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alan dershowitz

The Case Against Impeaching Trump

Are there similarities between the Democrat Socialists' impeachment tactics and the McCarthy era? Was having a Special Counsel the wrong decision in the first place? Is Congress misusing their authority for political reasons? Famed Harvard law professor, Alan Dershowitz joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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Mueller Close To Wrapping Up

Dershowitz predicts the Mueller report will be devastating (politically) to Trump. What is Mueller’s job in the first place? Will there be enough evidence to charge or will he be forced to put the files to bed? What more is there for Mueller to do? House Judiciary committee subpoenaed Comey and Lynch, but why agree when the Democrats are about to take over? Former Chief U.S. Attorney and Columnist at National Review, Andy McCarthy joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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The Civil Liberties' Defense For Trump

Why has the media made heroes of men or women who engaged in voluntary sexual encounters and get paid for it? Is the Manafort trial another front to get more information on Trump? Why are no civil libertarians defending Trump and his team? Famed Harvard Law Professor, Alan Dershowitz joins Dan and Amy to discuss his book “The Case Against Impeaching Trump.”

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“Stormy” Weather At The White House

“The Constitution doesn’t change because we don’t like Donald Trump.” What happened to the civil libertarians skeptical of government police power? Where’s the transparency from the FBI who refuses to turn over documents to Congress? Senior Editor at TheFederalist.com, David Harsanyi joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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Suspension Of Disbelief In Pursuit Of Removing Trump

