Dershowitz Blasts Hypocrisy Of "Liberals" Looking To Adapt Corruption Laws To "Get Trump"

Over the past 9 months, as the media has launched an all out offensive on the Trump administration for crimes that have yet to be even identified with any level of specificity much less proven, former Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz has tried to be a voice of reason by appearing on numerous talk shows to discuss facts and legal precedents as opposed to innuendo and baseless accusations.

Just last week Dershowitz blasted the New York Times for suggesting that Trump Jr.'s meeting with the now infamous Russian lawyer was an "act of treason" saying that while such actions may be "reprehensible" they're not technically illegal. Meanwhile, Dershowitz has argued all along that "not all political actions that smell or look like corruption can be prosecuted criminally without Congress specifically making such conduct criminal by precisely worded legislation."  Per an opinion piece from Dershowitz published by The Hill:

My critics have argued for an extraordinarily broad definition of corruption capable of being expanded to fit nearly everything Trump has done — from firing FBI Director James Comey, to asking him to consider dropping the investigation of General Michael Flynn, to his son’s meeting with Russian surrogates.


This is the way the New York Times put it in its story about the court’s narrowing the meaning of corruption in the context of federal criminal law: “There was a time when political corruption might have been described — as a former Supreme Court justice once said of pornography — as something you knew when you saw it." In other words, it was in the eye of the beholder rather than in a precise statutory definition.


That dangerous time — dangerous because it substituted the rule of individual prosecutors for the rule of law — came to a gradual end over the past several years as the Supreme Court repeatedly cabined the definition of corruption under federal statutes. It ruled that not all political actions that smell or look like corruption can be prosecuted criminally without Congress specifically making such conduct criminal by precisely worded legislation.


This salutary approach to defining overbroad words like corruption was applauded by many civil libertarians and liberals, and especially by criminal defense attorneys who had seen up close how expandable terms like corruption could be, and were being abused by ambitious prosecutors determined to add notches to their belts by convicting dishonest politicians.



But, Dershowitz goes on to point out that, in the Trump era, "civil libertarians, liberals and even defense attorneys" that once applauded the narrowing of broad terms like "corruption," are now effectively longing for a one-time exception in order to "get Trump."

Now many of these same civil libertarians, liberals and even defense attorneys have forgotten how dangerous those bad old days were, and are demanding that President Trump and his family members should be prosecuted for corruption under the most expansive definition of corruption, despite recent court rulings narrowing that open-ended term.


“Just this one time, please. Just let us get Trump.” That is what the fair-weather liberals, civil libertarians, and criminal defense lawyers seem to be saying. “Then, we will return to our principles.”


But that’s not the way the law works. There are no exceptions — no “just this one time.” The law operates on precedent. Today’s exception may become tomorrow’s rule. And even if it doesn’t, it creates a precedent for more exceptions, which may be applied to our side of the political aisle, as Republicans tried to do with Hillary Clinton.

Of course, further defining specific actions that constitute "corruption" could very well ensnare many of the elected officials in Congress who would bare responsibility for writing such legislation...

For prosecutors who believe that the recent court decisions “may be the beginning of a parade of horribles,” as one former prosecutor put it, there is a democratic remedy: enact legislation that specifically covers the conduct you deem reprehensible and apply it to future cases. That’s the way the rule of law is supposed to operate in a democratic society.


So let’s have one law for all politicians and citizens. Let’s not stretch existing law to fit Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, or anyone else. The courts have rightly interpreted corruption narrowly. If prosecutors — including the special counsel investigating the Trump administration — want to broaden that term, let them take their case to Congress, not to a grand jury.

...somehow we suspect their interests lie elsewhere.


TrajanOptimus Son of Loki Tue, 07/18/2017 - 01:17 Permalink

The Democrat party today represents the disenfranchised freaks of society.Any person with their head screwed on straight has left the party.If you still claim to be a Democrat, you have a mental disorder. You need a moment of self evaluation and if you come out of it still supporting the Democrat party you need to seek psychiatric help because you are fucking nuts.

