'Dershowitz: Durham Report Shows ‘Americans Are Right’ to Distrust Government'
By Gary Bai and Frank Fang
'Special counsel John Durham’s report is a prime example of why Americans lack confidence in the government, according to prominent legal scholar Alan Dershowitz.
“I think it reveals that Americans are right to distrust the government—even civil servants people in the government,” Dershowitz said on May 15. “This case demonstrates that people are prepared to distort the Constitution to get their way—get their partisan, political way.”
Durham, appointed by then-Attorney General William Barr in October 2020 to review the 2016–17 FBI investigation of alleged ties between former President Donald Trump and Russia, concluded in a report that authorities had no basis to launch the probe.
“[N]either U.S. law enforcement nor the Intelligence Community appears to have possessed any actual evidence of collusion in their holdings at the commencement of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation,” Durham wrote in the report. Crossfire Hurricane is the FBI codename for the agency’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.
Durham wrote that the FBI relied on “raw, unanalyzed, and uncorroborated intelligence” for its investigation. “The objective facts show that the FBI’s handling of important aspects of the Crossfire Hurricane matter were seriously deficient,” he added.
Dershowitz, professor emeritus at Harvard Law School, said that the U.S. intelligence community, including the FBI and the CIA, saw Trump as a “danger,” a view that the scholar said drove their conviction to “get Trump,” echoing the name and theme of his book, “Get Trump.” In that book, Dershowitz argues that Trump’s political enemies have waged an unconstitutional campaign to prevent Trump from retaking the presidency and, in the process, challenging the foundational American principles such as due process and free speech.
“I think it was who he was—what kind of an outsider he was. He was a disruptive outsider who had no respect for the Washington, D.C. permanent government.”
‘Good People Can Do Bad Things’
Ultimately, Dershowitz believes good people were motivated by a biased mindset about Trump.
“I think the Durham report shows that good people can do bad things, when they decide they have to get Trump, that the Trump derangement syndrome really affects decent people,” he said.
He continued: “These are decent people who honestly believe that there was a higher duty than truth or principle in getting Trump and preventing him from winning as president. And that just distorts our Constitution, our rule of law, and our civil liberties.”
“So they use the apparatus of the Intelligence Community and the national security community, to distort reality and try to get him. And that’s what happens when good people do bad things,” Dershowitz said.
The scholar also commented on the recent revelation that an open letter signed by dozens of former senior intelligence officials ahead of the 2020 presidential election turned out to be false. The letter framed the Hunter Biden laptop story published by the New York Post as Russian disinformation.
“These people should have known better. And they didn’t use their intelligence. They didn’t use their thoughtfulness, because they were so determined to get Trump, they were prepared to sign on to something which they never would have signed on to, had the shoe been on the other foot,” he said.
Dershowitz served on Trump’s defense team during the first impeachment against the former president.
The FBI investigation into the Trump campaign “is unprecedented in our history,” Dershowitz said, and he warned that the probe even happening “is extraordinarily dangerous.”
“I think there has to be consequences to the people who were involved. And that’s why I’m glad there are going to be hearings,” he said. “People have to know they can’t do this.”
On Monday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) announced that he had sent a letter to Durham, asking the special counsel to testify at a hearing on May 25. He asked Durham to be prepared to answer questions from committee members.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released a statement calling on the committee’s Chairman, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), to “quickly hold” a hearing on the Durham report.
Another senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), called on the FBI to start cooperating with a GOP subpoena for documents about then-Vice President Joe Biden.
“We know the FBI relied on unverified claims to relentlessly target a Republican president. What did the FBI do to investigate claims involving a Democrat President? It’s time for the FBI to cooperate and show its work to the American people,” Grassley said.
In response to the Durham report, the FBI acknowledged mistakes in its investigation of the Trump campaign.
“Had those reforms been in place in 2016, the missteps identified in the report could have been prevented,” the FBI said.
Trump said that “the American Public was scammed” in a statement on Truth Social following the release of the report.
“The Durham Report spells out in great detail the Democrat Hoax that was perpetrated upon me and the American people. This is 2020 Presidential Election Fraud, just like ‘stuffing’ the ballot boxes, only more so,” Trump added.'