Alan Dershowitz agrees: Interview of Flynn was not legitimate FBI operation

It is gratifying to see that renowned constitutional law scholar Alan Dershowitz agrees with Mark Wauck’s article today, pointing out that the FBI’s interview of General Michael Flynn was not conducted for any legitimate law enforcement purpose. Professor Dershowitz employed a metaphor different from the article’s example, but one equally telling. In his words, the FBI was looking for a political sin, which was the function of the Inquisition, but not part of the FBI’s mandate.

Here is video of his appearance yesterday:

Update:

In an article in The Hill today, Professor Dershowitz makes the same point in different words:

The function of law enforcement is to uncover past crimes, not to provide citizens the opportunity to commit new crimes by testing their veracity. There may be extraordinary situations, such as prevention of mass casualty terrorism, that justifies the use of highly questionable tactics but, absent such extraordinary circumstances, FBI agents and prosecutors should not deliberately provide citizens the opportunity to commit federal crimes in order to turn them into government witnesses.

When questioning any suspect, officials should not ask questions whose answers they already know, for the sole purpose of seeing whether the suspect will lie. If they do ask such questions, untruthful answers should not be deemed “material” to the investigation, because the FBI already knew the truth.

It is gratifying to see that renowned constitutional law scholar Alan Dershowitz agrees with Mark Wauck’s article today, pointing out that the FBI’s interview of General Michael Flynn was not conducted for any legitimate law enforcement purpose. Professor Dershowitz employed a metaphor different from the article’s example, but one equally telling. In his words, the FBI was looking for a political sin, which was the function of the Inquisition, but not part of the FBI’s mandate.

Here is video of his appearance yesterday:

Update:

In an article in The Hill today, Professor Dershowitz makes the same point in different words:

The function of law enforcement is to uncover past crimes, not to provide citizens the opportunity to commit new crimes by testing their veracity. There may be extraordinary situations, such as prevention of mass casualty terrorism, that justifies the use of highly questionable tactics but, absent such extraordinary circumstances, FBI agents and prosecutors should not deliberately provide citizens the opportunity to commit federal crimes in order to turn them into government witnesses.

When questioning any suspect, officials should not ask questions whose answers they already know, for the sole purpose of seeing whether the suspect will lie. If they do ask such questions, untruthful answers should not be deemed “material” to the investigation, because the FBI already knew the truth.