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tv   Alan Dershowitz at Steamboat Freedom Conference  CSPAN  August 27, 2019 8:00pm-8:48pm EDT

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network rolled out a big idea. let viewers make up their own mind. c-span opens the doors to washington policy-making for all to see. bringing you unfiltered content from congress and beyond. a lot has changed in 40 years. but today, that big idea is more relevant than ever. on television and online, c-span is your unfiltered view of government so you can make up your mind. brought to you as a public service by your cable or satellite provider. ♪ coming up tonight on c-span, retired law professor allender joe its delivers remarks at the steamboat institute in colorado. then, senator bernie sanders' rally in louisville, kentucky. after that, general counselors from microsoft, oracle, and 23 and me discuss tech innovation at the american bar's association annual meeting in san francisco.
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announcer: retire harvard law professor allender show its -- alan dershowitz was the keynote speaker at the steamboat institute in colorado. he talked about the mueller investigation, jeffrey epstein, and o.j. simpson. >> there is a little bit of dinner service going on over here, but everyone is trying to be as quiet as they can. i believe all of the service staff is out of the room now and we can have your undivided attention to enjoy what is sure to be a compelling discussion. lifedershowitz spent his defending civil liberties, defending free speech on college campuses, and defending israel.
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he joined the harvard law school factory at the age of 25. blanklyof one of our fellows. -- blankley fellows. he became america's professor after teaching more than 10,000 students. professor dershowitz has been called the winningest criminal lawyer in history. he has one -- won a vast majority of his cases. he continues to devote have his bonoice to pr -- to pro cases and causes. he has written nearly 40 bucks including his 10 most recent books that i hope all of you were able to purchase today that we featured today in our conference bookstore. "the case against the democratic house, impeaching trump," and he
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israelleased "defensing -- defending israel." will ber dershowitz available to sign your bucks after this presentation. for tonight's presentation, professor dershowitz will be interviewed by hadley heath manning, policy director for independent women's forum, and tony blankley, senior fellow with the steamboat institute. let's give a warm steamboat springs welcome to professor alan dershowitz and hadley heath manning. [applause] ♪ >> clearly, i've been talking a lot with my uber drivers today. i spoke with another uber driver and i said, i told him i said tonight, i'm interviewing alan
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dershowitz, and the uber driver said to me, he said, yeah, i've got mixed feelings about him. [laughter] prof. dershowitz: that's better than i usually get. mixed is okay. >> mixed is ok. my answer to him, professor, was, yeah, we all do. [laughter] >> such is the life of one professor alan dershowitz, but i guess my first question for you then is, because you may not fit the mold of the political persuasion of this audience, what's a nice liberal guy like you doing it a conference like this? [laughter] prof. dershowitz: well, thank you. first of all, i love the steamboat institute. you guys represent the best of seeking liberty and freedom and due process and freedom of speech, and today, i find -- [applause] as a classicitz: liberal, i find today i have much more in common with classic
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conservatives than i do with hard left, newly woke -- [applause] prof. dershowitz: we share a common commitment to principled dialogue, to principled decision-making, to the protection of views that we disagree with, to due process for those we disagree with, and if you go on a college campus today, you hear the newly woke students saying, "due process? we know who is guilty, if you're a privileged white male, you're guilty, if you're an unprivileged minority, you're not guilty -- what do we need due process for? what do we need hearings for? we know who's guilty and who's innocent. why do we need free speech?
