Trump impeachment: ‘I have nothing to hide’ says former Epstein lawyer Alan Dershowitz now representing president

Alan Dershowitz and Virginia Roberts Giuffre suing each other over claims

Andy Gregory
Thursday 30 January 2020 14:50 GMT
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Alan Dershowit say he has nothing to hide over Epstein allegations

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Donald Trump’s impeachment lawyer has insisted he has “nothing to hide” concerning allegations he had sex with a purported victim of billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, his former client.

Alan Dershowitz appeared on ABC’s The View on Wednesday to defend his argument that abuse of power and obstruction of justice – the two charges against Mr Trump – are not impeachable offences.

But co-host Meghan McCain also pressed him on his connection to Epstein, who Mr Dershowitz defended in 2008 against accusations of soliciting sex from minors, securing a plea deal that saw the financier spend 13 months in prison.

Ms McCain then referenced allegations made by Virginia Roberts GiuffrePrince Andrew’s accuser – that Mr Dershowitz sexually assaulted her when she was a teenager being trafficked by Epstein. Mr Dershowitz strenuously denies the claim, and both he and Ms Giuffre are suing each other for defamation.

The presenter asked whether his connection to Epstein gave “the Trump team any pause” before recruiting him as the president’s lawyer.

“The first thing I told President Trump when he asked me to do this is about those matters,” Mr Dershowitz said. “And I told him there was no truth to it.”

He claimed to have emails from Ms Giuffre saying they had never met and a tape recording from her lawyer “admitting it would have been impossible for us to meet”.

“A [lawyer] should never be held responsible for his clients’ illegal activities,” he added. “I did absolutely nothing wrong in connection with the Epstein case. That’s why I’m suing. I have nothing to hide.

“I am awaiting a trial where I will prove that I was framed for money and that I am completely vindicated.”

Mr Dershowitz claims Ms Giuffre was “pressured to falsely accuse” him by her lawyers, resulting in the head of one law firm implicated, David Boies, launching his own defamation lawsuit.

He accused Mr Dershowitz of “a campaign to attack and vilify” Ms Giuffre’s lawyers “in an effort to distract attention from his own misconduct”.

Several of Epstein’s alleged victims are reported to harbour cautious hopes Ms Giuffre’s lawsuit could unearth more details of Epstein’s alleged wrongdoing, after his death cut short court proceedings against him in July.

A Harvard Law professor emeritus, Mr Dershowitz’ first major legal victory came after he successfully cleared Harry Reems on charges of distributing obscenity with the pornographic movie Deep Throat. He later acted as a legal adviser to OJ Simpson and defended Epstein in 2008.

It came as Mr Trump’s strategy under Mr Dershowitz appeared to move away from denials of wrongdoing and claims that his Ukraine call was “perfect”, to merely insisting the charges against him are “not impeachable”.

Mr Dershowitz defended the argument he made on Wednesday on The View and claimed he was “here to defend the Constitution, not any particular president”.

But it appeared to fly in the face of footage from 1998 during Bill Clinton’s impeachment row, shared on Tuesday by the House Intelligence Committee.

“It certainly doesn’t have to be a crime,” Mr Dershowitz said, discussing the standards he then believed were necessary for impeachment. “If you have somebody who completely corrupts the office of president, and who abuses trust, and who poses great danger to our liberty, you don’t need a technical crime.”

Quizzed on this by co-host Whoopi Goldberg, Mr Dershowitz defended his right as an academic to change his mind, and again insisted he had not done so on partisan grounds, arguing he started writing his 2018 book The Case Against Impeaching Trump “when Hillary Clinton was in the lead”, and that the original title referred to her.

“In 1998, the issue was not whether you needed a crime, it was whether or not [Bill] Clinton had committed a high crime,” he said.

“I am a scholar. I have written 40 books. I have changed my mind many times. About three years ago when I started looking in to the Hillary Clinton possibility of impeachment, I decided you needed a crime.

“I wrote a book about it several years ago, I didn’t change my mind on it on partisan grounds.”

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