Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz said Thursday that the Russia probe was “being done backwards” in a manner comparable to Stalin’s secret police.
Dershowitz appeared on CNN with legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin to discuss the special prosecutor’s investigation and breaking news about the FBI’s scrutiny of Jared Kushner. Reports were swirling on Thursday about the FBI investigating Kushner’s meetings last year with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and a banker from Moscow.
The professor argued that the case is being “done backwards and it raises great concerns about civil liberties.”
“Usually, you can point to a statute and say, ‘We’re investigating crime under this statute,’” Dershowitz said. “What Mueller seems to be doing is saying, ‘We don’t like what happened. Maybe there was some collaboration. But I can’t figure out what statute was being violated.’ You know, when Hillary Clinton was being investigated, at least we knew what the statute was.”
Toobin chimed in, “Here’s a statute…want a statute? Aiding and abetting hacking — it’s a crime.”
“Oh, come on!” Dershowitz exclaimed. “You have to show evidence. You’re just making that up! You have to show evidence. Not only that they knew about the hacking, but they worked hand and glove with them. You’re just making it up! There’s no evidence of any crime. I searched the statute. I cannot find it!”
“Jeffrey, do you really believe that anybody in the Trump campaign worked with the Russians and told them to target the DNC, to tell them how to do it, that they facilitated that?” Dershowitz challenged his former student. “I think the worst-case scenario is that they were like Wikileaks and the Washington Post….”
“I don’t know!” Toobin laughed defensively.
“You don’t know!” the famous liberal law professor exclaimed. “But that’s not the basis for having a criminal investigation!”
“For example, you had the candidate Trump saying, ‘Go Wikileaks!'” Tobin offered — as if Trump’s bombast and bluster on the campaign trail were somehow evidence of collusion. “Is that enough evidence for you, Alan?” he asked weakly.
“Does that sound like a crime to you?” Dershowitz shot back. “I don’t like criminal investigations to start on hoping that you have the target, maybe we’ll find the crime, maybe we’ll find the statute – and if we can’t find the statute, we’ll stretch the statute to fit the person,” Dersh said. “That sounds like Lavrentiy Beria [Joseph Stalin’s secret police chief] and Joseph Stalin! he added. “‘Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime.’ I don’t want to ever see that come to America.”