Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz said it was “obnoxious to our Constitution” to put former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort behind bars prior to a trial.
The left is on social media calling him “nuts” and questioning his credibility because he supports doing the right thing no matter the political party. They’re out for blood…
— AZCowgirl (@Judy_T_AZ) June 16, 2018
“He has never been convicted of anything. He is as innocent as you and I,” Dershowitz said in an interview on MSNBC on Friday. “And the idea of locking somebody up before a trial is so obnoxious to our Constitution that every civil libertarian should be up in arms. What they can do if they think that he’s tampering with witnesses is: they can subject him to home arrest, take away his computer … they can have all kinds of restrictions, but the idea of putting somebody in jail before they’ve been convicted is an enactment of civil liberties.”
The comments come after Manafort was taken to a federal jail on Friday after U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson revoked his current bail that permitted him out on house arrest and after he pleaded not guilty to charges of obstruction. He will stay at the federal jail until his trial in September.
Manafort was charged in October with money laundering, tax evasion, conspiracy, and failure to register as a foreign agent in Washington.
Earlier this month, he and a Russian-Ukrainian business partner were said to have allegedly communicated with witnesses and requested they lie about the lobbying work the two conducted.
Although Trump initially told reporters on Friday that Manafort “has nothing to do with our campaign,” he tweeted later that Manafort’s jailing was “very unfair.”
Wow, what a tough sentence for Paul Manafort, who has represented Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and many other top political people and campaigns. Didn’t know Manafort was the head of the Mob. What about Comey and Crooked Hillary and all of the others? Very unfair!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 15, 2018
“Wow, what a tough sentence for Paul Manafort, who has represented Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and many other top political people and campaigns,” Trump tweeted. “Didn’t know Manafort was the head of the Mob. What about Comey and Crooked Hillary and all of the others? Very unfair!”