Legal Pundits Baffled By Alan Dershowitz’s Claim That Manafort Shouldn’t Be in Jail: Turned Into ‘MAGA Zombie’
Harvard law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz insisted that it was unfair that Paul Manafort was sent to jail on CNN Friday night.
“My own view is it is unfair for Manafort to join thousands of others sitting in jail with the presumption of innocence,” Dershowitz said while battling it out with CNN’s Jeff Toobin. “We don’t know whether he tampered with witnesses… This so undercuts the presumption of innocence when we put people in jail, poor or rich, without a trial, without a hearing.”
Then, on Saturday, Dershowitz repeated his claims this time on Fox & Friends.
“There are thousands of people in jail,” he began, adding that Manafort is joining them “based on an indictment” which he said is not supposed to have a “real impact.”
He added: “We still have a presumption of innocence. Under the law, Manafort is no more guilty of contacting witnesses or attempting to obstruct justice than any of us.”
Then he lamented, “Why does the government get to win without a hearing, without a trial?…There is something very wrong with a system that presumes guilt this way.”
Dershowitz’s comments did not sit well with some legal pundits. In addition to prompting a fierce debate with Toobin on CNN Friday, others weighed in on Twitter in response to his latest head-scratching remarks.
“Dershowitz knows the answer to this question and should stop misleading the public,” former prosecutor and current CNN legal analyst Renato Mariotti tweeted out. “Manafort is in jail because the judge found that he committed a crime while he was out on bond. He is still presumed innocent and will face trial.”
CNN’s Susan Hennessey also questioned if Dershowitz’s concerns were even genuine.
Does Dershowitz “have any prior record of criticizing the bail system or pre-trial detention in other contexts?” she wrote. “It’s entirely possible he has, but if this is the first time he’s speaking out on the issue it would be nearly impossible to credit his concerns as genuinely held.”
Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, though, apparently sides with Dershowitz and said on Friday that he does not think Manafort should be in jail either because “You put a guy in jail if he’s trying to kill witnesses, not just talking to witnesses.”
Commentator took to Twitter with confusion over how Dershowitz was apparently unaware of how the U.S. bail system works, accusing him of shilling for Trump.
At year-end 2017, some 443,000 Americans were in jail pending trial, most because they are too poor to make bail, some because they were too dangerous to release, a hardened few – like Manafort – because they brazenly violated bail’s terms https://t.co/gXmrpRC9fe https://t.co/XpOlN7BaiM
— David Frum (@davidfrum) June 16, 2018
Area Lawyer Discovers To His Horror That Pretrial Detention Is A Thing https://t.co/zZvLpuYVkc
— Dara Lind (@DLind) June 16, 2018
Are we now supposed to believe that Harvard Law Professor @AlanDersh doesn’t understand the consequences of violating bail or tampering with witnesses?
These people truly get turned into MAGA zombies. https://t.co/hYa3AVFv2T
— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) June 16, 2018
Alan knows very well what the law is. This is political rhetoric. https://t.co/csqAJOH9X3
— Howard Dean (@GovHowardDean) June 16, 2018
this man teaches law at harvard https://t.co/N3PREH5X2u
— David Mack (@davidmackau) June 16, 2018
.@AlanDersh knows the answer to this question. It’s ridiculous that he is making this sound nefarious or unusual. https://t.co/x9enNS0Ntj
— Bradley P. Moss (@BradMossEsq) June 16, 2018
Harvard Law School, is this your crim professor? Please come collect him. https://t.co/MUl6A2hdWU
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) June 16, 2018
Watch above, via CNN.
[image via screengrab]
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