Former law professor Alan Dershowitz professed to take the Constitutional high ground in criticizing House Democrats’ subpoena to special counsel Robert Mueller – yet was perfectly willing to help the anti-democratic propaganda on Fox.
Where’s Dershowitz’s concern for Russian interference in our democracy?
When news broke late yesterday that special counsel Robert Mueller will publicly testify to the House Intelligence Committee and the House Judiciary Committee, self-described civil liberties and human rights champion Dershowitz showed not a moment of hesitation helping Fox News discredit the upcoming hearing and helping the network distract from the deeply disturbing findings of the Mueller report that Americans deserve to know more about.
Dershowitz visited Fox’s The Ingraham Angle last night (then again on Fox News @ Night), without any evident concern that he was obviously there to help Republican propaganda. Besides Trump-sycophant Laura Ingraham, the other two discussing the Mueller subpoena were Harmeet Dhillon, of the Republican National Lawyers Association and Trump whisperer Rep. Mark Meadows.
Former Fox News chief political correspondent Carl Cameron, who covered Trump for 30 years, was so disturbed by the pro-Trump propaganda at the network that he jumped ship, teamed up with a liberal to promote facts over partisanship and put out a YouTube video to explain why:
CAMERON: [Trump] did collude and coordinate with Russia to get elected. He encouraged them to intervene in the 2016 campaign on live television. We all saw it. And recently, he said he’d accept their help again because he sees nothing wrong with it. We saw that too.
And, yes, he is still helping Russia by refusing to take strong actions to protect us from a future cyberattack.
Somehow, that never seems to be an issue for Dershowitz. He remained silent as Meadows claimed that the subpoena's only purpose is to “harass the president and keep on this narrative that - honestly, there’s no there there.”
If nothing else, as CBS News noted, Democrats could ask Mueller for recommendations on how the U.S. can and should protect itself from further foreign attacks on our democracy. But Dershowitz focused solely on painting Democratic House members and later, possibly the Mueller team, as law breakers – with swipes at former FBI Director James Comey and Hillary Clinton for extra Fox credit:
DERSHOWITZ: What’s shocking is that the Democratic majority is asking the special counsel to violate the Justice Department rules regarding prosecutors. Prosecutors are bound by Justice Department rules and tradition never to say a word beyond “We have decided not to charge X, not to charge Y.” That’s why Comey was so justly criticized. He said we decided not to charge Hillary Clinton but what she did was extremely careless. That deserved criticism. And the Democrats are now asking Mueller to do the same thing, to commit the sin that Comey committed.
Dershowitz went on to say that Mueller should cite the rules, tradition and presumption of innocence and refuse to say anything beyond who and what has been charged or not charged. "The courts will of course, back Mueller, what they would do is criticize Mueller if he went beyond that statement," Dershowitz added.
Dershowitz helps Trumpers predict Mueller testimony will help Republicans
Dershowitz claimed, “The only questions [Democrats] can really ask [Mueller] are questions by Republicans that are critical of the investigation, rather than questions by Democrats that go to the issue of whether there was evidence that might have justified some finding of guilt against Donald Trump.”
Never mind that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff has already said he’s interested in information unrelated to crimes, per se, such as whether Trump was compromised or has “conflicts of interest” that “resulted in U.S. policy favoring Russia against the interests of the American people.”
Frankly, I find it disgraceful that Dershowitz tossed those matters aside. Ditto for the fact that while Mueller found not enough evidence that a criminal conspiracy with Russia had occurred, there was plenty of eager cooperation on the part of the Trump campaign and not just as outlined by Cameron, above. Instead, Dershowitz insisted the hearing will “backfire” on Democrats.
The discussion went on for about a half hour, with no break, almost certainly because so few advertisers want to be associated with Ingraham's bigotry. That’s another thing “human rights” champ Dershowitz seems to have no problem with. Yet, he had the nerve to insist he’s a liberal only trying to look out for his fellow Democrats:
DERSHOWITZ: Look, I'm a Liberal Democrat, I'm on the Democrat side … and I'm trying to stop them from shooting themselves in the foot. What I'm trying to do also is protect the civil liberties of all Americans because as you said Laura, if they can do this to the Special Counsel, they can do it to any prosecutor.
I’m all for respecting civil liberties, even Trump’s. but Dershowitz’s blindness to the bigger picture, which has even more serious implications for our Constitution and republic, as well as his willingness to do Fox News’ bidding, means that however he pulls a lever in the voting booth, his actions amount to GOP collaborator. Period.
Watch Dershowitz help Fox distract from threats to our democracy below, from the June 25, 2019 The Ingraham Angle.
Toobin isn’t here to rip Dershowitz’s arguments to shreds but he isn’t really needed because the flaws in his arguments are so obvious and elementary.
Mueller isn’t acting as a run-of-the-mill prosecutor investigating a case. He was appointed as “Special Councilor” and tasked with writing a report. In that report Special Councilor Mueller created a public interest by pointing out he is unable to prosecute Trump under DoJ rules and apparently referred any action against Trump – for which he indicated there is sufficient evidence – to Congress.
Unlike the situation with Comey Dershowitz mentions, the Mueller Report is public information (except some redactions). The expectation is Mueller isn’t going to stray far, if at all, from the contents of that report. So why this panic at Fox News (and by Trump today)?
It’s the Justin Amash syndrome. He’s the lone Republican for impeaching Trump. He held a town hall on the topic. Constituents interviewed before it were aghast about his position. Afterwards they expressed shock at the contents of the Mueller Report because conservative media had hid it from them.
Mueller’s testimony is going to get widespread live coverage. Even Fox News probably will be forced to provide live, unvarnished coverage. Mueller’s brief 9 minute live announcement earlier shocked many people oblivious to his findings. Even Fox News personalities expressed shock by Mueller merely repeating his report’s findings that he couldn’t exonerate Trump from obstruction charges because they had been taking Bob Barr’s word for everything.
Notice here Laura’s carefully picked crew of Republican pro-Trump bobble-heads are reduced to trying to discredit Mueller and the committee. Because Mueller’s report is that damning, the evidence of Trump misdeeds is so compelling. And it scares the heck out of them!