Prominent American jurist and defense attorney Alan Dershowitz blasted Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43rd District) this week, after Waters accused Dershowitz of racism over his commentary on a recent move by Special Counsel Robert Mueller in the ongoing investigation of President Trump’s 2016 campaign.
After Mueller impaneled a grand jury in Washington DC as part of the investigation against the Trump campaign, Dershowitz told WABC Radio last Friday that the selection of DC “might be very unfavorable to the Trump administration,” noting that the District has consistently voted “solidly Democrat”, due in part to its “ethnic and racial composition”.
Over the weekend, Waters accused Dershowitz of racism.
“What he’s simply saying is: ‘You know all of those black people are there and they don’t like Trump and so he’s not gonna get a fair trial and so they should take it out of that jurisdiction’,” Waters told MSNBC.
“I don’t like that, and I’m surprised Alan Dershowitz is talking like that and we will not stand for it, we will push back against that, because that is absolutely racist.”
Dershowitz, a life-long Democrat who backed Hillary Clinton in 2016, pushed back on Sunday, calling Waters’ accusation outrageous, adding the congresswoman “ought to be ashamed of herself.”
"Being black doesn't give you a license to call people racist any more than being Jewish gives you a license to call people anti-Semitic.”
On Tuesday, Dershowitz appeared on Fox News to challenge Waters over her accusations.
“She tosses around that term [racism] so promiscuously that it dilutes the term. She hurts her own cause because she’s crying wolf. If everybody’s a racist, than nobody’s a racist. If I’m a racist, then what is she gonna call real racists? I marched in the South, I was involved in the Civil Rights Movement all of my life.”
Dershowitz went on to call his original comments “utterly uncontroversial”.
“There isn’t a criminal lawyer – prosecutor or defense attorney – who would disagree with the statement that Mueller got an advantage by moving the case to the District of Columbia, that he has a better chance of getting a favorable jury pool in the District of Columbia than he would in Virginia.”
Washington DC, which is approximately 50% African American – a traditionally Democratic demographic group – went for Hillary Clinton in 2016 by an 86.4% margin, with Trump winning just 4.1% of the vote, a record low for the Republican Party.