Who is Alan Dershowitz? Narrated by MK Paulsen | NowThis

Who is Alan Dershowitz? Narrated by MK Paulsen | NowThis

February 13, 2020 45 By Jose Scott


– And if a president does something which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that can not be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment. – [M.K.] That’s Alan Dershowitz, and elite former Harvard law professor, and perhaps the most
famous devil’s advocate in U.S. history. He’s defended in court
people like O.J. Simpson, Harvey Weinstein, Jeffrey Epstein, and President Donald J. Trump during the recent impeachment trial, but who is he? I’m comedian M.K. Paulsen, and this is the story of the king of controversy. Alan Dershowitz was born
in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in 1938 to an Orthodox Jewish couple. His father, Harry, had a
strong sense of justice and was always talking about how it was the Jews’ job to defend the underdog. But his son’s first job wasn’t going to bat for the underdog, it was tying strings that
separated the hot dogs at a factory in Manhattan. Asked by Forbes what
he learned at the Deli, Dershowitz offered up a really cool talent he picked up along the way. “I’m still a superb turkey slicer. “I can cut off the skin and put it “back on so it looks like
it’s never been sliced.” Dershowitz went on to Yeshiva
University High School where he was often
suspended for bad behavior. In an interview with the
Brooklyn Daily Eagle in 2003, Dershowitz recalled advice
he was given in school. “teachers said I should
do something that requires “a big mouth and no brain “so I became a lawyer” he said. In 1959, he he was off to Yale Law School. Dershowitz was editor and chief of the Yale Law Journal and graduated at the top of his class. After school he clerked
for two liberal judges before becoming the youngest
tenured law professor in Harvard’s history at 28 years old. He retired from Harvard in 2014, but it’s unclear how much time he actually spent there because he was frequently in a courtroom, going to bat for accused
murderers and rapists. And recently a one time
Kid’s Choice Award nominee. Dershowitz’s first high-profile client was Claus von Bulow, a Danish born socialite
who had been convicted of trying to kill his wife, Sunny, by injecting her with insulin. She was left in a decades long coma, and never came out of it. In 1982, Von Bulow hired Dershowitz to appeal the conviction. Dershowitz argued that Sunny might have caused her own coma as a result of an addiction
to pills and alcohol. Dershowitz’s work
overturned the conviction and von Bulow was acquitted. – Second time around we had the evidence, we were able to persuade the jury. – So at best maybe your
client was negligent? – Well, that’s certainly a possibility. He was accused of being unhusbandly. He was accused of having an affair. Those aren’t crimes in America. – [M.K.] In 1993, Dershowitz
defended famous boxer, and soon to be ear connoisseur Mike Tyson in his rape case. Tyson was convicted of raping an 18-year-old beauty pageant contestant who he met at a rehearsal for the Miss Black America Pageant. But despite Dershowtiz’s
efforts to free Tyson the conviction stood. In perhaps the most highly publicized case of his career, Dershowitz served as an appellate adviser to O.J. Simpson’s Defense team in 1995. Dershowitz helped get O.J. acquitted of the alleged killing of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ron Goldman. – Your honor, I’m new to this court room, but I will tell you right now I am not under any circumstances ever, while I stand up here today going to respond to any of the ad hominems. I simply am not gonna play that game. – [M.K.] After successfully integrating O.J. back into society, Dershowitz came to bat for uber wealthy alleged pedophile and sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein in 2008. The pair first met in 1996, and Dershowitz quickly integrated
into Epstein’s collection of famous friends,
including Harvey Weinstein, the Clintons and Donald Trump. Dershowitz liked and
trusted Epstein so much that he was the only person out of his immediate family to
read drafts of his books. In 2005, Epstein hired Dershowitz to coordinate his defense
in an investigation into allegations of sexually assaulting and sexually abusing
underage girls and women. Dershowitz set out to discredit the women and girls coming forward. One young woman said she
started going to Epstein’s house when she was 16, and that Epstein photographed her naked and attempted to rape her. Dershowitz signed off on a letter to a lead investigator calling into question her character with information from her
social media accounts. The letter said she
herself has chosen to go by the nickname of pimp juice, and the site goes on to detail, including photos of her apparent
fascination with marijuana. Dershowitz was able to get Epstein a cushy non-prosecution agreement. He only spent 13 months in jail and was able to go on work release. – I am proud of the fact that I represented him, I represented a lot of
controversial people, and we got a deal. Some people criticized the deal, but you can’t criticize
the defense attorney. – [M.K.] But in 2019, Epstein was arrested and charged with sex trafficking. He died in prison while awaiting trial. It’s worth noting one
year after Dershowitz met Epstein he wrote an
op ed in the LA Times arguing that 15 was a reasonable age of consent, no matter
how old the partner was. The New York Times notes
Mr. Dershowitz’s connections to Mr. Epstein, however, have proved the most complicating in recent years. In 2014, one of Mr. Epstein’s victims, Virginia Gluffre, said in a court filing that Mr. Dershowitz was one of the Epstein friends to whom she was offered for sex. Gluffre began visiting
Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion in 2000, when she was just 16. Court documents showed
that she was required to be exploited by
Defendant’s adult male peers, which included Dershowitz. Gluffre asserted that she had had sex with Dershowitz at least six times. Gulffre sued Dershowitz, and Dershowitz counter sued Gluffre for defamation and fiercely
denied the allegations. – I’ve had sex with one woman since the day I met Jeffrey Epstein. I challenge David Boies to say under oath that he’s only had sex with one woman during that same period of time. He has an enormous amount of chutzpah to attack me and to challenge my perfect, perfect sex life during the
relevant period of time. – [M.K.] Epstein’s former
butler swore under oath that Dershowitz was at
Epstein’s residences at the same time that
underage girls were around. – Were there young women in another part of the house giving massages
when I wasn’t around? I have no idea of that. – [M.K.] He later admitted
to getting a massage, but it was apparently from an adult woman. – I kept my underwear
on during the massage. I don’t like massages particularly. – [M.K.] In 2018, Dershowitz went to work on behalf of accused sexual
abuser Harvey Weinstein, and then, in what appears
to be a lateral move, Dershowitz joined former
American game show host Donald Trump’s legal team
for the impeachment process, fighting for the innocence of Trump, who allegedly held
military aid from Ukraine in exchange for dirt on the Bidens. Dershowitz was once again
in contentious territory. But thanks to Mitch McConnell and the Republican-controlled Senate, he didn’t have to work very hard. Dershowitz has made millions of dollars by seemingly
abandoning his conscience and ruthlessly defending the innocence of ultra wealthy people who have landed in
egregious legal trouble. But playing the Devil’s
advocate has its costs, and Dershowitz’s image has
been tarnished in turn. But somewhere along the way it seems he may have become the
devil he was advocating for. – Hey, thanks for watching Who Is? Did you know we have a podcast now too? On Who Is? The Podcast I’ll dive deep into the fascinating lives of the people who run things, whose decisions impact
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