Friday, May 4, 2018

Dershowitz Denounces the Surveillance State

Emeritus Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz is quickly becoming one of the heroes of the current political moment. As his friends on the left suspend their rational faculties in order to overturn an election result that did not please them, Dershowitz has stood tall, defending principle, fairly. He has called them out for hypocrisy and for abusing the authority of the state.

And as overzealous prosecutors persecute anyone associated with Donald Trump or his campaign, Dershowitz is sounding a tocsin of alarm. He knows that goes around comes around. The ferocious culture warriors who are trying to destroy Trump and his associates will eventually see their zeal boomerang against them.

His points are clear. Prosecutors are not treating Trump fairly. They are not treating him as they would treat a Hillary Clinton. This undermines the rule of law, decisively. Second, he is appalled at the way the power of the state, especially the power to investigate and prosecute, has been abused by the #GetTrump crowd.

Here, via the Daily Caller, is a transcript of his remarks on MSNBC yesterday:

“I do not trust the government. I do not trust judges. I do not trust prosecutors when they are zealously seeking to go after a particular target, in this case Donald Trump,” the lawyer stated on MSNBC. “Nobody would have been going after Michael Cohen if he weren’t Donald Trump’s lawyer. That’s the reality.”

“People don’t investigate campaign contribution lapses or campaign rule violations generally about people who aren’t in the public life, and I just worry that when you have somebody with a target on his or her back – whether it is Hillary Clinton who could have been elected and had the same thing happen to her, or Donald Trump that civil libertarians ought to express concern.”

“I don’t want to live in the surveillance state,” he continued. “I want to do everything in my power no matter who the target is to prevent this from occurring.”

“… You can go through the federal criminal code and find crimes that virtually any businessman, any politician has committed,” Dershowitz stated. “It is so easy to get a warrant. It is so easy to persuade a judge to give you a wiretap warrant. That simply doesn’t protect American citizens, and any civil libertarian who was exposed to what’s going on here today — if Hillary Clinton were the subject — would be taking exactly the opposite position.”

“There is so much hypocrisy, partisan hypocrisy out there. I don’t mind if conservatives take the view we ought to trust government or former prosecutors take the view we ought to trust government. My gripe is against civil libertarians and criminal defense lawyers who are always on the side of challenging the government, the ACLU, who have suddenly lost its way and forgotten what they’ve preached for 50 years because it is Donald Trump they’re after.”

Time to indict the ACLU for rank hypocrisy.


Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

“I do not trust the government. I do not trust judges. I do not trust prosecutors when they are zealously seeking to go after a particular target…”

In the good old days, journalists used to think this way, too.

Ares Olympus said...

It would be more real to me if it was just the Democrats cheering for Republican Mueller's success to help install Republican Mike Pence as president. But real partisan justice or the appearance of partisan justice is extremely dangerous, and the complexity of criminal law means we're all vulnerable of innocently breaking some serious law. Like this claim from 2009... In his new book, the Boston-based civil liberties advocate Harvey Silverglate estimates that in 2009, the average American commits about three federal felonies per day.

OTOH, some crimes are hard to catch and tax evasion is what finally got Al Capone. So even if you get caught on the technicalities, it doesn't make you innocent. And if the tables turn on the Democrats next time, in the end, won't they appreciate the house cleaning too?

Sam L. said...

Had Hillary been elected, who among us would have thought, in our WILDEST dreams, that ANYONE (DOJ, FBI) would be investigating her?

Anyone? Bueller?

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

I wonder what David Hogg thinks about the surveillance state. Maybe he thinks the Fourth Amendment is important.