CNN’s legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin tore into his friend and mentor Alan Dershowitz, saying that he was carrying water for President Trump, and the famed civil libertarian fired right back.
Here’s the video of their heated debate:
Here’s what they said
“How has this come about that in every situation over the past year you have been carrying water for Donald Trump?” Toobin said.
“This is not who you used to be,” he continued. “And you are doing this over and over again in situations that are obviously rife with conflict of interest, and just what’s happened to you?”
“What conflict of interest?” Dershowitz responded, “I attacked President Trump for his banning of Muslims, I attacked President Trump for leaking material to Russia. I’ve attacked Trump for many many years. I’m not carrying his water.”
“I’m saying exactly the same thing I said for fifty years, and Jeffrey you oughta know that, you were my student,” he said.
“I have never deviated from this,” he continued, “I have never deviated from this point, now the fact that it applies to Trump now rather than applying to Bill Clinton is why people like you have turned against me.”
“Don’t you understand that principle requires bipartisanship and nonpartisanship?” Dershowitz concluded. “And that’s who I am, and that’s who I have always been.”
“Civil libertarians criticize the law”
“But we have a system in place where you don’t like grand juries, you don’t like special counsels, but you know that’s the law,” Toobin responded.
“I am a civil libertarian, and civil libertarians criticize the law,” said Dershowitz.
“That’s right, but you are criticizing it in the context of, position after position, that is in support of exoneration of Donald Trump over again,” Toobin responded, “I mean c’mon.”
“I have no interest in whether Trump is exonerated or not,” Toobin claimed. “If the evidence is against him, I will be the first person to call him out on it.”
“I’m asking for non-criminalization of political differences, narrow construction of the criminal law, civil liberties to apply equally to democrats and republicans,” he continued. “What you accuse me of is not being partisan – you want me to have a different standard against Donald Trump that I did in relation to the Clintons and everybody else. I said the same thing about [Senator] Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), I said the same thing about everybody who has been prosecuted.”
“I’m saying the same thing of Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel,” he added. “I think there has been criminalization of political differences there.”
“I have been utterly and completely consistent and nonpartisan,” Dershowitz exclaimed, “and Jeffrey you haven’t!”