Reports of Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz having dinner with President Trump sent liberals into spasms.
The constitutional and criminal law scholar was meeting with Trump, in part, to “talk about the Middle East,” CNN’s Gloria Borger noted during a panel on “The Situation Room” Tuesday.
The news and subsequent speculation was too much for CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin who was once a student of Dershowitz.
Some news – Dershowitz has been at the White House for part of today as Trump seeks his input, and he’s supposed to have dinner with the president tonight, per WH sources
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) April 10, 2018
CNN has learned Alan Dershowitz is having dinner with Trump tonight.
— Shimon Prokupecz (@ShimonPro) April 10, 2018
“To the surprise of many including me, Alan has become a deeply outspoken defender of the president on these legal issues. The president has cited him in tweets,” Toobin said. “He is now welcome in the white House.”
“In Alan’s defense, he will say that he is a defender of civil liberties and not necessarily a defender of the president. That’s what he says in my conversations with him and on my show,” CNN’s Don Lemon chimed in.
“He has also said that he doesn’t advise the president. He has said that publicly,” Borger said. “He has said that he doesn’t want to be one of the president’s lawyers and quite frankly a source I was talking to said, Alan Dershowitz is of more value to us talking on television about the president’s case than he may be inside, and so there wasn’t any indication to me at all that he was going join the legal team.”
The panel continued to discuss Dershowitz who slammed the FBI raid on the office of longtime Trump lawyer Michael Cohen on Monday, calling it “a very dangerous day today for lawyer-client relations.” He told Fox News’ Sean Hannity his dinner with the president Tuesday was a “pre-arranged, pre-scheduled” meeting.
Toobin could not reconcile that Dershowitz, who still considers himself a Democrat, would actually have dinner and talk with Trump.
“I love Alan Dershowitz, he’s a great mentor of mine. But he’s picked sides here. He has picked sides,” Toobin ranted. “He’s with the president. And you don’t have to eat dinner with someone to support. He’s there eating dinner.”
Toobin recently accused Dershowitz of “carrying water” for Trump as the two sparred in a CNN interview.
Jeffrey Toobin to Alan Dershowitz on March 21, 2018: “Alan, I don’t know what it going on with you … How has this come about that in every situation over the apst year you have been carrying water for Donald Trump? This is not who you used to be.”https://t.co/RqTkyp3gWf
— Jeffrey Guterman (@JeffreyGuterman) March 22, 2018
“How has this come about that in every situation over the past year you have been carrying water for Donald Trump?” Toobin asked his former professor. “This is not who you used to be. And you are doing this over and over again in situations that are just obviously ripe with conflict of interest. And it’s just, like, what’s happened with you?”