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tv   Alan Dershowitz Bob Shrum Impeachment Debate  CSPAN  February 25, 2020 3:41am-4:59am EST

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attorney general barr's role in the justice department. watch washington journal live at 7:00 eastern this morning. join the discussion. the south carolina primary is saturday. join us to hear the candidates reactions to the results. live coverage saturday evening on c-span, on demand at or listen live on the free reese -- c-span radio app. >> coming up next on c-span, criminal defense attorney alan dershowitz and democratic consultant robert shrum on the politics of impeachment and other topics, including the me to movement. in washington journal is live with your phone calls and a look at today's headlines.
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tonight should be a humdinger. i'm looking forward to it. to moderate, we have nothing less than a judge, seated in the center. many of you know him. to the ninthted circuit november 2, 1985, and served as chief judge from 2007 to 2014, graduating from ucla ,nd from ucla law school receiving a jv in 1975 and prior to his appointment to the appellate bench, judge kaczynski served as chief judge of the united states claims court from 1982 to 1985 and special counsel to the merit systems protection board and he retired from the bench in 2017 after 35 years of judicial service. [applause]
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judge kaczynski is married to marcy tiffany and has children and three grandchildren. we thank you for being here, judge kaczynski. now, we mentioned ucla, so we must give usc equal time. [applause] we are really honored to have robert shrum, the chair in practical politics. [applause] and director of the usc door and site center for the political future. professor shrum is director of the center and he's a former whotegist and consultant was described as "the most sought-after consultant in the democratic party by the atlantic monthly.
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key serves as speechwriter to new york mayor john lindsay from 1970 to 1971, senator george mcgovern's 1972 presidential candidate -- campaign and speechwriter to the late senator edward kennedy from 1980 to 1984. toserved as senior advisor the kerry edwards campaign in 2004. other candidates include joe senate campaign, and tom bradley in his run for mayor of los angeles. author and professor robert shrum. and we are really honored to have with us alan dershowitz, professor dershowitz, a brooklyn who has been called one of the nation's most distinguished defenders of individual rights, the
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best-known criminal lawyer in the world, and as the jewish state's lead attorney in the corner of public opinion, he is the professor of law emeritus at harvard law school, a graduate of brooklyn college and yale law school, and joins the harvard age 25, becoming a full professor at 28, youngest in the school's history, and 50 years of teaching over 10,000 students. [applause] prolific author, recipient of numerous awards, and i don't know if you remember this, professor or she wits but the -- weofessor gersho
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are thrilled to have them here. tonight, we have a three-part program. part one debate, part two dialogue, and part three discussion. because we have to learn what our differences of opinion are on a range of subjects and how we can create common ground so we can communicate with one another and how we are best able to reach one another in this very stratified and divided society that we live in. that is why tonight's program will have three parts. i have asked that part one, a debate on the politics of impeachment, that each respondent, professor dershowitz and professor bob shrum speak for 10 minutes each. some he said why so short? when i was taught public speaking by a wonderful teacher who used an analogy related to
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oil wildcatting, he used to say if you haven't struck oil in 10 minutes, quit boring. we will hopefully enable you to strike oil very quickly, then we will have a point and counterpoint on this issue. this issue that has been so divisive, but that we would like to hear more about, so i will be replacing judge kaczynski for part two, which will be a discussion and dialogue on a number of important issues that affect us, and the last part of which will relate to rising anti-semitism. i will turn things over to judge kaczynski, who will begin the program today by asking the first respondent to discuss the issue of the politics of impeachment. who would like to begin? you have the floor. >> i'm happy to begin. [applause]
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i am a liberal democrat who voted for all of the people that bob worked for. my political mentors in many ways were ted kennedy. i worked on the mcgovern campaign. i worked on all of the democratic campaigns. i worked hard for the election of hillary clinton. i worked hard for the defeat of president donald trump in an election, but i strongly, strongly opposed his impeachment. [applause] i believe that duly elected presidents should be removed from office only when there is a broad-based consensus and bipartisan support for impeachment and removal. the only president in american history who was properly subject to impeachment was richard nixon. it never came to that because it was so clear that he had committed impeachable offenses that he voluntarily or maybe not
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so voluntarily resigned. andrew johnson was improperly impeached, bill clinton was improperly impeached. i, in fact, was part of the bill clinton defense team and testified in front of congress against his impeachment. i was the only person who spoke in the senate against the impeachment of donald trump, who also spoke against the impeachment of bill clinton. in fact, the only other time i was on the senate floor was when i stood up and defended at alan cranston, the great liberal democratic senator of california. for me, impeachment is never and should never be a partisan issue. i think everybody has to pass what i call the shoe on the other foot test. what i asked the senators to do, i said to each of them, please imagine that the person being impeached was of the opposite party, and ask yourself what neutral principles would justify impeachment.
