As the 2016 presidential election quickly approaches, many key policy issues have become overshadowed by the fallout from the WikiLeaks release of emails and Donald Trump’s claims of a rigged election. Harvard Law Professor and 'Electile Dysfunction' Author Alan Dershowitz weighed in on how these factors will impact the election.
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According to Dershowitz, this presidential race has become too focused on the candidates’ mounting negatives.
“This is going to be the first election in modern history where most Americans are going to be voting against a candidate, not for a candidate,” Dershowitz told the FOX Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo.
Dershowitz reacted to the WikiLeaks releases and allegations of pay-to-play against the Clinton Foundation.
“Well, tragically, pay-to-play is rampant all over the United States, indeed all over the world, but Hillary has some explaining to do.” Dershowitz continued, “Look, I’m going to vote for Hillary Clinton, but I’m not suggesting that on the emails and WikiLeaks she’s perfect.”
But Dershowitz was critical of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for appearing to try and impact the election.
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“Now, I used to represent Assange. And I’m a little angry at this point at the fact that he who started out as a journalist now seems to be a political operative trying to put his thumb on the scale.”
Dershowitz said Assange would appear more credible if he were to produce documents from both sides of the campaign trail.
“If he had produced emails on both sides that were devastating and critical, that would be one thing, but for him to be one-sidedly producing these emails seems to raise some questions.”
Tematica Research Chief Macros Strategist Lenore Hawkins then raised the point that there may not be any incriminating emails on the Republican side.
“We don’t know, maybe there are but these are factual emails and I think it’s a good thing that we have people doing something so that we know who our candidates actually are.”
He then pointed out the irony in the Republican Party’s stance on WikiLeaks now that material damning the Clinton campaign has come to light.
“Republicans are the ones who wanted to put Assange in jail and [Edward Snowden] in jail and all the folks who are involved in leaks and now they’re taking advantage. I don’t blame them, I understand that.”
Dershowitz also made a distinction between people such as Assange and Snowden who “steal” documents and the media who publishes those documents.
“America is divided on Snowden, my own view is he is a criminal and has to pay a consequence for that because he stole material. There’s a difference between the person who steals it and the person who publishes it. The New York Times published the Pentagon Papers, that was the right thing to do, but Dan Ellsberg stole them, that was not the right thing to do.”