Now that John Dowd is out as President Trump’s lead lawyer in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, could former Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz be taking his place?
The answer, according to Dershowitz, is an emphatic no.
“I’m not going to become the president’s lawyer,” the celebrated defense attorney told us Thursday, reached at his residence in Miami Beach. “I’m enjoying my retirement. I don’t want to move to Washington. I don’t want to be a lawyer.”
To the surprise of many — and the consternation of some — Dershowitz has been an outspoken supporter of Trump’s legal positions, arguing that a special counsel shouldn’t have been appointed and claiming there’s no evidence that the president has obstructed justice.
Appearing on CNN Wednesday, Dershowitz got into it with Jeffrey Toobin, who was once his student at Harvard Law and now serves as a legal analyst for CNN. Not mincing his words, Toobin accused the 79-year-old Dershowitz of “carrying water” for Trump.
“I don’t know what’s going on with you,” Toobin said, exasperated.
In response, Dershowitz said he’s always opposed special counsel investigations.
“I have been utterly and completely consistent and nonpartisan,” he said.
When we asked if he had been solicited to join Trump’s legal team, Dershowitz wouldn’t answer.
“I can only say I have no interest,” he told us. “I want to be an outside, independent commentator. I want to be my own person.”
Toobin isn’t the only person Dershowitz has turned off with his support for the president. A summer resident of the liberal enclave that is Martha’s Vineyard, Dershowitz said some of his friendships “have been affected” because he’s defended Trump, and he joked that he’s also losing weight.
“I’m on the Donald Trump diet,” he said. “My liberal friends don’t invite me to dinner now.”
Dershowitz, of course, has defended his share of unpopular, high-profile clients, including boxer Mike Tyson, heiress Patty Hearst, televangelist Jim Bakker, and O. J. Simpson. He also advised President Clinton during impeachment proceedings in the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
Although we won’t be seeing Dershowitz arguing on behalf of the president in court, we will be seeing him on Opening Day at Fenway Park, a ritual he hasn’t missed in many years.
“It’s a religious holiday,” he said. “Muslims go to Mecca, Jews go to Jerusalem, I go to Fenway Park.”