In reply to by Son of Loki

GotAFriendInBen Mon, 07/17/2017 - 22:23 Permalink

How Trump the populist became Trump the corporate shill: Just six months in, he's doing the bidding of big business

Serving the powerful, not the people (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)BY Robert Weissman NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Friday, July 14, 2017, 9:00 AM Just before his inauguration six months ago, Donald Trump said in a news conference that pharmaceutical companies are "getting away with murder." Trump correctly noted that "we're the largest buyer of drugs in the world, and yet we don't bid properly" because of a law that bars the government from negotiating with drug companies and lowering prices for Medicare beneficiaries. But President Trump quickly changed his tune. After a meeting with Big Pharma executives in February, he backed down on his tough talk. This summer, this shameful retreat accelerated as evidenced by leaked White House documents detailing potential regulatory rollbacks sought by the industry but omitting any steps to lower drug prices. Why the turnaround? White House aide Joe Grogan, a former lobbyist for pharmaceutical giant Gilead, played a key role in this move, according to Kaiser Health News, which reported that the documents contained text "cribbed directly from policy papers" published by the main pharmaceutical industry lobbying group. Over at the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA administrator Scott Pruitt met with Dow Chemical's CEO just before deciding not to ban a Dow pesticide from being sprayed on food. Nancy Beck, a new official who formerly worked at a chemical industry lobbying group, played a key role in watering down the implementation of a crucial toxic chemicals rule, clashing with career experts in the process. And a coal industry lawyer appears likely to take the No. 2 job at EPA, beating out a coal industry lobbyist also considered for the job. These examples are representative rather than exceptional. Corporate America has captured the Trump administration. Public Citizen's research has found that more than 70% of Trump's picks for top sub-Cabinet jobs have clear corporate ties. In Trump's Washington, the populism of the campaign has been overtaken by conventional corporate cronyism on a grand scale. After his famous pledge to "drain the swamp," Trump issued a weak executive order allowing former lobbyists to immediately join the administration and then granted waivers to top White House staffers that render the ethics rules largely meaningless. For example, the White House concluded that it is "in the public interest" for Andrew Olmem, a White House aide who formerly lobbied MetLife, American Express and a major insurance trade group, to work on banking and insurance issues. It made the same conclusion about Michael Catanzaro, a former energy lobbyist who now works on energy policy at the White House. Outside the White House, it's not even clear if the administration is even bothering with ethics waivers. More than 30 former lobbyists in the Trump administration work on the same issues they lobbied on over the past two years and have not received a waiver. Conflicts are appearing all over government: Auto industry lobbyists are setting transportation policy. Boeing has a top perch at the Department of Defense. Wall Street bankers and their lawyers are in control of economic policy and financial regulations. At the Department of Justice, the administration nominated Jeffrey Bossert Clark, who represented BP in the Gulf disaster, to run the environmental division. Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand worked at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce attacking environmental, consumer and labor regulations. Noel Francisco, nominated to be solicitor general, represented the tobacco industry. Corporate influence extends to the President's daily schedule. Trump clearly enjoys the company of the corporate class. Since his inauguration, he has had 319 meetings with at least 260 corporate executives, including some repeat meetings, according to Public Citizen's tally. These totals do not even include his reported frequent telephone conversations with Blackstone's Steve Schwarzman and other CEOs or his more casual interactions with corporate leaders at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., where the membership fee is now $200,000. During the presidential campaign, Trump proclaimed, "Our campaign is about breaking up the special interest monopoly in Washington, D.C." This claim should have seemed improbable coming from a flamboyant New York real-estate developer who once hawked Angus steaks, but tens of millions of Americans bought into Trump's promise. They were justifiably upset at a government that works for the powerful rather than the people. But Trump has made a mockery of his pledge, bringing the same corporate lobbyists he denounced into the government. Now, working through their former employees and representatives, giant corporations are designing and carrying out policy to an extent unequaled in American history.Weissman is president of Public Citizen.

