Dan Abrams Counters Dershowitz Defense of National Enquirer: ‘The First Amendment Doesn’t Protect Crimes’


Mediaite founder and ABC News legal analyst Dan Abrams threw cold water on Alan Dershowitz‘s attempt to defend The National Enquirer by noting that “The First Amendment doesn’t protect crimes.”

On Sunday morning’s edition of This Week with George Stephanopoulos, host George Stephanopoulos asked about Enquirer parent company American Media Inc.’s potential legal liability following Jeff Bezosrevelation that the paper tried to extort him.

“Doesn’t the fact that the National Enquirer, agents of the National Enquirer admitted in that southern district cooperation agreement that they were acting as agents, not as journalists, but as agents of President Trump, doesn’t that color this at all?” Stephanopoulos asked the two experts.

Dershowitz argued that “You can be both,” arguing that “a lot of newspapers were started as party newspapers, newspapers for particular political parties. So you can both be an agent, if that’s true, and you can also be exercising a First Amendment right as a person in the media.”

“But you don’t want to be an agent of someone and committing a potential crime in that context, that’s a very different scenario,” Abrams interrupted.

“The question is, does the First Amendment permit for crime,” Dershowitz said during some crosstalk.

“The First Amendment doesn’t protect crimes, Alan. It doesn’t protect against crimes,” Abrams said.

Dershowitz argued that a court should “resolve all doubts in favor of the First Amendment,” and that “If it’s ambiguous and we have a first amendment, prosecutors shouldn’t be looking into this.”

“They should be looking into it, and we’ll see what they decide,” Abrams said.

Watch the clip above, via ABC News.

[Image via screengrab]

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