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we know the truth with a capital t," and when we hear opposing points of view, it scares us, it makes us feel unsafe, and unsafe has become the new trigger for censorship. i have to tell you, when a college student looks me in the eye and says, "i don't feel unsafe," i don't believe them, i think they're lying. i hate to call students liars, but when they use the term unsafe, they're lying. when they say that they can't be safe with ron sullivan, an african-american professor at harvard, the dean of winthrop house, because he's representing somebody in court they disagree with, i don't believe them. and if they're telling the truth, if they really feel unsafe in the presence of a law professor, they don't belong at a university. [applause] prof. dershowitz: no student should feel safe about their ideas. every student should feel safe
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about their personal, physical security, but safe about ideas? that's exactly what a university is not supposed to be like, so i'm here because i disagree with you on some issues. i am a liberal, you are mostly conservatives, we may have differences on gay marriage, a woman's right to choose, issues of, even taxation, which is one of your major issues, we can continue to debate and dialogue about those issues, but the key issues of -- can we continue to debate, which is free speech, and can we continue to have a process for making sure we don't go against the wrong people, i think we're in fundamental agreement about those issues, and thank you for inviting me. [applause] since you have touched on a couple of issues like due process and defending clients that might not be so popular, or might be unlikable or
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controversial. prof. dershowitz: that's a minor way of putting it. [laughter] >> we can talk about some of the clients you have defended. there is an ugly laundry list of names from klaus von bulow, to oj simpson, to mike tyson and jeffrey epstein, and so, i want to know first and foremost, what is your moral reasoning behind taking the cases of these clients? prof. dershowitz: okay, that's a great question, and part of the reason i take the most controversial cases and the cases of the most hated people in this country is because i was a law professor with tenure, which meant i had no excuse for not defending the most despised people. i couldn't say, "oh, i worry about my job." by the way, today, i'm not sure a tenure will protect you against defending some of the most despised people in the world, but if the most despised
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people don't get a defense, you know, it moves on to -- everybody -- h.l. mcinroy what's -- h.l. mcinroy said that the reason we have to defend the civil liberties of the world's worst sob's is because the way the government works is first, they make bad laws and apply them to the worst people, and once they have that precedent established, they then apply them to the rest of us. and so, look, i'm a criminal defense lawyer, let me make an admission here tonight, the vast majority of my clients have been guilty. thank god for that. would anyone want to live in a country with a vast majority of people accused of crime are innocent? that's iran, that's china, that's russia, that's venezuela, that's cuba, that's not the united states of america. thank god we have a system that only tries to go after the
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guilty. and why does that system still work? because criminal defense lawyers don't make it easy for prosecutors. we press them, we attack them, we challenge them, we tell them that unless you have the goods, we're gonna beat you, and that way, they only go after people who they believe are guilty. if we let up for a moment, if lawyers wouldn't represent the rogue's gallery of people that you've told me about, and i don't like most of my clients, i have to tell you that, but if i didn't represent people like that, first of all, i couldn't teach my students to do it. you know, people say, oh, they deserve a representation, but they don't deserve you -- no, they deserve me, because i was a tenured professor, and i was teaching legal ethics for 40 years, and if i didn't defend those people then, the -- those people, then the government would start going after people who are very marginal. you know, people say that a conservative is a liberal who's
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been mugged. [laughter] prof. dershowitz: okay, i understand that reality, but a civil libertarian is a conservative whose kids have been dusted busted for pot, whose father-in-law has been arrested for insider trading, you know, once your loved one is indicted or arrested, suddenly you fall in love with criminal defense attorneys. [laughter] prof. dershowitz: and i hope none of you fall in love with me, because i don't want to have to represent any of you, but if your children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews need a lawyer, carolyn knows, my wife knows i'm there 24 hours a day. we have people on martha's vineyard who have called me in the middle of the night because their kid has been busted for drunken driving or expelled from school, and i defend them all pro bono, and i do a pretty good job. but once i was perceived as in any way supporting president trump, this same group of people
