A staunch defender of constitutional speech and press freedoms, legal expert Alan Dershowitz is seeking to hold CNN accountable for its deliberate distortion of facts in an effort to defame him.
"I am really looking forward to an opportunity to depose CNN," Dershowitz told Wednesday's "Spicer & Co." on Newsmax. "This will be the first time this has ever happened.
"And I think CNN is probably quaking in their boots."
A judge dismissed CNN's motion to toss Dershowitz's $300 million lawsuit, ruling the coverage of Dershowitz's first impeachment trial speech was "not based upon a fair and accurate summary of Dershowitz's statement to the Senate."
"We're thrilled we have got an opportunity to go forward to discovery," Dershowitz, author of "Case Against the New Censorship: Protecting Free Speech from Big Tech, Progressives, and Universities," told co-hosts Sean Spicer and Lyndsay Keith.
The basis for Dershowitz's lawsuit is CNN having first played a full version of his Senate impeachment statement, in which he claimed that if presidents make decision in the “public interest” — they should not be impeachable even if the decision is also politically beneficial to them.
In his defense speech for Trump, Dershowitz made clear the president could not engage in “unlawful and illegal" conduct.
But CNN cleverly edited out Dershowitz’s important qualifier, and continuously ran an edited video clip implying Dershowitz said the president could do anything and not be impeached.
“CNN presented an abridgment of Dershowitz’ answer to Senator Cruz’ question,” U.S. District Court Judge Raag Singhal wrote in his opinion. “The abridgment is not accurate, to the extent that it omitted a crucial qualification: that an illegal motive for a quid pro quo would be corrupt. As a result, the commentators’ statements – that Dershowitz believes a president can do anything, even commit crimes if it would help his re-election – are not based upon a fair and accurate summary of Dershowitz’ statement to the Senate.”
Said Dershowitz: "We have demanded that they not destroy any documents, any memos. We want to get the editors who told them to edit the tape; we want to get the commentators. Who instructed them to say that I believed that a president cannot be impeached for illegal conduct?
"This wasn't something that happened spontaneously," he said. "This came from the top down and we're going to prove it, and they're going to regret having distorted the truth in this way."
Dershowitz noted the judge has ruled the commentary was not based on a "fair and accurate summary" of Dershowitz's Senate speech.
"It will create general law," Dershowitz said of the resolution of his case. "And the general law will be that you can't totally distort a recording to deliberately make the person say the opposite of what he said, and then have commentators come on and attack him for saying something he didn't say.
"That's exactly what they did and it was part of a plan. It was not just an accident and we have proof on that."
Dershowitz is a contributor to Newsmax, and he praised this network on balance compared to CNN. "It's very important to have Newsmax next to CNN to show what a real news network can do, as distinguished from a network that is prepared to distort the facts to satisfy their own agenda," Dershowitz said.
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