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Alan Dershowitz calls Bernie Sanders 'self-hating Jew': Inside 'cloud of controversies' he has sparked in past

From calling for Bill Clinton's impeachment to Derek Chauvin's release, Dershowitz has always been among the news
Bernie Sanders has been slammed by Alan Dershowitz (Getty Images)
Bernie Sanders has been slammed by Alan Dershowitz (Getty Images)

No stranger to media scrutiny, Alan Dershowitz is back in the news. He called Bernie Sanders a "self-hating Jew" on Friday, May 14, as he appeared on Newsmax. The clip instantly went viral, with Dershowitz facing massive backlash. The fury though is likely to have no effect on Dershowitz, who has been down this road many times in the past.

Dershowitz has a long history of making statements ranging from bizarre to outright controversial, but he seems not to care about the effect his words have. Of course, he's not been allowed to get away completely. Dershowitz has been forced to defend his statements on social media in the past. However, there's usually no 'sorry' involved.


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In light of his most recent controversy, we thought it was an apt time to look into the past and see what else Dershowitz has said. Here's a look at some of the truly shocking things the lawyer has uttered in the past.

Alan Dershowitz speaks to the press in the Senate Reception Room (Getty Images)

Defending Trump and Ghislaine Maxwell

The biggest controversy to date has to be Dershowitz's defense of Trump, during the former president's first impeachment. On the first day of the trial, the lawyer said, "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." That argument shocked everyone, leading him to clarify later that he meant "seeking help in an election is not necessarily corrupt". Dershowitz also slammed the media for "twisting his words". Following the Capitol riots, Dershowitz also appeared on Newsmax and slammed the media for 'editing' Trump's statements. "If you watch CBS, PBS, CNN, MSNBC, the president never said 'peaceful protest'. That's the way we learn our history. We learn it from channels that now doctor tapes and edit things out," he said. Here's what he said about Bernie Sanders recently:


In an essay for the Spectator, Dershowitz also defended Ghislaine Maxwell. He wrote, "everyone should keep an open mind about Maxwell" and "like every other arrested person, she must be presumed innocent".

In his 2018 book, 'The Case Against Impeaching Trump', Dershowitz wrote, "Assume Putin decides to ‘retake’ Alaska, the way he ‘retook’ Crimea. Assume further that a president allows him to do it, because he believed that Russia has a legitimate claim to ‘its’ original territory. That would be terrible, but would it be impeachable? Not under the text of the Constitution".

Dershowitz, however, once called for Bill Clinton to be impeached in 1998. "If you have somebody who completely corrupts the office of the president and abuses trust and who poses great danger to our liberty, you don’t need a technical crime," he argued.

Alan Dershowitz listens to Donald Trump speak (Getty Images)

He also made headlines very recently for his defense of Derek Chauvin. Appearing on Fox News, Dershowitz told Laura Ingraham, "he should be released on bail. There is no reason why he should be remanded. He’s not going to flee. He wants to have an appeal. He’s not going to endanger anybody. His face is well known." Dershowitz also once wrote that "statutory rape is an outdated concept", and said "the age of consent should be lowered. It certainly should not be as high as 17 or 16. Reasonable people can disagree over whether it should be as low as 14. Fifteen would seem like an appropriate compromise."

Dershowitz has also courted controversy for his selection of clients, from Harvey Weinstein to OJ Simpson and Roman Polanski to Mike Tyson. The MV Times wrote in 2019, a "cloud of controversy follows Alan Dershowitz".

So far, we haven't received anything in the form of an apology or even an explanation from Dershowitz. Sanders hasn't reacted as well.