Posted by Curt on 31 January, 2014 at 3:59 pm. 1 comment.



When I first read that Alan Dershowitz had said the charges against Dinesh D’Souza are most likely a case of selective politically motivated prosecution, I was surprised. But I wondered about the strict accuracy of the report, since the source was Newsmax.

But now we have some WSJ corroboration, so I think we can safely assume that Dershowitz is indeed defending – although not in any official capacity as a defense attorney – D’Souza.

Dershowitz is an odd case himself. He’s a liberal who endorsed Barack Obama for president not only in 2008 (when one might argue Dershowitz could be somewhat forgiven), but in 2012 as well (unforgivable). But Dershowitz sometimes shows that here and there he can spout something other than the liberal party line. One area is his general stance on Israel, another concerned the Zimmerman/Martin case, during which he excoriated the prosecutors and called for their disbarment.

But this isn’t about Israel, nor does it concern local prosecutorial misconduct. This is a federal case, and not just metaphorically. And his accusation is about liberals in Washington DC using the legal system to abuse a conservative:

“This is clearly a case of selective prosecution for one of the most common things done during elections, which is to get people to raise money for you,” famed law professor Alan Dershowitz told Newsmax.

“If they went after everyone who did this, there would be no room in jails for murderers.”

But Dershowitz is just getting warmed up:

The Justice Department’s tactics remind Dershowitz of the words of Stalin’s secret police chief, Lavrentiy Beria, who said, “Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime.”

“This is an outrageous prosecution and is certainly a misuse of resources,” charged Dershowitz. “It raises the question of why he is being selected for prosecution among the many, many people who commit similar crimes.

And then he adds:

This sounds to me like it is coming from higher places. It is hard for me to believe this did not come out of Washington or at least get the approval of those in Washington.

We don’t know who gave the order or who approved it. I certainly agree it’s likely to have been “those in Washington,” but which “those”? Holder? Obama? All of the above?

Chuck Schumer?:

The prosecutor in the D’Souza case is U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, a former staff member to Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York and an Obama appointee. Bharara has earned a reputation for his rigorous prosecution of white-collar crime on Wall Street and has been mentioned as a potential successor to Attorney General Eric Holder.

Richard Hasen, professor of law and political science at UC Irvine, had some interesting observations, too:

“My sense had been that in the past many of these, when they were smaller scale [like D’Souza’s], were handled civilly or were pleaded out,” Hasen said.

Hasen pointed to the cases involving then-Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens and then-House Speaker Tom DeLay of Texas, both Republicans, as examples of cases that were politically motivated. In both circumstances their convictions were overturned.

Indeed. Remember the prosecution and conviction of Ted Stevens? That case also involved egregious prosecutorial misconduct. And the takedown of Stevens helped pave the way for Democratic control of the Senate in 2008 and the subsequent passage of Obamacare.

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