During a heated back and forth on MSNBC’s “Kasie DC” with former Assistant U.S. District Attorney Mimi Rocah Sunday over a report President Donald Trump knew about a meeting between his son and Russians who promised dirt on Hillary Clinton, Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz defended himself for arguing in the president’s favor.
“[F]irst of all, it’s remarkable Mr. Dershowitz’s initial argument now, how far we’ve come,” said Rocah. “Originally, Trump’s defense was there was no meeting. Then it was there was a meeting, but they only talked about adoptions. Then it was Trump didn’t know about the meeting. Now, it appears we’ve gotten to the point where it’s Trump may know about it, but no crime was committed. I think that that in and of itself, the sort of path of this defense by Trump’s team is telling, but I also think we can’t look at this meeting in isolation. It is very significant, if true, that he knew about the meeting. And that doesn’t mean that a crime begins and ends there. You have to look at everything that came before it and everything that came after it.”
Dershowitz argued he is not on Trump’s team and would be making the same case if Hillary Clinton were in Trump’s place now.
“You are implying in a kind of McCarthyite way that I am somehow defending Trump and that I am making his case. Shame on you. I am making a civil liberties case. I am not part of the Trump defense team and don’t you dare accuse me of doing that. I am not making a case for anybody. I would be making the identical case if Hillary Clinton had been elected and they were trying to stretch the law the way all four of you are trying to stretch the law to target somebody who you disapprove of,” Dershowitz responded.
He added, “I am not responsible for what Trump said earlier.”
Host Kasie Hunt jumped in, saying, “You are defending him, sir.”
“I am not defending him,” stated Dershowitz. “I am defending civil liberties and a narrow construction of the law.”
“You’re defending him in the name of civil liberties,” replied Rocah.
Dershowitz then added, “I have to tell you, if the evidence were to point to crime, whether it be of Hillary Clinton or of Donald Trump or of you I would make that case, but I am not going to make the law stretch for an individual who is very unpopular. That’s my view. Get it clear.”
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