Should there have been a non-partisan commission to investigate Russian meddling in our election rather than a behind closed doors Special Counsel investigation? What have we learned, if anything, about Russia’s interference in the 2016 election? Is America going down a dangerous path similar to that of apartheid South Africa or communist China, when the opposition party’s President is assumed to be mentally unstable? Former Professor at Harvard Law School, Alan Dershowitz joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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Proft: Good morning, Dan and Amy! And so, I mean...just when you think the Dossier, Russian Collusion story/investigation can't get more bizarre...MOBY! Jacobson: Moby? Moby wan Kenobi... Proft: *laughs* Yeah! Moby...you don't know me...you're too old...it's over. NOBODY LISTENS TO TECHNO! Moby saying CIA agents asked him to spread the word about Trump and Russia. Moby...this techno artist... Jacobson: Oh! Proft: ...said active and former CIA agents, truly concerned with Trump's collusion with Russia, enlisted Moby to help spread the word, because according to him, they said to him...CIA agents..."Look, you have more of a social media following than any of us do,"...'you know, since we're CIA agents, we operate below the fold!'..."can you just post some of these things in a way that just sort of puts it out there?" "It's really disturbing, and it's gonna get a lot darker," said Moby, "the depths of the Trump family in business, their involvement with organized crime, sponsored terrorism, Russian oligarchs, it's really dark. I guess we should all, like, fasten our seatbelts and hold on." Well, there ya go. *mockingly* Once you've lost Moby, you've lost the nation. This story just gets more and more remarkable, including (Jacobson: It's a soap opera script.) last week, with the release of Glenn Simpson from Fusion GPS'...his testimony, which Difi (?) thought was exculpatory for some reason, nothing could be further from the truth. Excellent piece by Holman Jenkins in the Wall Street Journal over the weekend...a former colleague of Glenn Simpson's, both at Insight Magazine and the Wall Street Journal, where Simpson* (*likely meaning Jenkins) says look, Simpson took on faith that Christopher Steele, the former British spy that he hired to do the background investigation into Trump, was not being fed misinformation by the Russians, among other things that he took on faith. It seems to be this recurring narrative, in this recurring narrative, of "We want to take this guy down, so we're going to suspend disbelief on whatever information we get that's negative." And also, there seems to be a suspension of disbelief about things like the 25th Amendment, and the Goldwater Rule, and a whole list of things in the Left's pursuit to remove Trump from office. For more on this topic, we're pleased to be joined again by Alan Dershowitz, of course famed Harvard Law Professor...ahem, excuse me...author of the new book "Trumped Up: How Criminalization of Political Differences Endangers Democracy". Professor Dershowitz, thanks for joining us again, appreciate it. Dershowitz: Hey, it's my pleasure. You know, with these reports about Moby and other things, my suggestion made on Day 1, it begins to look better and better every day, I had suggested that NO Special Counsel be appointed. Because Special Counsels operate behind closed doors, there's leaks. I had suggested the appointment of a nonpartisan commission, like the 9/11 commission, looking into what efforts Russia has made to try and destabilize America and try to influence American elections on both sides. Not a "Let's Get Trump!" inquiry, or a "Let's Lock Her Up!" inquiry, but an inquiry to find out the truth, because ALL Americans should be concerned if Russia is trying to influence elections, or if there are other inappropriate activities going on, and what we want is transparency and openness and a nonpartisan search for truth, instead of both parties trying to take advantage of this against their political opponents. Jacobson: So, Mr. Dershowitz, what have you learned so far about this Russian investigation? Dershowitz: Very very little, because...as I predicted because it's behind closed doors, and we've learned very little. And that's for one of two reasons; one, because there is nothing to learn, there has been no overt collusion, second, collusion is not a crime. So even if the prosecutor determines there was some degree of collusion, of cooperation, that's not his business, his business is not to reveal what happened, his business is to reveal evidence of crime. So I haven't learned very much, and I don't think the American public has learned very much. This, I think, has been largely a waste of resources and money, in a diversion away from...if you don't like what Trump's doing, vote against him, campaign against him, write op-eds against him, but stop with this lock him up, the 25th amendment, he's...diagnosed this way, diagnosed the other way. I would be saying the same thing, by the way, if Hillary had been elected and the Republicans were trying to lock her up, and diagnose her. We have to move away from this B...this politics of criminalization and pathalization and psychiatrization and get back to, you know, if you don't like somebody, vote against them. Proft: Yeah...I think "psychiatize", that word you coined there, I think that's the early leader in the clubhouse for Webster's word of 2018. Because we have seemed to have moved from criminalization, because they don't seem to have anything that they've leveled up for public scrutiny, from criminalization to psychitization of political differences, as you said on Hannity last week. Dershowitz: And that's dangerous, because that's what the Russians did, to dissidents...I represented some of them in the 1970s, that's what China tried to do with dissidents, that's what apartheid in South Africa did, they tried to say that anybody who opposed apartheid must be mentally ill, and had them sent to moral rehabilitation centers. We just don't want to go down that road, where we give psychiatrists like that professor at Yale the power to decide who's going to be President by adding...by imposing diagnoses on them. That's just so