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Legal experts denounce Alan Dershowitz’s warped and desperate defenses of Team Trump

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Harvard law scholar Alan Dershowitz has embraced his role as an unabashed defender of President Donald Trump while the White House’s legal problems escalate. But he hasn’t simply been casting the facts about the president’s dire legal straits in the most favorable light possible — as many legal experts have argued, he is engaging in consistent and repeated factual distortions to protect and provide cover for Trump.

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His latest entry into the field of mendacious pro-Trump punditry is his bizarre claim that, despite former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s guilty plea admitting that he criminally lied to the FBI about his contacts with Russia during the transition period, no actual crime was committed.

“I hope the judge understands when he has the case tomorrow that Flynn did not commit a crime by lying,” Dershowitz said Monday on Fox News. “Because the lie has to be material to the investigation. And if the FBI already knew the answer to the question and only asked him the question in order to give him an opportunity to lie, his answer — even if false — was not material to the investigation.”

On Twitter, he made similar claims: “Lying to the FBI is only a crime if the lie was ‘material’. If the FBI already knew the answer to the question— if they have tapes— and ask it only to elicit a lie, should that lie be deemed material?”

But other legal experts quickly pointed out that Dershowitz was distorting the facts and misleading the public.

“Here’s [Dershowitz] making an argument about how the law SHOULD be, but concealing it as an argument about what the law IS,” said attorney Ken White, referring to the Fox News interview.

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His point was that Dershowitz’s is arguing a point as if it weren’t already settled law. Dershowitz appears to believe that lying to the FBI about facts the FBI already knows should not be prosecutable. White even acknowledged that he agreed with this opinion, but pointed out that the courts have consistently ruled against this view. By presenting his opinion as if it were the law, White argued, Dershowitz was lying.

“Like many of Dershowitz’s recent statements, this appears to be a deliberate effort to mislead the public,” noted Renato Mariotti, a former federal prosecutor. “Dershowitz often misleads the public through sleight of hand like this. His deceptive phrases are so carefully worded that I’m convinced he is deliberately deceiving people.”

‘Dershowitz fails to mention that federal courts have repeatedly determined that questions like the one posed to Michael Flynn *are* material,” Mariotti continued. “By omitting that context, Dershowitz makes it seem like this is a legal issue for the Flynn prosecution. It isn’t.”

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Many of the president’s defenders have leaped to criticize the prosecution of Flynn by arguing, as Flynn’s lawyers have, that the FBI somehow acted duplicitously or inappropriately in its handling of the case. These defenses, highly dubious at first blush, looked even more pitiful when the Department of Justice revealed Monday that it is indicting Flynn’s former business associates for illegally acting as agents for the government of Turkey. Now, legal experts like Mariotti argue that it looks like Flynn received an overly generous sentence from prosecutors.


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Speaker Nancy Pelosi tells colleagues why the GOP’s arguments to support Trump are ‘weak’

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) sent a "dear colleague" letter to members of Congress calling the Republican Party's justification for President Donald Trump's actions "weak."

"The facts are uncontested: that the President abused his power for his own personal, political benefit, at the expense of our national security interests," Pelosi wrote.

"The weak response to these hearings has been 'Let the election decide.' That dangerous position only adds to the urgency of our action, because the President is jeopardizing the integrity of the 2020 elections," she continued.

Monday morning, Trump tweeted a quote from a Democratic member of Congress who claimed on Fox News that impeachment should be disbanded because it is dividing the country.

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Ex-Devin Nunes aide sues publication that exposed his alleged role in Trump’s Ukraine scandal

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Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), is suing Politico after it published a report that exposed his alleged role in the Ukraine scandal that's engulfing the Trump White House.

Fox News reports that Patel, who currently works at the National Security Council, is alleging that the Politico story is false and defamatory and part of a broad conspiracy to bring down President Donald Trump.

The story in question claimed that Patel constantly fed negative information about Ukraine to the president and helped convince him that the country was out to get him.

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‘Disgusting, trashy and pathetic’: George Conway rains hell on Nikki Haley for calling Trump ‘truthful’

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Attorney George Conway, the husband of Trump White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, rained hell on former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley on Monday over her description of President Donald Trump as "truthful."

The spat started when Haley bashed Conway after he referred to Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) as "lying trash" last week.

"This is absolutely uncalled for and disgusting," Haley complained on Twitter. "What is wrong with people? George Conway is the last person that can call someone 'trash.'"

Conway did not hold back in his reply.

"Oh, Nikki Haley, just the other day you said that the world’s biggest pathological liar, Donald Trump, was a 'truthful' man," he said. "That's the very essence of disgusting, trashy, and pathetic -- utterly shameless and transparent dishonesty."

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