Bench Memos

Alan Dershowitz Responds

In response to my post yesterday about his “curious denials” of the sexual allegations that have been made against him, Alan Dershowitz writes to NRO:

Let me respond to Ed Whelan’s nitpicks:

Be assured that I will swear under oath that I have never, ever, under any circumstance, had any sexual or physical contact of any kind with Jane Doe 3, any other Jane Does, or any other underage human being anywhere in the world, including all the places mentioned by Whelan.  Just to be clear, this includes all Caribbean islands, the entire states of New Mexico, Florida, New York and all private and non-private airplanes.  If Mr. Whelan can think of any other locations where I could conceivably had had sex with a minor, I would be happy to swear under oath that it did not take place.  I hope this satisfies his skepticism.  I must also correct him in one other regard.  He says that I filed “a corrected motion,” three days after I filed the “original motion.”  This is simply not true and the result of sloppy research on the part of Whelan.  I signed and filed only one sworn statement.

Alan Dershowitz 

Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law (Emeritus)  

Two points in reply:

1. I noted in my initial post Dershowitz’s blanket denial. What I found curious is that he saw fit to supplement that denial with mischaracterizations of the allegations against him and with specific denials of those mischaracterized allegations. So his making another blanket denial now adds nothing and doesn’t answer the puzzle why he mischaracterized the allegations.

One possible answer to the puzzle, as I suggested, is that he is mischaracterizing the allegations in order to seem to be able to refute them, or at least to be able to persuade his wife and daughter that he is able to refute them. As I also noted, a “more innocent” explanation is that he was just being sloppy. There may well be other possible answers. I don’t embrace any of them.

2. In the final four sentences of his response, Dershowitz purports to correct me “in one other regard.” But he simply misreads my post, as the “corrected motion” I refer to is of the motion filed by Jane Doe #3, not anything filed by him. Indeed, I specifically cited, linked to, and quoted at length from, the “court motion* filed by ‘Jane Doe #3’” (underlining added), and the asterisked footnote mentioned the “corrected motion,” so I don’t see how he could so badly misread things. He is the one being “sloppy”—and remarkably so (which, I suppose, makes it more plausible that a similar sloppiness accounts for his mischaracterization of the allegations). 



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