people. This has a couple of effects.
According to Alan Dershowitz, Meuller is very concerned with his reputation. He no doubt chafes at criticism that his probe is biased, and the GOP attacks may prod him to rule in Trump’s favor on close calls. “The great Red Auerbach, former coach of the Boston Celtics, once told me that when he screams loudly at officials, he generally gets the next close call in his favor,” Dershowitz writes.
The attacks on Mueller also could set Trump up to try to justify issuing pardons or even firing Mueller. But the latter would be a bad political choice, not only because it will energize the Democratic base even further, but because it will give Mueller’s investigators every reason to leak every salacious, unconfirmed detail they’ve managed to uncover, including stuff completely unrelated to the investigation. And I’m certain they’ve come up with a lot. The drip drip will go on right through Election Day, 2020. And some moderates and even conservatives may be concerned that the rule of law has been undermined.
Liberal attorney, professor, and TV commentator Alan Dershowitz has a traditional liberal fondness for iconoclasm and free speech. That doesn’t sit well with the didactic mainstream media, particularly the New York Times, which according to the Washington Examiner isn’t even responding the Dershowitz’s submissions.
Dershowitz’s crime is that he tends to look at the legal arguments with respect to Trump without getting sidetracked by ideological emotion. And that’s not good enough today, because it violates political correctness.
Alan Dershowitz recently tried to publish an opinion piece in The New York Times that President Trump likely did not attempt to obstruct justice by firing former FBI Director James Comey.
But Dershowitz told the Washington Examiner over the phone on Monday that the Times had “no response” to his submission.
The widely known legal commentator and cable news fixture said he remains a “liberal Hillary Clinton supporter,” but said after reading an op-ed in the Times that argued Trump could be charged for criminal conduct in Comey’s firing, he reached out in June to the paper to present an opposing view.
“I said that I thought the readers of the New York Times were entitled to hear or read the other side of the issue whether there were crimes committed,” said Dershowitz, a professor emeritus of Harvard Law School. “And I really do think The New York Times does not want its readers to hear an alternative point of view on the issue of whether or not Trump administration is committing crimes.”
Alan Dershowitz is a liberal, of the increasingly rare sort, who have principles that transcend their immediate political and policy urgencies. He’s not among those who have fallen, willy nilly, into the my-unassailable-ends-justify-any-means paradigm that governs most liberals today.
Now, I generaly don’t agree with his principles, but Dershowitz has principles. If he had ever made it to the Supreme Court, he wouldn’t have been an Elena Kagan or a Sonia Sotomoyer justice. He would instead have been one who occassionally said, No, the law or the Constitution forbid me from ruling the way I’d prefer to, and so I won’t, because there are higher authorities than me.
One of Dershowitz’s principles with which I do agree with is the idea — again, increasingly rare on the Left — that sometimes brings the ACLU and conservatives together. The notion that civil liberties matter, and that freedom is a principle worth preserving even when it gets in the way of other imperatives.
That’s what Dershowitz was working off of last night on Anderson Cooper 360, when he objected to the appointment of a special prosecutor on the grounds that there is no evidence, or even a suggestion, of a crime, and so why are we bringing in the police to go find one?
“Show me the criminal statute,” he said. “I still sit here as a civil libertarian. I don’t want us ever to become what Stalinist Russia became when Stalin was told by Lavrentiy Beria, ‘Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime.’ What is the crime?”
This could help Trump, Dershowitz suggested, because a special prosecutor could move the probe down a path to nowhere, since what the campaign is accused of is not even criminal.
Trump “will be the beneficiary of the special prosecutor,” Dershowitz thinks. “A special prosecutor is supposed to investigate a crime and most of the things that have been leveled at the Trump administration are not criminal acts. Collaborating with the Russians to get yourself elected — not a criminal act. Terrible, morally wrong, but not criminal. The same thing is true with the leaking of the information to the Russians.”
But I think Dershowitz underestimates the gravity of the situation for Trump. That’s why the Constitution proscribes unjustified search and seizure. Because once the police are rummaging through your stuff, they’re liable to find anything.
Here’s the video from YouTube, put up by someone who obviously disagrees.