'They Can Target Anyone!': Alan Dershowitz Loses It on Fox News and Attacks Prosecutors For Doing Their Jobs

'They Can Target Anyone!': Alan Dershowitz Loses It on Fox News and Attacks Prosecutors For Doing Their Jobs

Defense attorney and former Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz is known for his increasingly fervent claims that President Donald Trump should not be subject to investigation over his campaign's potential ties to Russia.

On Monday, Dershowitz took it a step further on Fox & Friends by arguing — to the broad agreement of the hosts — that it is an abuse of power for federal prosecutors to be investigating Trump's business associates, either.

"They have targeted the president, they have targeted his business," Dershowitz complained. "The vulnerability is in the business and they have targeted. They have said, 'Look, we've known about Mr. Trump's business dealings for years. We’ve never looked into them. But now, we're going to start looking into them' ... If you look deeply into any complicated business, you’re going to find a loan somewhere in which income is overstated, liabilities are understated."

Dershowitz continued, "The biggest crime you can commit in America today is to be associated with Donald Trump. They’re going to Manafort you, they’re going to Cohen you. They're going to do all of these things to you ... It's targeting people! And if they can target President Trump, they can target you, they can target anyone. That’s the problem."

Left out of Dershowitz's argument: any example of federal prosecutors going after a Trump associate who has not broken the law. Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was convicted on multiple counts of bank fraud and tax evasion, while Trump's ex-attorney Michael Cohen has pleaded guilty to several financial and campaign finance crimes that also potentially implicate Trump himself.

Indeed, when Dershowitz has tried to criticize specific points of the federal actions against Trump's associates, he has failed miserably — including when he attacked a federal judge for revoking Manafort's bail, despite the fact that Manafort had allegedly violated its terms amid new charges of witness tampering.

And Dershowitz's assertion that if Trump can be targeted, anyone can be targeted, is not an idea that would strike a reasonable person as alarming or novel. In fact, it is the foundational principle of the rule of law: that the law applies equally to all members of society, including the people who make and enforce them.

Dershowitz's implication that we should just be ignoring serious federal crimes for the sake of not investigating anything tainted by politics is, on its face, a much more dangerous idea.

Watch Dershowitz below:

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card


Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.