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whose kids i have saved, whose kids i have helped, stopped talking to me. not only stopped talking to me, but said to people, they need a needed triggerey warnings, they want to know before they come to an event, is dershowitz going to be there? if he is, we're not coming. it's okay if my wife's there, but if i'm gonna be there, they want to know in advance, and they don't want to come. the hypocrisy, the unbelievable hypocrisy that operates is beyond belief, but i'm gonna continue to represent people you hate, and people i hate, and i think of myself in some ways, the analogy isn't perfect, as a doctor in the emergency room. my daughter-in-law is an emergency room doctor, my son was a legal aid lawyer, and remarkably, once in the same week, they had the same patient, client, and it was mike tyson. [laughter] prof. dershowitz: mike tyson was wheeled into the emergency ward having just had an accident in
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his car, my daughter-in-law took care of him, and then a short time later, my son was part of our defense team for mike tyson. so you never, never, never know who's going to be wheeled into the emergency room, whose kid is going to get busted in the middle of the night, and we never want to see a system -- you know, i worked in the soviet union for many years. i was talking to mr. shapiro before, who's from the soviet union, i was there in the 70's. in the soviet union, if you were charged with a crime against the state, you could not get a lawyer. we figured out a terrific technique. i was representing refuseniks, people who were trying to get out of the country, and they wouldn't let him out, so what we finally did is we signed up a bunch of jewish lawyers to be our co-counsel, and the next day they all got exit visas. [laughter] so people werez:
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saying, you wanna get out of the soviet union? join the dershowitz defense team. we got a whole bunch of people out that way. >> and you know, you mentioned president trump, i want to talk about trump, we're going to talk about the muller report, we're going to talk about impeachment, but while we're on the topic of due process, and i think you'll find a roomful of people here at the steamboat institute who value due process and the presumption of innocence, but i want to ask you about the me too movement, because this is something that has affected our at least our cultural perceptions of the presumption of innocence, the kavanaugh hearings, certainly a big part of that, and before i do that, professor, i have to ask you about the accusation that's leveled against you. prof. dershowitz: i am a victim of the me too movement, sure. >> virginia roberts has named many powerful men as people that she says she was directed to have sex with by jeffrey epstein, what do you say to this? prof. dershowitz: well, i never met the woman, i never heard of her, i never met her, and she we -- we got some emails recently that were sealed. they tried to seal it. we first tried to deep-six it, we subpoenaed the emails, but the lawyers for her said they didn't have any, but we finally got them. and in the emails, she admits that in 2011, which is nine
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years after she claimed she had sex with me seven different times in places i never was at, islands, ranches, airplanes, in front of my own house, she said i had sex with her. and then she came into my house, at the time i had a young daughter. we had video surveillance. at any event, she said she had sex with me 2002, then in 2011, she writes an email proving she never heard of me. she has to be told, oh, dershowitz, he's the guy who klausented mr. flaus -- von bulow, he's famous, you should put him in your book, this is all in emails, you should put him in your book because he will help you sell the book, so then she puts me in the book as someone she did not have sex with. she said she had sex with professor steve, she said she had sex with leslie wexner, she said she had sex with george mitchell, she said she had sex with bill richardson, she said she had sex with you name it -- but she said she did not have
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sex with me. she once met me with jeffrey epstein, then when she meets her lawyers a few years later, suddenly she remembers, she gets woke, she remembers, oh, yeah, yeah, that guy i had never heard of, i had sex with him seven times. and how anybody could believe this is remarkable to me. so, i hired the former head of the fbi, louis freeh, who was a former federal judge, and i said, here, you do this. i'm not gonna even talk to you. i'm not gonna be involved with you, here all my travel records, you do an investigation. he did an investigation. he said there was absolutely no truth to the charges. i was never on the place that she said she was, i have all my travel records to prove it. what is her background? her background is, she gets paid $160,000 by the daily mail in order to lie about who she met on jeffery epstein's island, so she said she met tipper gore and al gore on jeffrey epstein's island. there's only one problem. neither of them ever met jeffrey epstein.