undemocratic. Jacobson: Well I do think that some Democrats should get a grip, and stop saying that Trump should be impeached for saying the "(blank)hole" word, when he was describing people from certain countries. Dershowitz: Well impeachment, I'm writing an article about that now, I believe impeachment is reserved for high crimes and misdemeanors that are political in nature, and that affect the national interest. And I don't think we should also be broadening the concept of what constitutes an impeachable offense outside the words of the Constitution, which says bribery, treason, high crimes and misdemeanors, that's a debatable issue, and reasonable people could take both sides of that. But right now, there's no possibility of impeachment. So why are people wasting their time and energy and resources on Constitutional issues that won't come to fruition, impeachment and the 25th amendment, that's not going to happen. Look, if there were to be a very very different outcome in the 2-18 midterm election, I mean, who knows? We've seen impeachment misused, I think the impeachment of Bill Clinton was a misuse...I think the impeachment of Andrew Johnson, going back to the 1860s, was a misuse. I think the only time that impeachment was ever properly used in the United States was against Richard Nixon, and it never came to fruition because he resigned. Proft: What about the lasting impact this may have in respect to law enforcement agencies that we want to have the confidence of...that want, and we want to be confident in them, I'm talking about Department of Justice and FBI, with all of these conflicts of interest that have been unearthed with FBI agents and senior level Department officials at the Department of Justice, do you worry that those institutions are going to be irreparably harmed in terms of their standing in the American public's mind? Dershowitz: I don't think irreparably, but I do think they're going to be harmed. I think that the people who had strong views like the FBI agents and who expressed them in messages and tweets should have recused themselves, should have been smart enough to say "Look, I can't be unbiased, I have very strong views! I want to see this guy out of office and I can't separate out my law enforcement from my political views so I'm going to recuse myself from the case." I don't believe that Mueller or Comey are partisan. I don't think they care whether they're helping the Democrats or the Republicans, but some people think they're overzealous prosecutors. I've had experience with both of them, and they're both very very tough prosecutors, but I don't think they're partisan. I do think that Mueller made a very serious mistake in how he staffed the investigation. When you're going after the President or people close to the President, you have to be above reproach, and you have to pick people who have to pick people who are in no way perceived as having a bias one way or the other, and I think he did not pass that test. Proft: Well, with respect to Comey, you can be post-partisan, but still be very political for your own interests. And it seems to me that's the problem with Comey. From leaking information to a Columbia professor he wanted to get onto the public arena, to the kind of bootstrapping and argument to absolve Hillary, the back and forth throughout the 2016 campaign, didn't inspire much confidence in Comey from either side. Dershowitz: I agree with that. I think he was looking to preserve his own reputation and he failed. And I think the idea of leaking material through a Columbia professor is A) so amateurish, and B) so not what the head of the FBI should do. The FBI's job is to STOP leaks, not to ENGAGE in them. And he projects a terrible role-model to lower-level FBI agents, when he himself leaks the information. If he wanted to have the information out, he should have had the courage to stand in front of TV cameras and say "I think there ought to be a Special Counsel appointed, here's what I've seen, here's what I have, and listen to me!" But the idea of leaking it through a professor, and a professor who played that role, I was a professor for years and I can't imagine getting a call from the former head of the FBI and accepting the role of leaker and essentially laundering material through a professor, it's just not the right thing to have done. I'm waiting to hear from the professor, and waiting to hear his explanation of why he did it. Jacobson: Well I know...and Comey, he just said it as if it was no big deal during that hearing. Like, "I gave the information to a former professor"...so what's the future for Comey? Do you think he'll have a second showing somehow? Dershowitz: Well, I think he will not be well-remembered by history, and I think he had a very good reputation before...look, these are hard jobs. Ken Starr, who was a phenomenal guy, would have been on the Supreme Court of the United States had he not taken on the impeachment, or the special investigation of President Clinton. And you know, he ended up not being on the Supreme Court, because when you take on this role, half of America immediately hates you. And you have to do it right, and it's a very very hard role to perform, because it's partly political, legal, constitutional, and first of all, it shouldn't exist. I don't believe in special counsel, special prosecutors, I think they violate the spirit of the separation of powers, and the role of the President as the head of the Executive branch. So there's an institutional problem in appointing Special Counsel. Now most countries don't have to do it, because they separate the prosecution function from the political function right from the beginning, but we don't do that, we have a Department of Justice which performs both functions. Proft: Well, Ken Starr got that Baylor president job as consolation, so at least he got more cash than he would have at the Supreme Court, so that's not bad. Dershowitz: No no, he'd have been happier at the Supreme Court as a Justice, I think. Proft; Alan Dershowitz, famed Harvard Law professor, and author of the book "Trumped Up: How Criminalization of Political Differences Endangers Democracy", Professor Dershowitz thanks as always for joining us, appreciate it. Dershowitz: Oh, always a pleasure, thank you.

