Alan Dershowitz has been making the ludicrous argument that Michael Flynn did not commit a crime by lying to the FBI because the FBI already knew what the truth was and thus his answers to their question was not “material” to the investigation. Popehat bluntly calls him out for just plain lying.
Alan Dershowitz, famed Harvard Law School professor and successful trial and appellate lawyer, is lying to you.
He’s lying about American law — the subject he ostensibly teaches, the subject on which he is called upon as an expert — for partisan reasons, in order to defend President Trump and discredit Special Counsel Robert Mueller. He’s lying repeatedly, shamelessly, and angrily…
Professor Dershowitz’ proposition is that a lie is not material under Section 1001 if the government actor lied to already knows the truth. Every court to consider this argument — and there have been many — has flatly rejected it. See United States v. Mercedes, 401 F. App’x 619, 620 (2d Cir. 2010) (rejecting argument that false statement about citizenship could not have been material because interviewing agent had already “ruled out the possibility of relying on the statement”); United States v. Moore, 708 F.3d 639, 649 (5th Cir. 2013) (“A statement can be material even if the agency already knew the answers given by the defendant and even if the receiving agent knows they are false.”); United States v. LeMaster, 54 F.3d 1224, 1230–31 (6th Cir. 1995) “It is irrelevant what the agent who heard the statement knew at the time the statement was made. A false statement can be material even if the agent to whom it is made knows that it is false.” (“The fact that the FBI already knew that LeMaster received $6,000 in cash from Spurrier did not affect the materiality of his false statement to the FBI. A false statement 1231 can be material even if the agent to whom it is made knows that it is false.”); United States v. Whitaker, 848 F.2d 914, 916 (8th Cir. 1988)(“A false statement 1231 can be material even if the agent to whom it is made knows that it is false.”); United States v. Goldfine, 538 F.2d 815, 820 (9th Cir. 1976) (“Darrell Goldfine contends, however, that since the Compliance Investigators knew the answer and were not misled by the falsity, the statement was not materially false. . . . [T]he statement here was clearly material.”)United States v. Henderson, 893 F.3d 1338, 1351 (11th Cir. 2018) (“Indeed, a false statement can be material even if the decision maker actually knew or should have known that the statement was false.”)
At this point, I think Dershowitz, who was once a very respected civil libertarian and appellate attorney, not to mention Harvard Law Professor, has succeeded in killing off his credibility entirely.