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they were never on the island, and secret service records prove it. they say, and here some of you will probably have some skepticism, she said in the same article that she had twice dinner with bill clinton in the presence of two underage girls, and bill clinton had been flown to the island a black helicopter -- in a black helicopter with secret service agents piloted by a woman who had just gotten her license, her pilot's license, so we of course, filed foia requests, freedom of information requests, and they proved he had never been on the island. he had been on his airplane, but never been on the island, so on the one end, you have the word of a serial liar with no evidence, no proof, no witnesses, and on the other side, you have overwhelming evidence of innocence. -- evidence that i never met her. and yet, you go on twitter, and i'm a pedophile, i'm a child rapist, i'm -- you name it -- and you can't get the media to tell this story. when i got these emails, i thought, oh my god, for sure everybody would want to write this story. this is a woman who's been
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proved to be a liar. i could not get anybody in the media to write the story. i hope maybe some of you are out there from the media. and you would be interested in writing the story. i'd be happy to cooperate with you. but people asked me today on cnn, how will i get my name cleared? mining has -- my name has been cleared. i'm not i don't have to clear my name, i've proved my innocence beyond any doubt. she has no proof of my guilt. why is anybody believing her? the burden now is on the people to explain why they don't look at the evidence, but we live in a world where evidence no longer matters. we live in a post truth world where identity politics prevails over everything else, and i'm gonna fight that in my own case, i'm gonna fight it in anybody else's case, the me too movement is great, it's wonderful, they have made people responsible for acts they've done in the past, by the way, in every me too case, the accuser and the accused knew each other. there was a relationship. was it a consensual, was it non-consensual, there was always a relationship.
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mine is the only case where there is no evidence, because it didn't happen. there is no evidence i ever met this woman or saw her or that she ever saw me. so it's a remarkable case, because it's totally black and white. >> why do you think that she's accusing, you, president trump, or bill clinton, some of these others that she told her best friend that we have it on tape? she told her best friend that -- she told heritz: best friend that we have it on tape. she told her best friend that she accused me because her lawyers pressured her into it, because here was the plot. there's a very wealthy man, he owns victoria's secret, his name is leslie wexner, he lives in columbus near columbus, ohio, so the plan was a very simple plan. name dershowitz in public, then privately, secretly to wexner, and say to wexner, you saw what happened to dershowitz, you want that to happen to you?
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there are ways of resolving this. and that's what happened, we have the chronology, we have the dates, we have the time, we know that her lawyer went to speak to wexler's lawyer, his lawyer used the word "shakedown" when he spoke to me about it. his wife used the word shakedown, so i was the perfect stalking horse for an extortion plot. as soon as this happened, i took the case to the u.s. attorney's office. i took the case to the district attorney's office, and i said, i want you to investigate me, and i want you to investigate the lawyers, and i want you to investigate my accusers, and i hope they do. [applause] thank you fortz: giving me an opportunity to set the record straight. >> i'm gonna do a hard pivot and talk a little bit about president trump, and specifically, the mueller report. prof. dershowitz: right. >> what do you think the long-term legacy of the muller report -- prof. dershowitz: well, i hope the long-term legacy of the mueller report is that we will never ever again have a special counsel or a special prosecutor appointed, that institution is a
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disaster to the constitution. it takes somebody and says, you have a target. prosecutors don't have targets, prosecutors work for civil servants. -- working the -- work their civil servants. if there's crimes, they find them, if there isn't, they go back and look for others, but prosecutors generally aren't given targets, and when you're a special counsel or a special prosecutor, you're told your job is to be captain ahab, and the whale is your target, and you better come back with a harpoon in that whale, otherwise you've failed for your job, and it just doesn't fit into our system of democracy, our system of checks and balances. so i hope the long-term legacy will be that we will no longer have special counsel. there should be a special unit of the justice department which consists of pure civil servants, non-politically appointed people whose job it is to investigate any government corruption any allegations about government