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“Flynn-Sanity”

“You can’t indict the president with obstruction of justice for simply exercising their constitutional authority.” Does Gen. Flynn's plea agreement signal the weakness of Mueller's case rather than the strength of it? Anti-trump texter on Mueller team furthers the political nature of the investigation. Why is the media and those on the left perpetuated on elevating hope rather than reality? Former Professor at Harvard Law School and author of “Trumped Up: How Criminalization of Political Differences Endangers Democracy,” Alan Dershowitz joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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Tolerance Of Anti-Semitism From The Left

“Anytime somebody like me or Bill Kristol appears on television, if we are Jewish and support Israel, there ought to be a banner on the bottom saying this is a Jew and accepting his view in even small amounts is like ingesting rat poison.” Former CIA operative, Valerie Plame, defended her retweet of this anti-semitic article because she believed it was “thoughtful.” It’s easy to point the finger at Neo-Nazis and members of the Klan, but will the liberal media ever not defend their own? Former Professor at Harvard Law School, Alan Dershowitz joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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Pelosi “Okays” Banning Speech

CNN makes the banality of evil argument against all Trump voters. Meanwhile Antifa ratchets up their calls for violence including against those whom they term "our enemies in blue." Constitutional scholar Nancy Pelosi reminds us of the limits of free speech such as that a person cannot "yell wolf in a crowded theater." Radical students and faculty support banning speech they disagree with. Are colleges more concerned with reaching quotas than accepting qualified students? Who is really getting discriminated against? Constitutional Scholar, Alan Dershowitz joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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Dershowitz Not Bothered By Fed's Handling of Hastert Case

Famed Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz joined Chicago's Morning Answer to discuss the Denny Hastert case after federal prosecutors described Hastert's "victims" (plural) in arguing against a delay in Hastert's sentencing which was ultimately granted (April 8). Proft and Dershowitz spared over the quality of justice in this case, whether Hastert should have to allocute to the underlying conduct that prompted his illegal financial transactions as well as to the quality of the deal (and the associated sentencing recommendation) struck by U.S. Attorney Zach Fardon's office. 

