Dershowitz: ‘I would be the hero of Martha’s Vineyard’

Attorney who claims he was shunned says things would be different if Clinton had beat Trump.


Famed Harvard professor and defense attorney Alan Dershowitz was defending himself Wednesday night before a packed room at the Katharine Cornell Theater in Tisbury.

Answering questions from moderator Judy Crawford, as well as anyone who wanted to chime in, Dershowitz said his intentions were never to support the actions of a damaging and virulent president, despite what many Chilmark natives and buddies (or former buddies) of Dershowitz have come to believe.

“All my life, I have defended people who I fundamentally disagree with,” Dershowitz said, during the event sponsored by the Vineyard Haven Library. Instead, Dershowitz said, he is a stalwart defender of the U.S. Constitution, and that isn’t going to change anytime soon.

“I’m opposed to his position on guns, I’m opposed to his position on healthcare, I’m opposed to his position on taxation, I’m opposed to his position on a woman’s right to choose abortion, I’m opposed to his position on gay rights,” Dershowitz said.

Dershowitz made national headlines July 2 when an op-ed was published in the Hill, where he complained about being shunned from parties on Martha’s Vineyard because of his public comments about President Donald Trump’s constitutional rights.

His comments set off a Twitter firestorm that had #marthasvineyard trending with people mostly unsympathetic to his plight. Others expressed some cynicism, noting that Dershowitz had a book being released on July 9, “The Case Against Impeaching Trump.”

On the Katharine Cornell stage, Dershowitz said President Trump does have the constitutional right to pardon, fire, and pull out of the Paris climate agreement. The only ways a president can be impeached, according to Dershowitz, is if he commits treason, bribery, or a high crime or misdemeanor. “I believe people are trying to prosecute him [Trump] for acts that are protected by the constitution,” Dershowitz said.

He told a story of when he was a young lawyer and defended the rights of Nazi extremists to march in Skokie, Ill.: “I’m not defending Nazis, I’m defending their right to march, I’m against censorship.”

Dershowitz said that it is his job to uphold the Constitution, despite the face or voice that he is defending. “I didn’t like O.J. Simpson; I really hated Leona Helmsley,” he said of his past clients.

“I don’t think I am different from the doctor in the emergency room when a patient is wheeled in and he’s a mafia gunman, or a terrorist. Does the doctor say, I can do more good for society if I just overdose him or let the scalpel slip? No, you have to do your job; I do my job.”

Dershowitz told the audience one thing he always imposes on himself and others is the “shoe on the other foot test.” “Every single argument I am making, I would have made on behalf of Hillary Clinton,” Dershowitz said. “I wish Hillary Clinton had gotten elected for a lot of reasons. She would have been a much better president. I would have much preferred to have written a book called ‘The Case Against Impeaching Hillary Clinton.’”

Dershowitz shifted the blame to Trump, saying that he is the cause of the increased polarization of the country, and his rhetoric has set a low bar for what is considered formal debate. “Who is responsible? Donald Trump; he has brought down the level of discourse in this country,” Dershowitz said.

Dershowitz called himself a quintessential liberal, and insisted that he is far more liberal than most of his critics: “I will not be accused of being illiberal by people who are far less liberal than I am; I’m not going to get into a contest of who is more liberal.”

Crawford asked Dershowitz if people who don’t listen to him are really small-minded, or if it’s possible that he is using inflammatory language, and some Island folks are having a hard time getting past that.

“Look, I was born provocative,” Dershowitz said. “Maybe I didn’t realize enough how emotionally people are invested in opposing Trump. I was talking to their minds when I probably wasn’t sufficiently in tune to their heart, their soul, and their emotion.”

Dershowitz said that, as a professor and a lawyer, he is used to speaking “brain to brain” with people, and admits that he may have provoked some anger in those who feel strongly about the matter.

