Dershowitz: Manafort's Crime Is Being Associated With Donald Trump, Trial Is About Getting Him "To Sing"


TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS: Professor, I'm going to make the obvious disclaimer, I don't know Paul Manafort. I'm certainly not going to vouch for his ethics. But looking at this pretty carefully, this is a case about tax evasion and bank fraud.

And he is getting a sentence or he's threatened with a sentence that is so disproportionate compared to the average that it makes you wonder, like what is going on here?

ALAN DERSHOWITZ, RETIRED HARVARD LAW SCHOOL PROFESSOR: Well, it's very simple. His crime is being associated with Donald Trump. Don't listen to me on this. Listen to Judge Ellis, the judge who is presiding over the case.

The judge ruled and said, they are not interested in Manafort. Mueller is not interested in Manafort. They are just trying to get him convicted, so they can squeeze him. And if you squeeze a witness, not only does the witness sing, but sometimes, according to the judge, the witness composes.

That is, he becomes creative. He makes up information. He elaborates. Because they know the better the story, the better the deal.

So, this trial is not about Manafort. If Manafort hadn't been associated with the Trump campaign, he'd be out in New York or wherever doing his business. It's an attempt to convict him of whatever they can possibly find against him, no matter how unrelated it is to the Mueller probe, in order to squeeze him and get him to sing and maybe even compose.

CARLSON: Well, how is that different from what the mafia does. Do what I want or I'll take your life away. That's not justice as I thought it was practiced in this country at all.

DERSHOWITZ: Well, unfortunately, it is the way justice has been practiced against the mafia and against terrorists and we, civil libertarians, have long been opposed to this way of dealing with problems.

But the civil libertarians are quiet today. Why? Because the object is Donald Trump. Do you hear the ACLU complaining about this? Do you hear the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers complaining about this? Do you hear other Democrats, civil libertarians complaining about this? No.

We have always complained about this tactic when it's used against other people. But now, you have some zealot standing in front of the courthouse with signs saying lock him up, lock him up.

I was objecting when they had signs saying lock her up, lock her up relating to Hillary Clinton because I'd be making the same argument if Hillary Clinton had been elected president and it was the Republicans who were trying to squeeze somebody to go after her.

And civil libertarians all over the country ought to be concerned about this. But instead, like everybody else, they're taking sides. If this hurts Trump, it's good. If it helps Trump, it's no good. The Republicans take the opposite point of view.

It's not good. It's not good for justice. It's not good for civil liberties.

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