Renowned constitutional and criminal law scholar Alan Dershowitz roused the ire of Congresswoman Maxine Waters for comments he made regarding the assemblage of a Washington, D.C.-based grand jury in a case against Trump or anybody in his administration. During an interview with WABC radio on Friday Dershowitz implied that special counsel Robert Mueller could give prosecutors a "tremendous tactical advantage" by holding the trial in D.C. "The case now can be brought not in northern Virginia, which is a swing area, sometimes Democrats and sometimes Republicans, but the District of Columbia, which is always solidly Democratic and has an ethnic and racial composition that might be very unfavorable to the Trump administration," Dershowitz said.
When asked about Dershowitz's assessment during an MSNBC interview, Congresswoman Waters said it was "absolutely racist for Dershowitz to assert that special counsel Robert Mueller impaneled a grand jury in Washington, D.C., because it has a "solidly Democratic" and "ethnic and racial composition" not favorable to President Trump. "What he is saying is all of those black people are there and they don't like Trump and so he's not going to get a fair trial and so they should take it out of that jurisdiction. It shouldn't be there to begin with. I don't like that, and I'm surprised that Alan Dershowitz is talking like that." She continued, "We will not stand for it. We will push back against that because that is absolutely racist."
If Auntie Max is "surprised" at comments made by Dershowitz that she considers being "absolutely racist," it's not without reason. Dershowitz, a Harvard Law professor, and CNN commentator has a reputation as a staunch defender of civil liberties. As defense adviser in the O. J. Simpson murder trial, his tactical guidance on jury selection and a trial location were instrumental in winning the case. In an interview with Fox News, the political analyst came to his own defense against Waters' assertion of racism, saying, "For her to use that term when I make an utterly uncontroversial statement, I mean there is not a criminal lawyer or prosecutor or defense attorney who would disagree with the statement that Mueller got an advantage by moving the case to the District of Columbia." He went on to say, "She tosses around that term so promiscuously that it dilutes the term. She hurts her own cause because she’s crying wolf…If everybody’s a racist, then no one is a racist. If I am a racist, then what is she going to call real, real racism?"
Dershowitz pulled out the reverse racism card saying, "I marched in the South, I was involved in the civil rights movement all of my life," he continued. "Being black does not give you a license to call someone a racist just like being Jewish doesn’t give you a license to call people anti-Semites unless they actually are racists or anti-Semites."