As we near the end of year two of the Trump presidency, it’s unclear who is worse: Trump, or the people we’re constantly forced to watch defending him.
Now, as Trump’s former aide Michael Flynn prepares for sentencing for lying to the FBI, former Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz has leapt in to defend him. In an interview with Fox News, Dershowitz claims that, while Flynn may have lied to the FBI, that doesn’t mean he broke the law.
Flynn did not commit a crime by lying
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.
Lying to the FBI is not a crime
Though it turns out lying to the FBI is indeed a crime when the lie in question is material to an investigation, and prosecutors already ascertained that Flynn’s statements were material.
Still, Dershowitz’s claim is often repeated by those who believe the FBI tricked Flynn into lying. Last week, Flynn’s lawyers argued that he was not explicitly told there would be penalties for lying. Though an analysis by the Washington Post fact check revealed that legal experts haven’t found Flynn’s treatment to have been unusual or unfair.
In his interview, Dershowitz continued to argue that Flynn isn’t in the wrong and that his statements were not “material” in the investigation.
The lawyer, who defended OJ Simpson, has cemented himself as a defender of Trump since releasing a book called The Case Against Impeaching Trump.
On Twitter, a former federal prosecutor refuted Dershowitz’s argument and motivations.
@Popehat @AlanDersh Dershowitz often misleads the public through sleight of hand like this. His deceptive phrases a… https://t.co/pfrJZ8QApM