Alan Dershowitz: Attack on Giuliani Will “Chill Free Speech”

On Thursday, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani was suspended from practicing law in New York, raising concerns among legal experts that the judicial system is being used as a weapon of partisanship in the wider campaign to punish former President Trump’s associates.

Rudy Giuliani responded on Thursday, stating “unequivocally, I did not commit any crimes,” while Trump issued a statement deriding the court’s decision as “a witch hunt.”

Attorney, Alan Dershowitz, joined The Cats Roundtable to express his surprise at the court’s decision, saying the case against Giuliani lacked “the basic concept of due process.”

“The most basic concept of due process is, you don’t deprive somebody of his living, of his freedom, of his ability to work, without a hearing,” Dershowitz explained, adding Giuliani, despite his requests, never had a hearing.  Dersh the court’s premise for suspending Giuliani were “so vague” that “there would be no lawyers left.”

The Harvard law professor also called into question whether the Appellate Court of New York had jurisdiction to make a decision about Giuliani’s statements “made outside of court,” noting the premise for suspending Giuliani was “so vague” it would include almost every prosecutor, public defender, personal attorney, and lawyer in the profession.

The fact is overstatement, exaggeration, obfuscation, and old-school bluffing are the name of the game for prosecutor and defense attorney alike, a game with such high stakes it demands detail.  And the New York court’s lack of detail is perhaps the most disturbing part of Giuliani’s case. 

Why has Giuliani been targeted in particular?  The conclusion is obvious, and one doesn’t need Dershowitz’s decades of legal experience to understand he is being targeted because of his client: Trump.

“The atmosphere is such today that if you defended President Trump in any way, they’re out to get you,” Dershowitz concluded. “The idea of holding lawyers to this standard of truth-telling when they’re on television is a whole new ball game. It will chill free speech, it will chill advocacy, and most important, it’s not applying a single standard.”

Dershowitz told The Cats Roundtable he was hopeful the US Supreme Court would look at Giuliani as the tip of the iceberg in an erosion of civil liberties in the lower courts, but questioned whether civil liberties were “mortally wounded.”

“We have to know what the standards are because this really endangers both due process the advocate system, and freedom of speech,” Dershowitz said.

“Whether you’re a Democrat or a conservative, or a liberal or a progressive, or anybody,” Dershowitz, who has himself been targeted for his willingness to advocate for Trump, told The Cats Roundtable.  “You should be concerned about this Giuliani decision because today it’s used against Giuliani—tomorrow it will be used against radical lawyers on the left, it will be used against other conservative lawyers.”

Listen to the intreview below

Related posts