The Washington Post
Originally posted August 2, 2019
Here are two excerpts:
Dershowitz has been defending Donald Trump on television for years, casting himself as a warrior for due process. Now, Dershowitz is defending himself on TV, too, against accusations at the least that he knew about Epstein allegedly trafficking underage girls for sex with men, and at the worst that he was one of the men.
These cases have much in common, and they both bring me back to the classroom that day when no one around the table — not the girl who invoked Ernest Hemingway’s hedonism, nor the boy who invoked God’s commandments — seemed to know where our morality came from. Which was probably the point of the exercise.
You can make a convoluted argument that investigations of the president constitute irresponsible congressional overreach, but contorting the Constitution is your choice, and the consequences to the country of your contortion are yours to own, too. Everyone deserves a defense, but lawyers in private practice choose their clients — and putting a particular focus on championing those Dershowitz calls the “most unpopular, most despised” requires grappling with what it means for victims when an abuser ends up with a cozy plea deal.
When the alleged abuser is your friend Jeffrey, whose case you could have avoided precisely because you have a personal relationship, that grappling is even more difficult. Maybe it’s still all worth it to keep the system from falling apart, because next time it might not be a billionaire financier who wanted to seed the human race with his DNA on the stand, but a poor teenager framed for a crime he didn’t commit.
Dershowitz once told the New York Times he regretted taking Epstein’s case. He told me, “I would do it again.”
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