‘Outrageous and unconstitutional’ is how lawyer Alan Dershowitz describes the FBI’s recent raid of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home to Glenn. A legal expert and host of ‘The Dershow,’ Dershowitz says he may have more experience with the Fourth Amendment — which protects Americans from unreasonable searches and seizures — than any other academic in America. He discusses the questions the government MUST answer about the raid, why Trump should’ve been served a subpoena instead, and why even Democrats should ‘object’ to this action from the FBI...
TranscriptBelow is a rush transcript that may contain errors
GLENN: Professor Alan Dershowitz. Back on the program. Alan, you were one of the first people I thought of, when I heard what was going on. Because I knew you would have an opinion, and it would me to either rethink mine. Or to shore my opinion up.
GLENN: Tell me about the raid with Donald Trump.
ALAN: Well, first of all, I have more experience on the Fourth Amendment than any academic in America. I understand the Fourth Amendment. I've written books about it.
I've litigated dozens of cases on the Fourth Amendment. And I'm a liberal Democrat, who voted for Biden and against Trump. But this raid is absolutely outrageous and unconstitutional.
You don't engage in a raid on a house, unless you have exhausted all other possibilities, and the most obvious recourse here, was a subpoena. A subpoena to the president. Saying, there are 25 boxes in your house. There's a safe. We would like you to bring them all to the court, tomorrow morning. Before you have a chance to leave where you are in the northeast. And come there. And destroy anything. And we will then submit it to a judge. And lawyers can argue, something that was classified. Some of it was unclassified by the president. Some was never classified. Some may be so classified, that even the FBI shouldn't have accessed it. To it, some may be privileged -- this is exactly the kind of thing that needs a document by document analysis. By a judge. Not the FBI coming in, and sweeping everything together. Breaking into a safe. Reminds me of the Geraldo Rivera fiasco, when he jumped into the safe, one of the big gangsters, Capone or somebody. Nothing was in there. Nothing was in there.
You know, you must have a single standard of justice. I'm a friend of both Sandy Berger, who was the former national security adviser. The late Sandy Berger. And a friend of Hillary Clinton. What they were accused of, was exactly comparable. And there were no searches of their houses. People who have been found guilty of taking classified material improperly, have been given fines. I don't think there's ever been a search like this, based on the allegations made in this case. Now, don't rush their judgment. Maybe there is something there. Right now, the burden of proof, is heavily on the Justice Department. And the FBI. Who justified what they have done. Absent a justification. Most Americans will not believe this was necessary. And they're going to come back and say, oh, we can't discuss it. Ongoing investigation. Classified material. Nonsense!
Appoint a special master, who has security clearance, who can objectively look through this thing, or else appoint the congressional committee. A real committee. Not like January 6th, which includes 40 percent Republicans, 60 percent Democrats. Have them look at this, in a classified manner. But we cannot except either silence or a claim that privilege somehow or confidentiality requires silence.
GLENN: But do we even know the chain of command now? I mean, how safe is it? First of all, Alan, we had Hillary Clinton, having some of her staff cut top secret off the top of documents, in a skiff. Send them to her server, at her house. And we didn't go through this. What could possibly be in these documents, that are so vital, that it -- that it warrants this, compared to what Hillary Clinton did?
ALAN: We're compared to what a subpoena would have produced. We don't know what's in there. Maybe there was a smoking gun. Again, he wasn't even on the premises. He couldn't have destroyed the information. All they had to do was issue a subpoena, or turn a vote this morning at 9 o'clock. There would have been no possibility of destroying evidence. And if anyone, Donald Trump or anyone else ordered the destruction of evidence, that's Nixon time. That's impeachment. That's criminal prosecution. That's a serious crime. Destroying subpoenaed material. It's -- you know, that's what the law is there for. To prevent that. And does anybody believe that Donald Trump would have taken a chance to destroy material? He didn't know whether there were copies of the material or other evidence that might be destroyed. This is a pretext. There's no way that the Justice Department actually believed that President Trump would destroy documents. Now, people say, oh, but a judge approved the search warrant. Let me tell you, with almost 60 years of experience. I've never heard of a judge turning down a search warrant. Ever. They give out search warrants more easily than Halloween candy. And so that's not a safeguard at all.
GLENN: Who was the judge? Do we know? Who did this? Do we know anything about it?
