Alan Dershowitz, a well-known lawyer and Professor at Harvard Law School, now emeritus, was accused of making a racist comment after he suggested a trial jury in Washington D.C. would have a composition of people “less favorable” to President Trump. He responded to the allegations quickly.
On Friday, Dershowitz said the fact that special counsel Robert Mueller chose to impanel a grand jury in D.C. for the Russia probe is “important.”
“It gives the prosecutor the power to indict in the District of Columbia, which is a district that is heavily Democratic, and would have a jury pool very unfavorable to Trump and the Trump Administration,” Dershowitz told WABC radio host Rita Cosby. “So it gives the prosecutor a tremendous tactical advantage.”
He said that while the District of Columbia is solidly Democratic, there are other factors to consider.
“[D.C.] has an ethnic and racial composition that might be very unfavorable to the Trump Administration, so I see the significance not so much that he impaneled the grand jury — you have to impanel the grand jury to get subpoena power — but where he impaneled it,” he concluded, calling Mueller’s move “tactical” for a potential future prosecution.
While appearing on “All In with Chris Hayes,” Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) immediately labeled the analysis “absolutely racist” on Friday.
After playing audio of a portion of Dershowitz’s comments about the grand jury, Chris Hayes asked Waters, “Do you think it’s unfair to set up a grand jury in Washington…”
Obviously misunderstanding the question because she interrupted the host before he could finish, Waters replied: “Oh it’s absolutely unfair. What he is saying is ‘all of those black people are there and they don’t like Trump and so he’s not going to get a fair trial and so they should take it out of that jurisdiction. It shouldn’t be there to begin with.’ I don’t like that, and I’m surprised that Alan Dershowitz is talking like that.”
“We will not stand for it,” Waters concluded. “We will push back against that because that is absolutely racist.”
On Sunday, Dershowitz hit back. “Being black doesn’t give you a license to call people racist any more than being Jewish gives you a license to call people anti-Semitic,” Dershowitz told Abby Huntsman on “Fox and Friends Weekend.”
“She doesn’t know what she’s talking about,” Dershowitz said of the liberal congresswoman. “First of all, I wasn’t talking about the grand jury. I was talking about the petty jury. Grand jury doesn’t matter. A grand jury will indict a ham sandwich if the prosecutor wants it to.”
Dershowitz accused Waters of using the charged term too easily.
“If I had said that race didn’t matter, she’d have called me a racist,” Dershowitz continued. “She throws around the term so loosely and so inappropriately, and it weakens her credibility just by calling everybody a racist by calling me a racist, when she calls real racists racists, nobody is going to believe her.”
You can see Waters’s interview with Hayes and Dershowitz’s interview with Huntsman in the video’s below.
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