Abrams Battles Dershowitz on Trump ‘Simultaneous’ Mueller Report ‘Rebuttal’: That’s Ridiculous!
Mediaite founder and ABC News legal analyst Dan Abrams told Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz that it would be “ridiculous” to allow Trump to release a lengthy rebuttal to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report simultaneous with Mueller’s release.
On Sunday morning’s edition of This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Abrams and Dershowitz discussed the possibility that new Attorney General William Barr might not release the Mueller report in full, and they both generally agreed that any other sort of release of the information, such as through Congress, would be met with skepticism by the public.
But where they disagreed was on whether Trump and his team should be permitted to release a rebuttal report simultaneous with Mueller’s release.
“Let’s remember that indictments are different than – than convictions,” Dershowitz said. “And a lot of this is indictments. And remember too, we’re going to see a rebuttal report from the Trump team. So I think the American public should withhold final judgment until they see both reports, the Mueller report and the …”
“This will be the first – the first time in the history of America where a defendant or someone is accused of something, gets to write a response report to what an indictment is,” Abrams said, adding that “every criminal defendant in America would love to be able to write their own report about what they say happened. But that’s not the way the system works.”
“But you’re contradicting yourself,” Dershowitz claimed.
“How?” Abrams asked.
“Because this is not just a yes or no,” Dershowitz said. “You’re saying that special counsel have special obligations to release everything. And if they have a special obligation to release everything, then there’s an obligation to allow a response.”
“That’s fine. Let them respond,” Abrams said.
“If it was just yes or no, then you wouldn’t need a response,” Dershowitz continued. “But if you get a long, long narrative, then fairness requires a response, and simultaneous release of both.”
“Whoah, simultaneous release of both, too?” Abrams said.
“Right, yes,” Dershowitz said.
“Look, that’s just – that’s ridiculous, the idea that you have to allow the other side, in something like this, the opportunity to file a long report in response to a prosecutor,” Abrams said.
“You don’t have to do that if you just limit yourself to indictment or not indictment,” Dershowitz said, “but if you go beyond it and you start telling a story, the other side of the narrative has to be produced as well. That’s required by fairness and due process.”
“Bill Clinton would have loved that,” Abrams said.
“And he should have gotten it,” Dershowitz replied.
Watch the clip above, via ABC News.
[Image via screengrab]
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