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Dan: Dan, and sitting in for Amy this morning, [inaudible] Chicago Tribune column is John Kass and [inaudible] yesterday. A judge delayed the sentencing of one former U.S. House Speaker, Denny Hastert. It was supposed to be the end of next month, now it would be April 8th. Reports that Denny Hastert nearly died at the end of last year when he suffered a I guess a minor stroke. John Kass: You can't say this [inaudible]. Okay? Dan: Yeah. Well, the other thing that's interesting about this, it's not just kind of a pro forma extension of delay in the sentencing. The federal government, for the first time, used the plural of victim. There are victims plural in this case said Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Block. They deserve closure in arguing against the delay in sentencing. Victims, plural. And not victims in terms of multiple banks where he was making structured withdrawals, victims in terms of those people that were potentially getting paid or those people that weren't getting paid that Denny Hastert apparently, it seems from what the federal government has intimated to this point John Kass: [inaudible]. Dan: Abused. Abused. Abused. John Kass: Sexually. Dan: Yes. John Kass: Look. I was cured of Republicanism in Illinois with Bill Cellini who is [inaudible] money guy. Bob Kjellander, Hastert, Thompson, Edgar. Okay? I'm done with them. Just the whole crew. This is sickening. Dan: Well, that's part of it. There's no question. But the other question is what's the U.S. Attorney's Office doing? Why are they recommending six months in prison? Why not if you can't get him for what you know he did because the statute has [inaudible] because one alleged victim is deceased, then why not go for the max on the charges, those structure bank withdrawal charges that you do have [inaudible] [the rights on?], that he is pleading out to because each of those charges comes with a 10-year prison sentence. Why not go for the max for this guy to send a message about what you know is the underlying truth. To answer that question and help us make sense of what the U.S. Attorney's Office is doing, we're now joined by famed Harvard Law Professor, Alan Dershowitz. Prof. Dershowitz, thanks again for joining us. Appreciate it. Prof. Dershowitz: Oh, thank you for having me on. Dan: So to my question about the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Hastert case again, if you can't get him for what you know he did, why not take the approach of getting Al Capone for tax evasion and go for the max and what you can get him on? Prof. Dershowitz: Well, [I think?] that a lot of people are inclined to think that way. Certainly, O.J. Simpson probably got an excessive sentence for a relatively minor crime because the judge and the others thought he had gotten away with a double murder. The Al Capone story. But we have statutes of limitations for a reason and I don't think it would be right to misuse the federal structure and laws in order to try to undo the statute of limitation. So. He's an old man and he's a sick man. There are probably multiple victims here in [three sentences?]. Anybody who's a victim of abuse, obviously, is a victim. But [it's] in fact, they were trying to blackmail him and extort him. And he paid hush money to prevent that then you have to ask yourself whether he, too, is a victim of an extortion. That doesn't justify or excuse what he did, what he's alleged to have done, what he'd pleaded guilty to. Let me explain why the sentence seems to [inaudible]. Also, his age is a factor. His health [inaudible] crime that serves essentially the death penalty or life imprisonment or should a person at his age be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel? Compassion does play a role. Now, you have to have compassion for his victims as well. But right now [inaudible] on trial and he [inaudible] being sentenced. So. I don't think anything surprising about six months sentence. John Kass: So you think [inaudible] testify? Prof. Dershowitz: Hm? John Kass: Is this some sort of he gets a low sentence and then he's flipped on people who may have ever extorted him? Is that where [inaudible]? Prof. Dershowitz: I doubt that. John Kass: I heard you say [inaudible] Prof. Dershowitz: Yeah, I think he's pleading guilty in order to avoid having to bringing some of the victims out and having to redo some of the old allegations. I think it's an attempt to bring closure. The government knows who it was he paid. John Kass: Right. Prof. Dershowitz: So they probably have whatever information they may want to have about any extortion. It's very complicated. Also, I get concerned when I hear about criminalization of policy differences. Whenever politicians are indicted, people cheer because there are so many politicians that are corrupt. But we have to make sure that we're not punishing them because we disagree with their politics. We're not punishing them because we don't like what they did while they're in office. I think it's very important that we punish people precisely for what they are accused of. In this case, it's [inaudible]. Yes, we know there's a history, but why [inaudible]? But in general, I think the Al Capone approach is not the best approach to justice. John Krass: Come to Chicago. I'd like you to stay here for about 30 years, and let's see. Prof. Dershowitz: Wait a minute. I live in Florida now, and let me John Krass: That's like Chicago in South West. Prof. Dershowitz: What goes on down here. I come from Boston, and I was right near at Providence, Rhode Island. [inaudible] claims no monopoly on corruption. We have plenty of it. Dan: We're talking to Prof. Alan Dershowitz, of course, the famed Harvard Law professor. Prof. Dershowitz, let me pursue this line a little bit in terms of not prosecuting politicians for policy difference. Agreed. But he is a former U.S. Speaker of the House. The longest serving Republican Speaker of the House. He is a public official. What about the idea okay, if you don't