Former White House Ethics lawyer for George W. Bush and University of Minnesota Law Prof. Richard Painter called Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz‘s explanation of a Tuesday meeting with President Donald Trump “Complete BS” and definitely Mueller-related.
Dershowitz told Slate the White House visit was pre-scheduled and on the subject of the Middle East. He said he did not give legal advice, legal advice was not sought, he is not Trump’s lawyer, and that he had “no kind of legal conversation with anybody in the White House.”
“This is the third time I have met about the Middle East, and I hope to continue to have some input on the Middle East,” he said. “This is the fourth president I have advised on the Middle East. And that’s the reason I came to the White House.”
He repeated this Wednesday morning on Twitter.
Painter jumped in to say that’s “BS” and to completely dismiss Dershowitz’s knowledge of the Middle East.
“Complete BS. @AlanDersh does not know anything about the Middle East,” he tweeted. “This was probably about DOJ’s criminal investigation and perhaps about firing Bob Mueller. The fix is in.”
Dershowitz has written several books on the Middle East, such as “The Case Against Israel’s Enemies: Exposing Jimmy Carter and Others Who Stand in the Way of Peace,” “The Case For Moral Clarity: Israel, Hamas and Gaza,” “The Case for Israel,” and “The Case for Peace: How The Arab–Israeli Conflict Can Be Resolved.”
CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin also notably criticized his “great mentor” for “taking sides” by dining with Trump.
Dershowitz replied that the optics and timing do not change the fact that the meeting was about “the Mideast peace process.”
It is worth noting though that when he was asked about the Mueller investigation or the Cohen raid was discussed over dinner, Dershowitz appeared to offer a dodge of an answer.
“All I’m prepared to say on that is that I did not give the president legal advice. I don’t give anybody legal advice unless I am their lawyer. I am not his lawyer,” he said. “I’m not in a lawyer-client relationship with him. I had no kind of legal conversation with anybody in the White House, or give legal advice to anybody in the White House, about the ongoing investigation.”
“I can’t tell you what I talked about. I can just tell you I didn’t give any legal advice,” he said later in the interview.
[screengrabs via BBC Newsnight and Fox News]
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