Tags: alan dershowitz | michael flynn | offer | testify | immunity

Alan Dershowitz on Flynn's Offer: 'A Three-Dimensional Chess Game'

Image: Alan Dershowitz on Flynn's Offer: 'A Three-Dimensional Chess Game'
Michael Flynn (AP)

By    |   Friday, 31 Mar 2017 10:41 PM

Famed civil rights attorney Alan Dershowitz Friday likened the fray surrounding Michael Flynn's offer to testify with immunity before Congress on Russia to "a three-dimensional chess game" — saying that the former national security adviser's offer might be harkening back to the Oliver North case during the Iran-Contra affair of the 1980s.

"I have never heard of a case in 50 years of practice where the defense publicly states that it is actively seeking immunity," the Harvard Law School professor emeritus told Anderson Cooper on CNN. "Normally, these negotiations occur behind closed doors.

"Now, the defendant has no choice. He can't accept or reject immunity. He has to testify if he is given immunity."

But Dershowitz then mentioned the case of North, the former U.S. Marine who was linked to Iran-Contra during the Reagan administration.

In July 1987, North testified with immunity before a special congressional panel investigating the scandal. He disclosed his role and other information about the affair.

He was later indicted and tried on 16 felony counts in 1988 but was convicted of three the following year.

However, since North had received immunity for his testimony, the law barred prosecutors from using that information as evidence against him.

North's convictions, as a result, were reversed — and a federal judge dismissed all charges against him in 1991.

In the case of Flynn, "the prosecution and the Senate and the House can have their cake and eat it, too," Dershowitz said.

"They can wait a while, get more information, get more evidence, put it in a lock box, and time-stamp it. Then, eventually, give Flynn immunity.

"He would then have to testify — and they can still prosecute him based on the information they had before he testifies."

But, the retired professor, added: "It also could be a bluff.

"It also could be that Flynn really doesn't want to testify.

"He goes public," Dershowitz posed. "He pressures the Senate and House into saying, 'We don't want you to get immunity.'

"At that point, he is the good guy, offering to testify — and they're the bad guys," he concluded. "So, it's very hard at this point to figure out exactly what the strategy is."

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Famed civil rights attorney Alan Dershowitz Friday likened the fray surrounding Michael Flynn's offer to testify with immunity before Congress on Russia to "a three-dimensional chess game" — saying that the former national security adviser's offer...
alan dershowitz, michael flynn, offer, testify, immunity
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Friday, 31 Mar 2017 10:41 PM
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