want to go for 20 years to be punitive on the structuring charges that he's pleading out to, what about the idea that as part of the plea bargain, a part of his six-month sentence, that he allocutes to the underlying extortion that was going on why he was paying the $3.5M, why he was making those illegal structured withdrawals? What about that? Prof. Dershowitz: You have to ask the following question: what do you remember, he had the option of going to trial. [inaudible] with lawyer. And people win cases all the time. And generally, when the U.S. attorney strikes a plea bargain, it doesn't do it out of compassion, it does it by balancing the chances of winning against the chances of losing. If they had said, "We're giving you 20 years." No way. He would've pleaded. Dan: No, but I'm not talking about the 20 years. I'm saying six months, but here's the other thing: you have to allocute. Prof. Dershowitz: And he might've said no. He might have said, "If I had to allocute then I might as well go to trial because worse comes to worst. They will be able to prove what the reason was and I'll be horribly embarrassed but I'm being embarrassed by allocuting anyway." So you have to ask yourself the question: what is the most the prosecution could've gotten while getting into plea? Maybe they could've gotten into allocute. I don't know the answer to that question. But when you ask the question why the prosecutor didn't seek more, you'll always have to ask: did they have enough evidence [inaudible] to win the case? [inaudible] plea bargain [inaudible] thing from the prosecution. Dan: Wow. I mean, I think this is the path of least resistance. I mean, you know better than I do. The conviction rate of federal prosecutors, it's north of 95%. They have Prof. Dershowitz: And the reason Dan: [inaudible] the rights. Prof. Dershowitz: And the reason it is with north of 95% is because they get people to plead all the time. If they were threatening 20 years sentences, they wouldn't get as many pleas and they wouldn't have the 95%. So in order to keep the 95%, you have to have a reasonable plea bargain in which both sides get something out of the deal. You walk away from a plea bargain. I've done many of them in my life. You walk away from a plea bargain, [inaudible] satisfied. [inaudible] we probably could've done a little better. But it's a bargain that's struck and it's struck based on the comparative strength of both sides. John Krass: He's connected and he was the Speaker of the House and he was going to do six months for this, right? Dan: If he lasted. [cross-talk] Prof. Dershowitz: I don't think very many people do more than six months to structuring. It's not regarded as it's a relatively new crime. The basic crime is you can't deposit more than a certain amount of money without reporting it. And so structuring is an adjunct to that. That if you begin to deposit lots of smaller checks in effort to avoid that, then you're guilty of the crime. It's not Al Capone. Dan: No, no, no. I Prof. Dershowitz: It's not. That's the point. Dan: I think the issue is, for a lot of us here, and people who are Republicans, by the way, is that part of justice is the truth and we don't have the truth. And it leaves people, myself included, unsatisfied. Prof. Dershowitz: Yeah. But that's part of the role of the media. The media's role is to bring out the truth, journalists do the investigation, the criminal justice system its relationship with the truth is very ambiguous. John Krass: Right. Exactly. Dan: Yes. Prof. Dershowitz: [inaudible] interested only in truth, we wouldn't have [inaudible] self-incrimination, we wouldn't have the exclusionary rule, we wouldn't have better [inaudible]. Dan: No, no. Prof. Dershowitz: If criminal justice system balances truth, privacy, fairness the media is interested only in truth. So you guys do your job. Find the truth, publish it, and then let the criminal justices system operate in its [inaudible]. Dan: All right. Alan Dershowitz, before we let you go, I have to ask you this question: I saw you a couple cycles back when you came to town to do a fundraiser for Jill Pollack who is running for Congress. Prof. Dershowitz: Yup. Dan: Against Jan Schakowsky, you said one of your best law students ever. And then I've heard you refer to Ted Cruz as one of your if not your most your brightest law student ever Prof. Dershowitz: One of my Dan: One of your best law students. I mean, when do you just say, "You know what? I'm a Conservative. I'm with Ted Cruz and Jill Pollack and all my great law students." What's up? Prof. Dershowitz: I'm not with Ted Cruz, I'm with Hilary Clinton. I'm a Liberal Democrat. I just don't like Jan Schakowsky, I think she is a pretender. I think she claims to be pro-Israel, for example, and virtually, don't seem to move in that direction. She supports J Street, which is an anti-Israel organization, so I [thought?] Jill Pollack would make a much better [inaudible] person than Jan Schakowsky. I have supported Republicans on occasion, but I'm a Liberal Democrat, I'm a Ted Kennedy Democrat, I was very close to him. I'm going to support Hilary Clinton and I'm hoping the Republicans [inaudible] a good candidate. I would not vote for Ted Cruz. I introduced him not so long ago to the [inaudible] and I said, "Ted, the [inaudible] senate United States needs one senator Ted Cruz." Not more than one. One senator Ted Cruz. And that's where he belongs in the United States senate. I would not vote for him for president. Dan: Okay. Well Prof. Dershowitz: I'm still a Liberal. Dan: We'll agree. I'm sorry to hear we'll agree to disagree but I do appreciate how outspoken you are about the totalitarianism on college campuses. Prof. Dershowitz: It's horrible. What's going on Dan: Keep speaking about that. Prof. Dershowitz: I will. Thank you. Dan: Alen Dershowitz, Harvard Law Professor, thanks always for joining us. Appreciate your time. Prof. Dershowitz: Oh, sure. [So have I?]. Dan: And he joined us on the [inaudible].

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