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-- corruption, any allegations about government officials, but they should be normal prosecutors in the normal course of events. take for example the inspector general. we're expecting his report any day. i will be doing an introduction to that report as well, and i hope it will be as widely read as the mueller report, because i think it will focus a lot on what led to the problems of the mueller report. we'll see what happened with the various dossiers with the request to the foia court to the intelligence court, whether they had the appropriate basis. we'll find out a lot more about that, but who is the inspector general? he is a career civil servant who was trusted and has integrity, and all we need is a group of inspector generals like that, who can do that job. >> excellent. one of the things you mentioned was checks and balances. i guess one check and balance might be considered impeachment,
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which is something that a lot of democrats, some democrats show interest in. what's your perspective on impeachment? what's the case for it, and what's the case against it? prof. dershowitz: okay, so you'll be very surprised when i tell you this. i started to write my book, "the case against impeaching trump," i started to write it in 2016 before anybody was elected, and here's the original title of the book -- "the case against impeaching hillary clinton." [laughter] prof. dershowitz: because you'll remember, that in the run-up to the 2016 election, some republicans were yelling "lock her up." some were saying on the day she assumes office, they will start impeachment proceedings. -- we will start impeachment proceedings. remember, many people thought that hillary clinton would be elected, so i started to write my book, because i have taught about impeachment. i've studied impeachment, i've read the history of impeachment, i've read the debates about impeachment in the congressional
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debates that occurred, and i think i'm an expert on the law of impeachment. and i wouldn't write a different book no matter who the president was. so when president trump got elected -- i voted for hillary clinton, i wanted her to win, i campaigned for her, i contributed to her -- when donald trump won, and when they started proceedings to impeach him, i took the book and i just changed the word clinton to trump. the arguments were the same. at the constitutional convention, there was a great debate about impeachment, and i'm not gonna bore you with the details of the names of the people, but a number of the people said, let's have the power of congress to impeach for maladministration of office. there was a debate, and it was rejected overwhelmingly, because that would give congress too much power over the president, and instead, they set out the specific criteria to
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specifically name crimes of treason, which is defined in the constitution. bribery which was -- in the constitution. bribery, which was not defined in the constitution, but everybody pretty much knew what it meant, or listen to the word, or, that's very important other high crimes and misdemeanors, so -- or, that's very important, other high crimes and misdemeanors, so it either has to be bribery, treason, or crimes and misdemeanors. now, what did misdemeanors mean at the time of the framing? a misdemeanor was a crime that affected governance that -- affected governance and that involved governance, so it couldn't just be an ordinary crime. that's why i think bill clinton was improperly impeached. he committed a crime, but it was a low crime, not a high crime. having sex in the oval office and lying about it was not a high crime. a high crime, and let me give you some background on a high crime. there's some terrific history on this. alexander hamilton was the secretary of the treasury.
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talk about low crimes. a woman comes over to him and seduces him. seduces him. she's a married woman. he's a married man. they have an affair, and then it turns out that it was all an extortion plot. the husband had sent the wife to seduce him. the husband then goes to alexander hamilton and says, "unless you pay me, and a -- "unless you pay me," and a fortune of money in those days was several thousand dollars, "i will expose you. " so hamilton pays him the money, then he comes back and he says, "unless you give me more money, i will say that the money came -- the money you paid came from treasury funds." a light goes off in hamilton's head. he wrote the federalist paper on impeachment, he knows what he's talking about. he says, oh my god, if they accused me of taking money from the treasury, that's a high crime, if they accused me merely of adultery, which was, by the way, a felony, a serious felony at common law. if they accused me just of adultery, that's a low crime, so he does something that was very dramatic and courageous.