ALAN: No, we don't know anything. We haven't seen the document. Look, there's a search warrant in existence. We should see it. There's an affidavit, in support of the search warrant. We know what happened, when there was the search warrant for the FISA court. It turns out -- it turned out that it was filled with lies.
GLENN: By the FBI.
ALAN: Yeah. Well, I love the FBI. I've worked with the FBI. And I have worked with former directors of the FBI. It's a great organization. I don't know what the chain of command is. The White House has denied knowing about the raid. Which is quite surprising. Obviously, the attorney general who I also know. A former student of Harvard law school. I think very highly of him. I supported him for the Supreme Court. He obviously had to approve this raid. What was he thinking? Let him tell us. Maybe he's right. Maybe he did the right thing. I want to know that, Americans have a right to know that. Because we all now know, if you can do this to a former president, you can do it to Glenn Beck. You can do it to Alan Dershowitz. You can do it to all of your listeners. And this has to be justified. Or else, it has to be undone.
GLENN: Can you -- could you speak directly, as if I were a person that voted for Biden, and I despised Donald Trump. And I think he's guilty of everything that -- and he just can't be president anymore. Why is this so important, that we correct?
ALAN: Yeah. Yeah. Look, I'm talking to you from Martha's Vineyard, where no one speaks to me anymore. Recently, I was invited to a big event. Celebration of somebody. This engagement. I got a letter this morning saying, we have been told, not to invite you, because if we invite you, nobody else will come.
GLENN: Oh, my gosh.
ALAN: And our social reputations will be destroyed. At another event, a concert, where a good friend said, if I invited you, I would be committing social suicide. I tell all these stories, naming names in my book The Price of Principle. Because the price of principle is all about what happens to Americans today when they try to be neutral, try to be principled, try to be objective, and don't pick sides. And so I would hope that people who hate Trump. Who voted for Biden. I voted for Biden are just as upset at what happened here, as people who are Trump supporters. Now, look, there are three groups of people. There are the large tribes, for whom, about it you're after Trump, everything is okay. Constitution be damned. Constitution was written for the Democratic Party. There's no objective status. Okay. That's one group of people. The other group of people are so supportive of Trump, that nothing done against him, could ever be justified. The vast majority of Americans want to see justice, whether they voted for or against the candidate. And that's what we're not seeing here today. And so I encourage all of my fellow Democrats, to object to this. We're the ones who can really have an influence on this administration, because we're not Trump supporters. We're justice supporters. We believe in the Constitution. And that's where the pressure has to come.
GLENN: Would you agree that the FBI has been weaponized?
ALAN: I just there are elements within the FBI, that have been weaponized. I do think that. Look, it happens during the McCarthy period as well. It was wrong then. And it was wrong now. The FBI should be -- look, the head of the FBI, is not a liberal Democrat. He's, you know, nonpartisan. And I don't know whether he has deliberately done things. But remember, the FBI works for the Justice Department. They are part of the Justice Department. And so, you know, there's an old story, where the attorney general of the United States, during the Second World War, tried to get into the building late. And the building was restricted. And he said to the guard, I am the attorney general of the United States. And the guard said, I don't care if you're Jay Edgar Hoover himself, you can't get into it. But that was wrong. He worked for the attorney general of the United States. And so -- so does the director of the FBI, who worked for the Justice Department.
GLENN: Is your book out yet. I haven't read it yet.
ALAN: It is. It is. And it's doing very well on Amazon.
ALAN: And please, buy it and review it. Because it's all about what's going on now. It's all about -- starts out with the phrase, that partisanship has trumped principle, and that we no longer live in a nation governed by principles. We live in a nation governed bipartisanship divisions. And as Abraham Lincoln said, a nation divided against itself cannot stand. That's the nation we're living in today.
GLENN: I will read it. The price of principle. You are paying a very high price for that. As are others. But thank you for having them. And sticking to them.
ALAN: I have a thick skin. I have a thick skin. I can do bear the cost. But when the people on my island, Martha's Vineyard, are not allowed to hear me speak at the Chilmark Library. When I've been banned by a public library, because I defended President Trump, then it goes beyond any parties or social communities, or social inconvenience. People have the right to disinvite me, if they don't like my politics. But they have the right to -- they have no right to prevent a library from allowing me to speak. Which is what happened.
GLENN: I hate to say this, but welcome to the club. Thanks so much. Alan Dershowitz. You bet.
The other of The Price of Principle.
STU: He didn't get one invite to one event. But he got invited to a new club. So there's an upside.
GLENN: He did. No. I don't think it really is.