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Alan Dershowitz responds to TheBlaze regarding Robert Mueller's investigation

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Civil liberties attorney Alan Dershowitz said special counsels are not the way to approach criminal justice. The practice sets a dangerous precedent that can impact not only presidents, but other politicians and the general public. (File photo/John Lamparski/Getty Images )

Editor’s note: Alan Dershowitz objected to our characterization of his remarks on a recent airing of "Fox and Friends." In the interest of fairness, and with his permission, we are reprinting his entire response here. It is never our intention to mischaracterize anyone's remarks, and we apologize to the extent that we did so here, and are glad to have the opportunity to correct the record. It should be noted we do not agree that we "misquoted" Mr. Dershowitz anywhere in the piece, as he repeatedly alleges in this response; however, to the extent that he feels his remarks were not fairly characterized or given full context, we are happy to provide Mr. Dershowitz with the opportunity to clarify. 

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The headline of a recent article published by the Blaze misquoted me and distorted my position entirely. The headline read: “Alan Dershowitz: Trump should end Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian collusion.”

The Blaze was referring to a recent interview I gave on Fox and Friends where I was asked a question about whether President Trump was right or wrong in calling for a special counsel to be appointed to investigate Hillary Clinton. I said that neither Trump nor Clinton should be the subject of a special counsel investigation because there is no evidence that any crimes have been committed. There is a big difference between saying that Trump should end the special counsel investigation – focused on some of his associates – and advocating that neither he nor Hillary Clinton should be the subject of a special counsel investigation – which is something that I, and others, have done. This was the crucial context surrounding my misquoted response.

The author then proceeded to misquote me in the article, when he said that I had advocated for President Trump to end the special counsel investigation into alleged ties between the Trump campaign/administration and Russia. Referencing the Fox and Friends interview, the author wrote: “He [Dershowitz] also said that President Donald Trump should end special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian collusion and election tampering.” If the author had gone back to watch my original interview, he would have seen that I never said Trump should end the special counsel investigation. I said he should advocate it ending along with not starting an investigation of Hillary Clinton. I also said it would be wrong for President Trump to fire Mueller or pardon those he indicted.

Here is what I said: “What he [Trump] should be calling for is ending the Justice Department investigation of him. We need disarmament. Mutual disarm. We need a peace treaty. We need to stop calling each other criminals.”

I proceeded to say:

“Where’s the statute? What was violated? Nothing was violated if and when Donald Trump and the campaign ‘colluded’ with the Russians…no evidence of any crime when it comes to Hillary Clinton and the DNC. You have to make a sharp distinction between what people did wrong and what’s criminal.”

My point is that we should not stretch existing criminal laws to fit political opponents with whose actions we disagree. I have written a new book entitled Trumped Up: How Criminalization of Political Differences Endangers Democracy, elaborating this point.

I have been consistent in criticizing the expansion of the criminal law to target political opponents for several decades, without regard to whether the target was a Republican or Democrat.

I have also favored a thorough investigation of Russian interference in our presidential election. However, I been consistent in saying that it should be conducted by a non-partisan commission appointed by Congress – similar to the 911 commission – that would take evidence in public rather than behind closed doors.

I reiterated this point when I appeared on Fox and Friends. This is what I said:

“He [Mueller] should have never been appointed. This should have been a bipartisan, nonpartisan, independent commission looking into how Russia influenced the election, then expanding it to see whether the DNC played an ignoble role…don’t start with crime. End – if you find evidence of a crime – then you appoint a special counsel.”

Since its appointment, I have opined that a special counsel investigation –where both sides are not represented and where one-sided evidence is produced in secrecy –is the wrong way to approach a problem like that of Russia’s attempt to influence U.S. elections.

The author misquoted me. Over the past 50-years I have been consistent in saying that neither the Democrats nor Republicans should be making up crimes against the other.

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