He encouraged people to have open dialogue with him, instead of shutting him out of their lives. “Let’s assume I wake up one morning and I am actually a Republican, and I even voted for Donald Trump. Would a true friend end a relationship over that issue?” Dershowitz asked.

He said people have the right to have grievances, just as he has the right to have his own opinion. “Let’s at least sit down and talk about it,” Dershowitz said. “I actually love to change my mind.”

According to Dershowitz, he passed the shoe test, but he questioned whether his critics on Martha’s Vineyard can pass.

“If Hillary Clinton was elected president, and I was saying exactly the same things, they would be building a statue of me on the porch of the Chilmark Store, and I would be the hero of Martha’s Vineyard,” Dershowitz said.


  1. OMG. What a blowhard. Just like Trump. He thinks he’s like a doctor, but he’s more like a overpaid defender of smut. The difference between Hillary and Trump is Hillary wouldn’t need your help Dersh. You’d be the hero of no one…not much different then you are now.

    • There is an element of truth in that post. Hillary and her ilk are beloved of the globalist controlled media.

  2. Republicans: Were you happy when Dersh got OJ acquitted? He was a showboating lawyer then, he’s showboating now. You’re being played and it doesn’t seem to have been difficult at all.

    • We were not happy about Dershowitz defending OJ. The judicial system is all about adjudication not a search for the truth. It’s easy to do justice but hard to do what is right. Every person has a right for a defense .

  3. If the President does something distasteful, the impeachment process is available. The Constitution establishes a clear mechanism to deter executive malfeasance; we may not burden a sitting President with civil suits, criminal investigations, or criminal prosecutions. Grand juries and prosecutors cannot supplant Congress. The only way to remove a sitting president is through the impeachment process, not through the indictment process. That is the constitution which many MV’ers choose to ignore and rather depend on their feelings. That is all Dershowitz is saying but it aint good enough for the wise and astute here on the island who have been cocooned for ages.

    • Yea….I just think he’s trying to sell a book. There is absolutely no chance of the Republican Congress impeaching Donald Trump. Never was. It’s an argument based in a fallacy.

  4. Dershowitz voted for Hillary.
    He is non partisan in his lectures and he never supported President Trump but speaks the facts about the rules of law.
    The Vineyard seems to have turned into a bunch of libs wanting to shut down anyone that doesn’t agree with them ?
    I know growing up there we were mostly libs but libs were different during the 70’s- the 90’s and we actually fought for freedom of speech and had a ” live and let live ” mantra . This is very concerning and seems the island has turned into a communists state of its own .

    • Communists? What? Anyways….I don’t see anyone shutting anyone down anywhere in this frenzy of book selling publicity. Oh i get it… just wanted to write the word “lib” in disdain. Carry on……

    • Just look at what happened yesterday on The View….this is the new Lib mentality. It really has become TDS. Their closed mindedness is ruining this country. If anyone doesn’t see the severe lean to the left this island has taken, well, they have their head in the sand.
      It needs to stop

      • Don’t worry about the Vineyard. When the leftists promote their agenda they do not include the places THEY actually inhabit and care about. Open borders are for the rest of the country. But just to make sure no low lives slip thru they build WALLS and FENCES and erect exclusionary zoning. Life is good.

  5. The last sentence says it all – he thinks he deserves a statue. With him its never about the law or the issue, its about him. He is entitled to his learned opinion. I just could not care less.

    • His “learned opinion” has become irrelevant. Now it’s the Trumpistas vs the Snowflakes.

  6. Hero or zero? The Chilmark Man appears to crave the spot light. Can he quiet down and let the rest of us enjoy our summer?

  7. Don’t anyone forget that this is a man who said torture was legal and justified.His views on the law are not always correct.

  8. Lunch time read, July 25: A federal district court has accepted an interpretation of The Emoluments Clause, letting a case go forward charging Trump as president with violating the Clause. The court rejected readings of the Clause that would’ve permitted him to keep using his office for profit.

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