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he writes an essay and publishes it all over the country admitting his adultery. his wife was furious. you can imagine. he admits that he paid the money, but he proves that it didn't come from treasury funds, and he's not impeached. she remains in office. that's very, very evidentiary of what the framers had in mind. and of course, president trump hasn't even come close to committing anything which would be an impeachable offense, and so, i'm not gonna remain silent in the face of that. all of my liberal friends on martha's vineyard, some of them say to me, "look, you're right, you're right, why can't you just shut up?" guy?"re you helping this and i said, "i was born with my mouth open, i don't know how to
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shut up." my mother taught me always, act on principle, always be consistent. my wife demands that i be principled and consistent, and i have one test for consistency, and you all know it, it's the shoe on the other foot test, and that is if the facts were the opposite, if the party was the opposite, would you still be making that argument? and i made it against conservatives of my book supreme -- in my book "supreme injustice," when i argued that i did not think that justice scalia, who was a close personal friend who i loved personally, i did not think justice scalia would necessarily have stopped the voting in florida if it had been gore vs. bush rather than bush vs. gore. and i have to tell you, scalia was furious at me when i wrote that argument, but i said i just didn't subjectively believe it, and he and i continued to fight about this repeatedly. we were in israel together, we had debates, and then just two months before he died, this is a poignant story -- i was with him. i have a photograph of that day, and he says to me, alan, before -- "alan, before both of us get senile, i'm gonna tell you why i
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voted that way back then, and you will be surprised," end of the story. i never found out, but he wrote me a long letter in which he explained at least some of his vote. look, you can agree or disagree with scalia's decision, you can agree with disagree with me, but i think you won't disagree with the shoe on the other foot test. that's the test of principle. the test has to be the same whether it's being applied to a democrat, a republican, a conservative, a liberal, black, white, male, female, that has to be the same principle test, and i will always stand by their debt. [applause] prof. dershowitz: i have two more things to show you. number one, my publisher also came out with another cover for my book once i wrote the book "the case against impeaching trump." we needed a second cover. this is the plain brown wrapper that some of you may remember when you were kids, and you had a book like the amboy dukes or some other dirty book, you put a plain brown wrapper around it so your mommy and daddy wouldn't
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learn what you were reading. so we produced this cover for the martha's vineyard audience so people could read my book without being shunned and shamed. [laughter] [applause] prof. dershowitz: i just have one more thing to show you. my wonderful wife. because we've been so criticized on martha's vineyard. people ask me all the time, "how could you say anything that helps donald trump?" and my wife got me a shirt that i now wear all the time on martha's vineyard, and it says, "it's the constitution, stupid." [cheers and applause] prof. dershowitz: if they don't understand that, it's hopeless. [laughter] >> i like the shoe on the other foot test. i like talking about democrats and republicans. i do some of that in my work, so let's talk a little bit about democrats and republicans.
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as a civil libertarian, how do you rate the parties today? you said you voted for hillary clinton. are you watching with interest the democratic debates presently, and how would you rate some of their candidates on issues that you care most about? prof. dershowitz: well, of course, i'm watching very carefully, i know several of the candidates personally. i know donald trump personally. i knew some of the republicans. ted cruz was my student, so you know, at my age, i know a lot of people in politics on both sides of the aisle. i'm very worried about the democratic party as a democrat. i'm very worried that it's becoming captive of some people on the extreme hard left, and i never want to see the republicans and the democrats so far apart that they can't talk to each other.
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i spent -- some of you remember this back in the 70's, i was a constant guest on bill buckley's tv show, and bill called me his favorite liberal. i called him my favorite conservative. we could talk about anything. we could talk about anything. we never raised our voices, we never got excited, we never called each other names, and we would finish the show, and go out, and have, you know, a beer. that's not happening anymore, unfortunately. and so, i worry that the democratic party as evidenced by the election of the four new members of congress who call themselves the squad, are presenting a new face on american politics, and it's an extremely dangerous one, and it's one, of course, that president trump is going to try to take maximum advantage of and the democrats are playing into his hands. take this issue of the state of israel, an independent sovereign ally of the united states refusing entry to two members of congress who have sworn to destroy the state of israel, they don't want israel to exist. they want there to be a palestinian state from the river
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to the sea, from the jordan river to the mediterranean sea. does any country allow people to come in who call for its destruction today? there's a memo issued by the israeli government showing the close connections between the bds tactic and terrorism and the people that sponsored the group. remember, the group of republicans and democrats were in israel, they could have joined that group, but they didn't. they decided to go on their own not to visit israel just to go to the palestinian authority and they were sponsored by a group that had engaged in holocaust denial had engaged in blood libels had engaged in over an anti-semitism and the israeli government finally decided they didn't want to do it. they were encouraged by president trump not to do it. if the prime minister had called me, i miss friend, i've known him since i was 22 years old.
