Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz has said that the Mueller report “should never have been written,” claimed, wrongly, that the special counsel “got the law all wrong on obstruction of justice,” and complained that his Trump-friendly posture got him “shunned” on Martha’s Vineyard. But despite all that he has suffered for Donald Trump, the president can’t count on his support in 2020. In an interview with Dan Abrams on Sirius XM this week, Dershowitz singled out one Democratic candidate for special praise. Given a choice between Joe Biden and Trump, he’d “enthusiastically” support Biden.
Dershowitz isn’t quite so enamored of other candidates in the primary race. “If Bernie Sanders is nominated, that would present a real dilemma for me. I don’t think under any circumstances I could vote for a man who went to England and campaigned for a bigot and anti-Semite like Jeremy Corbyn. I don’t think I could do it, I couldn’t pull that lever,” he said. (Sanders, in case anyone’s forgotten, is Jewish, and lost relatives in the Holocaust.)
Dershowitz describes himself as a Democrat. In an op-ed for The Hill published a year ago — the same piece in which he claimed that the famously woke residents of Martha’s Vineyard were victimizing him — he said he voted for Hillary Clinton and opposed Trump in several areas. “I have strongly and publicly opposed his immigration policies, ranging from the travel ban that was upheld by the Supreme Court to the zero-tolerance policy that led to the separation of parents and children at the border,” he wrote.
Dershowitz has also said that his defenses of Trump are consistent with his commitment to civil liberties, though other legal experts frequently question his conclusions, and his connections to Trump appear to run fairly deep. In April, Dershowitz told the Daily Beast that he was “advising” both Trump and Jared Kushner on peace negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis. (Dershowitz claimed in January that Palestinian suffering “has been largely inflicted by themselves,” and in 2009 accused the Palestinians of playing “a significant role in Hitler’s Holocaust.”) The prominent attorney is also known for other unsavory connections. Dershowitz was friends with and represented Jeffrey Epstein, a billionaire real-estate magnate jailed for sexually abusing underage girls. After the Miami Herald published an investigation into Epstein’s light plea deal — he served only 13 months in jail, thanks in no small part to Dershowitz’s efforts — the law professor accused the paper of being “fake news.”
Three of Epstein’s alleged victims have claimed that Dershowitz was either present at the scene of the abuse or participated in the abuse. Dershowitz, however, says the women are lying, and in April, one sued him for defamation. In any case, his is not an endorsement likely to be coveted by Biden, and Sanders should feel pretty good about inspiring his skepticism.