Fartboxbuffet (not verified) Mon, 07/17/2017 - 22:47 Permalink

My girlfreind is libéral she gets off work every day watches days of our lives americans got talent amazing race fukin tv i get no tail i lock my self in laundry room drink beer look at the news then i go whack off fukin liberals

Fartboxbuffet (not verified) Mon, 07/17/2017 - 22:51 Permalink

My girlfreind is libéral she gets off work every day watches days of our lives americans got talent amazing race fukin tv i get no tail i lock my self in laundry room drink beer look at the news then i.sneak to my cave bedroom across the egg shells

Korprit_Phlunkie Mon, 07/17/2017 - 22:53 Permalink

For being so smart itook you a looong time to figure out what everyone else knew all along. Liberals have no principles. ( except Gay sex at any time anywhere, even kindegarten. Islam is the true religion, even though they'll chop our heads off first., and kill all the babies you can.)

Small Governme… Tue, 07/18/2017 - 00:22 Permalink

I am an older American.  I lived during many wars WW2, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and today's unCivil War #2.I am totally disgusted by the conniving stupidity of everyone.  That starts with the media and includes most politicians.  America, and we the people, need far far less media, far far less politicians, and far less government.  We also need far far less of the laws politicians created in the past 70 years.  Most of those laws were crap favoring some special interest.We want our democratic republic back with everyone honoring the Constitution, and according people their inalienable rights.If today's uncivil war continues, old folks like me are prepared to start America's 2nd Revolution.We will likely to throw a lot of bums out of the country along with the illegal immigrants.  Neither deserve to be in America.The leftist socialists and Demonrats shall be among those thrown out, too.  They deserve to be elsewhere to appreciate what they had.And, yes, I meant to call Democrats by the name 'Demonrats" because that is exactly what they are:  a combo of rats and demons!

pizdowitz Tue, 07/18/2017 - 00:59 Permalink

A  Commie Dershowitz is somehow a legal statist now? I call BS...He forgets that if a Commie president is installed after Trump, as he is clearly expecting so, then the law will be changed likewise to fit the need at hand, and any bird-dogs by then seeking to discredit the POTUS will have their heads cut off on charges of treason, or security, or hate-speech, or white-supremacist, or bigotry ... whatever it takes.... That is the canonical Commie technique - injecting chaos into the system by any and all means, and then lying in wait for their enemies to resign in despair.I say, let the Commies bark, and then encourage them into even more preposterous actions .... and then....  lie in wait until they blow themselves on their own petard ...  Fire with fire...

truthalwayswinsout Tue, 07/18/2017 - 00:58 Permalink

Any time you give government money; you get what we have today; without fail. Government and money does not mix well. The more you give it, the more screwed up things get.The problem comes when you take away the money train; that can only be done with violence and civil war.

navy62802 Tue, 07/18/2017 - 01:43 Permalink

Democrats are fucking themselves as you read the article above. This is such a golden age to be alive, and I couldn't have asked for a better timeline. Let it all play out for the next few months to years. You'll see. These people are ending the Democratic Party right now. By the time the next presidential election rolls around, I will be shocked if the Democrat Party is still around.

pparalegal Tue, 07/18/2017 - 06:16 Permalink

The self destruction of the unhinged progressive Democrats is amazing. After defending Bill & Hill for how many years as "just lapses in judgement"...including illegally having a box full of stolen FBI files of her enemies mysteriously just "appear" on her second floor White House desk.Comey said the review concluded Clinton should not be prosecuted for her handling of classified information at the State Department.The Democrat’s campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri welcomed the move this evening. She told reporters: “We are glad to see that he has found – as we were confident that he would – that he’s confirmed the conclusions that he reached in July.…