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haveld have told them you the absolute right to bar them morally and diplomatically, but it would be much smarter if you told them the following -- look, we invite people of every persuasion to come to visit israel, but we have a tradition. when you come to israel, you have to go to three places, the holocaust memorial, and to show your respect for the 6 million jews who were murdered in the holocaust. you go there first. [applause] these memberstz: of congress would not have done that, and then israel would have one the public relations war. he also should have told them to go where you see rockets coming everyday from gaza, and to go to the golan heights, why you will see -- where you will see why president trump was absolutely correct in recognizing israel's sovereignty over the golan heights. i advised president trump to do
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that, and i gave him an example which he used, i said has any country ever returned a battleship that was captured in a defensive war? the golan heights is a battleship. it is a place from which rockets were fired at israeli civilians down in the valley. you don't get back a battleship. he used that analogy. i also urged him to recognize jerusalem as israel's capital and i was invited to be there when that event occurred. i took my grandson and we had a wonderful, memorable time when the united states finally too late, but finally recognized the reality that jerusalem is israel's capital. so i think that principle is important. [applause] prof. dershowitz: i believe that bipartisanship requires two things -- it requires that you condemn the person you voted for if they do wrong, and i condemned president obama mercilessly when he allowed his
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representative to the un not to veto a resolution that declared the western wall to be occupied territory, hebrew university and the hadassah hospital access roads to be occupied territory in the jewish quarter, which has been inhabited by jews for 3,000 years, to be occupied territory -- i railed against him. it ended our relationship, our personal relationship, but i will continue to attack people i -- when they are wrong. and i will commend people i voted against when they're right and i did that with president trump over the golan heights and over jerusalem and over a number of other issues. i will continue to criticize them when they are run. . >> you have a new book -- when they are wrong. >> you have a new book, "defending israel. "
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we have got some obvious questions. thank you for those of you who have given us audience questions. here is a question. are there too many laws? prof. dershowitz: that is a great question. i'm going to be so clear and so unequivocal, the question is other too many laws? the answer is clear. yes and no. let me explain why. many regulatory laws, there are far too many intrusions on the freedom of business people, the freedom of ordinary people to go around doing their lives. the tradition in america has always been, if it's not specifically illegal, you're permitted to do it. in totalitarian countries, it's -- unless it is specifically allowed, you're not a lot to do it. so liberty requires fewer
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regulatory laws but when it comes to criminal laws i think we need very specific criminal laws. i don't like general laws that prohibit fraud and other kinds of generalizations that don't define what they are. if you want to prohibit particular activities, you should have specific statutes of thoseng each activities and do not leave it to the discretion of prosecutors to determine what constitutes fraud and what does not constitute fraud. leave it to the jury. i think the answer is yes and no. >> this next question i find interesting. looks like someone in the steamboat audience doesn't have a very positive opinion of president trump -- so we have a lot of diversity of thought here . was president trump overall negative for our country or overall negative for our country ? my question on top of this question about whether or not president trump is an overall negative for the country, what do you think we as conservatives
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can do to better condemn the things on our side of the aisle and comment on your side of the aisle? d on your side of the aisle? -- commend on your side of the aisle? during theowitz: mueller report he said don't testify, don't pardon anybody know, don't fire anybody, and don't tweet. [laughter] prof. dershowitz: i also said, don't divide families at the borders. had anway, we interesting conversation about that and a conversation on television as well. i got on television and said to , as youident directly can talk to the president sometimes through fox news. i said you are the president,
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you have great authority under article 2 and you have the power to order families not be separated. he dide of days later, issue that statement, i don't think he did it, because i think the american public was giving him a message they didn't want that. look, i disagree with his policy on immigration. i think we have to have restricted immigration. i think we have to be very tough on immigration, but i think we have to be open to legal immigration without preferring certain groups of people from certain countries to other groups of people. we all love singing god bless america, it is one of my favorite songs. it was written by an immigrant named irving berlin who came to america from what some people a sh - blank - t
