Retired Harvard University Law Professor Alan Dershowitz is suing CNN for $300 million for libel, reports Law & Crime.
The lawsuit argues CNN painted Dershowitz, a member of Trump’s defense team, as an “intellectual who had lost his mind” by re-airing a clip of his comments during President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial that omitted a portion of his statement.
“Following the airing of that clip over and over again, the hosts, together with their panel guests, including CNN employees and paid commentators, exploded into a one-sided and false narrative that Professor Dershowitz believes and argued that as long as the President believes his reelection is in the public interest, that he could do anything at all – including illegal acts – and be immune from impeachment,” the lawsuit said. “The very notion of that was preposterous and foolish on its face, and that was the point: to falsely paint Professor Dershowitz as a constitutional scholar and intellectual who had lost his mind.”
Dershowitz, who is seeking $300 million in compensatory and punitive damages, during a Senate hearing defended Trump from the charge that he abused his power by leaning on Ukraine to open an investigation into Joe Biden’s son.
His response to Sen. Ted Cruz’ question on whether it mattered if there was a quid pro quo, Dershowitz answered: “The only thing that would make a quid pro quo unlawful is if the ‘quo’ were in some way illegal,” while saying there were “three possible motives” a political figure could have for their conduct: a motive in the public interest, a motive in his own political interest, and a motive in his own financial interest.
“Every public official that I know believes that his election is in the public interest, and mostly you’re right – your election is in the public interest— and if a president does something which he believes will help him get elected — in the public interest — that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment.”
CNN only focused on the latter half of his statement.