Fox News judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano and Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz have a difference of opinion regarding Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russian operative Natalia Veselnitskaya and others in June of 2016 in an effort to get dirt on Hillary Clinton.
Napolitano believes a criminal probe is necessary in order to get to the bottom of Don Jr.’s meeting with the Russians because if he received “something of value” from a foreign person or government, that would be a federal crime.
Dershowitz, on the other hand, still maintains that this is much ado about nothing. The liberal, Clinton-voting law professor has been one of the more surprising defenders of Team Trump.
“I’m shocked as a civil libertarian and a criminal lawyer and a liberal in how liberals — some of them, at least — are prepared to stretch existing laws [and] talk about treason, talk about other kinds of crimes that just don’t exist when it comes to the facts as we know them,” he told Fox News’ Judge Jeanine Pirro on “Justice” Saturday night.
Pirro asked Dershowitz about the campaign finance law that says a campaign can’t receive “something of value” — which could include just words — from a foreign person or government.
“Is that something that has ever been prosecuted?” she asked.
“Of course not,” Dersh answered. “If it were to be prosecuted, the First Amendment would trump. A candidate has the right to get information from whatever source the information comes,” he argued.
Dershowitz explained; “If the material was obtained unlawfully, you prosecute, if you can, the people who obtain the material. But there is a First Amendment right of a candidate to use information. You can’t include information under the campaign finance law. That would be unconstitutional.”
“It is inconceivable that anybody who has any knowledge of the Constitution or of American history, would argue that a private citizen, by securing information for a campaign from somebody who may be a surrogate of the government, has committed treason,” the professor argued. “It is so ahistorical and so contrary to what the law is that we ought to stop talking about it because we’re miseducating the American people. We’re miseducating young people…”
On the bright side, he pointed out that young people are suddenly very interested in learning about the Constitution.