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country, he came from a country in eastern europe that didn't have the sophistication that the united states had. we're a country of immigrants and if you look every year they have a list of what immigrants have contributed to america and they're not only immigrants from norway they are immigrants from all over the world including asia and africa and we have to have a non racist certainly not -- not everybody would agree with that policy on immigration . we had racist policies and immigration until 1925 when we had restrictive entry. we had restrictions who could come from asia, from south europe. some of the greatest people who contributed to america have been immigrants. so i respectfully disagree with the president's policies, although i agree we need good border patrol agent we have to stop illegal immigration. the limo -- illegal immigration is unfair to immigrants. that is very important. >> and we talk about the impeachment of partisan clinton
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-- president clinton? notwas president clinton prosecuted for perjury when he light under oath about his adultery? prof. dershowitz: i was part of his defense team, so i'm going to give you a more defense-oriented perspective he -- perspective. ,e was, as you know, disbarred or suspended from the bar, because of his alleged perjury, and there there were some questions about the technicalities as to whether the crime of perjury had been established. he could have been prosecuted after he left office. you can't be prosecuted while office, i believe, for crimes committed while you are in office, and i think that is a good rule for america. i also think it would be a good rule that you couldn't be sued while you are in office. you have to postpone the time of the lawsuit, the statute of limitations should be postponed i want tok,
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decriminalize andy weaponize the criminal justice system. i wrote another book before this call trumped-up about how the criminal justice system is being used by both sides to try to use it against one's political opponents. there was a south american dictator once who said for my friends, everything, from my -- for my enemies, the law. and i don't want to see us turn into a banana republic where we prosecute people after they've been defeated for office. being defeated for office is enough, and it preserves a democracy. >> i think we have time for one last question, this is a simple yes or no question. prof. dershowitz: there is no such thing. oh, the question is, did oj do it? [laughter] prof. dershowitz: the answer is yes, i can tell you. -- can't tell you.
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but i will tell you a funny story about him. my wife and i were in israel writing about, i wrote about the bible called the genesis of justice, we were there with our daughter. office fridayo my afternoon, and when everything is closed. we will take a few pictures. when he -- when i get there, he says alan, i need you to come into the most private area that is the most protected from any possible intrusion or overhearing. it?ays alan, did oj do , i said, minister there is a question i want to ask you, does israel have nuclear weapons? he said, you know i can't tell you that. i said, mr. prime minister, you know i can tell you that. people say sometimes when young
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people appear. like people from this wonderful fellowship or such fantastic future and current leaders -- [applause] prof. dershowitz: old people like me often say, these people are so young, i have ties older than that. ok. i am wearing a tie know that says -- which has learned the bill of rights. this tie, i bought at the bicentennial celebration of america, which is 43 years ago and it is out of style because it is very wide, but i have to tell you -- ties can go out of style. the bill of rights will never go out of style. [applause] prof. dershowitz: thank you all so much. [applause]
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announcer: the u.s. senate comes back into session on monday, september 9 with two important issues on their agenda. passing federal spending bills and anti-gun violence legislation. before senators return to washington, get a behind the scenes look at the senate with c-span's history program, the senate. conflict and compromise. here is a preview. >> founders envisioned. the framers believed. >> let's follow the constitution. >> protect people from their rulers and as a check on the house. >> the fate of this country lies in the hands of congress and the u.s. senate. announcer: the senate, conflict and compromise, using original interviews, c-span's video
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archives and access to the chamber. we look at traditions and rules of the u.s. senate. sunday at 9:00 p.m. eastern and pacific on c-span. announcer: a look at the live coverage for one thing on c-span. at 10:00 a.m. eastern, a discussion on the importance of the u.s.-japan south korea military alliance with assistant secretary of defense for indo pacific security affairs. noon, a discussion on 2020 defense spending from the center pursue djs and budgetary assessments. at 1:30 p.m. eastern, defense secretary mark esper and joint aiefs of staff hold conference at the pentagon.
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announcer: campaign 2020, watch our live coverage of the presidential candidates on the campaign trail, and make up your own mind. c-span's campaign 2020. your unfiltered view of politics. 2020 democratic presidential candidate senator bernie sanders held a rally sunday afternoon in kentucky, the home state of leader mitch mcconnell. senator sanders called on leader mcconnell to allow debate on gun legislation as well as election security and the minimum wage bill on the senate floor. this is about 45 minutes.

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