Thursday morning Donald Trump’s holiday season took a turn toward total apocalypse. And it wasn’t going all that well to begin with. This week alone Trump has exhibited his fear and desperation by attacking special counsel Robert Mueller as the new Joseph McCarthy, and posting deranged tweetstorms in a lame effort to undermine Mueller’s investigation. But the news this morning is certain to burst some blood vessels in Trump’s cartoon brain (or gut, as the case may be).
Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, appeared in court to plead guilty to lying to Congress with regard to Trump’s business dealings in Russia. This confession irredeemably implicates Trump in his own web of lies and certifies a motive for colluding with Russia.
The seriousness of these revelations cannot be overstated. Cohen’s testimony alleges that Trump was actively seeking to build a Trump Tower in Moscow while he was also running for president. Trump defended himself by saying that that isn’t illegal. He’s right. But he had no defense for his having lied repeatedly when he said that he had no such deals in Russia. And those lies were told in order to cover up the deals, perhaps because of the influence that Putin was holding over him while the election was in progress. In other words, collusion.
So what is a devotedly pro-Trump, State TV, propaganda network like Fox News to do in the face of this devastating news? Naturally, they will spin furiously and call up reinforcements to shield their Dear Leader from any harm. So anchor Bill Hemmer frantically searched his phone book and found just the right unprincipled shill to take on this looming crisis (video below): the reliably unethical legal gun-for-hire, Alan Dershowitz. And if anyone was skeptical of whether Dershowitz was a fully pledged member of the Trump cult, that skepticism can now be laid to rest.
Dershowitz put on show that cannot be described as anything but full-on supplication to Trump. He made utterly ludicrous legal arguments that would embarrass a first-year law student. He began by asserting that Cohen’s “credibility as a witness diminishes” because he admitting to lying. However, Mueller surely has documents corroborating Cohen’s testimony, so he isn’t just taking his word. That fact also destroys Dershowitz’s argument that “the special prosecutor is making his decisions off of false statements.” Then Dershowitz launched this absurdity:
“They are going to comb through every one of his answers and see if they can come up with anybody who can contradict anything the president said. That’s why it’s called a perjury trap. Because even if the president believes what he said was true, if somebody will contradict it, then the president can be charged with lying to government officials, which is the equivalent of perjury. So, that’s why it is so dangerous for anybody who is the subject of an investigation to answer questions by the prosecution, because the prosecution then combs through evidence, tries to get evidence that they can then use to show contradictions.”
First of all, “combing through answers” isn’t a perjury trap. It’s an investigation. And if Trump were to be contradicted, that isn’t perjury. He would have to be shown to be deliberately lying about material matters. Furthermore, it isn’t “dangerous” to talk to prosecutors. It’s dangerous to lie to prosecutors. Dershowitz is a law professor and presumably knows all of this. But that didn’t stop him from making this idiotic statement:
“The very fact that [Mueller] is conducting an investigation has created these crimes. These are not crimes that have been committed prior to his appointment. They are crimes that were committed as a result of his appointment. And that raises some questions about the role of special prosecutors in creating crimes or creating opportunities for crimes to be committed. In the end, I don’t think Mueller is going to come up with very much in terms of criminal conduct. This was before he was appointed. That is quite shocking.”
That isn’t shocking. It’s actually quite routine. Let’s say “Dave” robs a bank. Then the police begin an investigation to find the perpetrators. So Dave becomes concerned that his accomplice “Billy” might talk. So Dave kills Billy to shut him up. That’s a crime that was committed after the investigation began. Perhaps because of the investigation. But it’s still a crime and can’t be dismissed as something investigators “created” because they were investigating. Dershowitz’s argument is laughably incoherent. It suggests that there shouldn’t be investigations because criminals might commit additional crimes in order to avoid getting caught.
That’s the depth of the derpitude that Dershowitz is engaging in. And he’s doing it in the service of a corrupt president on a “news” network that exists only to disseminate disinformation and propaganda.
Now that the election is over, there are likely to be more public disclosures like this. Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort is already digging himself (and Trump) into deeper holes. And Ivanka has gotten into her own “lock her up” email scandal. The White House is in total disarray with once loyal rats deserting (or being cast off of) the ship of state. And Trump is left with legal counsel like Dershowitz and Rudy Giuliani to shore things up. Good luck with that, Donnie.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.