Alan Dershowitz: Democrats Want to Hold Barr in Contempt for ‘Refusing to Violate the Law’

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

Harvard Law School Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz said Democrats want to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt “for refusing to violate the law,” offering his analysis in a Tuesday interview on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight with hosts Rebecca Mansour and Joel Pollak.

It is “ridiculous” for Democrats to push to hold Barr in contempt for not releasing Robert Mueller’s report entirely underacted, determined Dershowitz.

“Of course [William Barr] can’t produce the unredacted report,” explained Dershowitz. “He’d be violating the law. You can’t hold a person in contempt for refusing to violate the law. The attorney general has no authority to release material which is grand jury material or material that’s classified, or material that’s otherwise not subject to public disclosure or even disclosure to Congress.”


“If Congress wants it, they should go to court and seek it, but to hold [William Barr] in contempt for that is just show-voting,” continued Dershowitz. “I don’t think it makes much sense. Nothing’s going to come of it.

Pollak invited Dershowitz to assess Mueller’s conclusions.

Dershowitz said, “First I give [the Mueller report] an incomplete. He didn’t do his job. He didn’t come to a conclusion about obstruction of justice. He obviously should have, one way or another, made a decision about whether or not he believed there was an obstruction of justice. Instead he [provided] arguments for it and arguments against it.”

Dershowitz continued, “[Robert Mueller] gets an incomplete on that. If I were to grade it, he would get a very low grade, because he comes to conclusion that a president could obstruct justice by simply performing his constitutional duty.”

“[Robert Mueller] never mentions the President Bush case,” explained Dershowitz. “He was the assistant attorney general in the criminal division, so he knows the case very well, and here you have Bush who pardoned Casper Weinberger on the eve of Casper Weinberger’s trial for the purpose of ending the investigation.”

Dershowitz went on, “In the normal course of events, if anybody else did that that, it would be an obstruction of justice. But because the president did it and because the president’s entitled to pardon, nobody suggested obstruction of justice. The same thing is true with firing Comey. How can you have an obstruction of justice from firing Comey if you couldn’t have an obstruction of justice in pardoning Caspar Weinberger? You would think, in the very least, that Mueller would mention the case. … He never mentions that case, which is the dominant precedent.”
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Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.


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