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then i went through what one of my rabbis called a talmudic dialogue about the six words that were the subject of the debate on the senate floor, the six words were "and other high crimes or misdemeanors." everybody knows what reason -- treason means. it is in the constitution. everybody knows what bribery means. it's a common term that had a meaning at common-law at the time the constitution was written. but what is "or of a high crimes and misdemeanors" mean? obviously there is the simple facial meaning of the term. when you have two words, treason and bribery, and the word other, other high crimes and misdemeanors, the word of the word other requires that crimes and misdemeanors be akin to treason and bribery. that is the obvious intended meaning, so that high crimes, we know that means crimes like
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extortion, crimes like bribery, crimes like perjury, which bill clinton was accused of committing. what about misdemeanors? you go back and you look at what misdemeanors meant in common-law. misdemeanors were a species of crime. they were a crime. at common law, there was some thing called a capital misdemeanor. you could be executed for committing a misdemeanor. that is how serious misdemeanors were. so there is a heavy burden of proof on those who would defy the plain meaning of the terms. or the high crimes and misdemeanors. what happened is a bunch of sophists on the other side led by the democratic leaders tried to give an interpretation of those words that was simply partisan. partisan in effect and partisan in intent. what they said was, well, misdemeanors means what it meant when the british impeached people, forgetting that the british never impeached a prime minister, never impeached a king
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and never impeached anybody at an important level. impeachment was used in england for very low level or medium level administrators. when the framers tried to introduce the british system through the use of the term maladministration, madison said no, we can't do that. that would turn the united states, a republic, into a british-style parliamentary democracy, where the president serves at the pleasure of the legislature. remember, in great britain, in israel, the the prime minister, the head of state can be thrown out of office by simple majority vote of the parliament, and madison said we don't want that in this country. we want a strong executive, not an executive subject to the whim or pleasure of the legislature. the argument was overwhelming in its logic, overwhelming in its
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historical basis, overwhelming in its epistemology, yet virtually every professor in the united states rejected that argument. larry tribe called it bonkers. others said i was becoming senile for making that argument. yet if it had been president hillary clinton and she had been impeached on the same grounds, every single one of those professors would've told me how brilliant i was, they would have built a statute to me on martha's vineyard. [applause] it was such blatant hypocrisy for them to switch sides. in the 19th century when johnson was impeached, the dean of the columbia law school said of course you need a crime. the weight of authority is on the side of the crime. the former justice of the supreme court who defended johnson said, of course you need a crime. but even if i'm wrong, even if history were to support the other side, the idea that we
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don't have a debate about this and that it just results in name-calling, that thousands of professors, most of them have no idea what they are talking about, are prepared to sign a petition saying that my views are wrong, a bunch of professors led by your congressmen, congressmen in this area, led by the congressman in new york and schumer, actually got up on the floor of the senate and said that i was not a constitutional law expert. having taught constitutional procedure as part of criminal procedure for 50 years, having litigated over 100 constitutional cases, having written dozens of articles and books about the constitution, they claimed i was not a constitutional expert because i came out on the wrong side of the issue. if i had been defending hillary clinton, they would've been praising my constitutional expertise. and then, just one more point,
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then i will sit down. the worst offenders were the two congressmen plus senator schumer. the worst offender was cnn and let me explain why. [applause] and i'm going to ask for your advice tonight. here's what happened. ted cruz through the chief justice asked me a simple question. what about quid pro quo? is that an impeachable offense? here is my full answer and you can see it online, you can hear it, not on cnn, you can see it on any honest channel. here was my answer. i said i'm very honored to have come back from the white house where i saw the unrolling of the peace plan. i said what if in the peace plan, i gave a series of hypotheticals, what if in the peace plan, the israelis were told that unless you stop the settlements, you are not getting any money? that would be quid pro quo. or the palestinians were told
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unless you stop terrorism, you're not getting any money. there is nothing wrong with a quid pro quo. unless it involves something that is illegal. but if it's illegal, then a quid pro quo is impeachable. if it involves corrupt conduct, if it involves self-dealing or a kickback, then it would be illegal, but if it was not anything illegal, the mere fact that a public figure, i didn't limit it to the president, any member of congress or any elected official, had a mixed motive and was thinking that only about the public interest but his own electoral interest, that mixed motive could not be subject to an impeachment without any illegal conduct. so here is what cnn said. they took it out of context, they eliminated the part about criminal. they eliminated the part about corrupt, and they said dershowitz said if a president thinks his election is in the national interest, he can do
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anything, including shoot his opponent, rig the machines, this was your friend paul who said that, and cnn simply doctored the interview. it was as if i said the following, let me tell you what i don't believe. i don't believe a president can do anything. and cnn puts on a president can do anything, dershowitz said, leaving out i don't believe. my question to you is this, and i leave you with this question. i am a first amendment believer. i was one of the law clerks who wrote the opinions in new york times versus sullivan, but i do not believe the first amendment protects a willful, deliberate, malicious doctoring of a tape to make somebody say the exact opposite of what he said. my question to you is, should i sue cnn? [applause]
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>> whatever you are comfortable with. i must express my admiration for professor dershowitz. he left just enough time within his time to allow for the standing ovation. [laughter] manyexpect every bit as standing ovations. i'm a little doubtful about that because before the event, i was in the holding room, and the reception -- i'm going to have to move it out, then. you got it?
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i was in the holding room and there were all these "trump for president" buttons. there were all of these pamphlets from the republican jewish coalition. so i don't think i'm exactly at home. i'm on the west side, i am in beverly hills. i think you are kind of an atypical crowd for this part of town. i also have some bad news for professor dershowitz and those of you who applauded him. adam schiff will get reelected to congress by a record margin. [crowd booing] we will talk about civility a little bit later, but i think that is an undisputed will fact. undisputable fact.
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it was interesting to me, and i'm not going to argue the legal case at length with alan dershowitz. i am in no position to do that. i went to harvard law, thank you. that was kind. i went to harvard law school. the only thing i did of any note was when the moot court competition. i would note on these legal issues and i was told we would , talk about the political implications of impeachment which i'm going to talk about. alan sort of i think rehearsed his speech to the senate and added an attack on cnn. he did note that a lot of people disagreed with him. the exact quote from the new york times is most of the scholars disagree with me. i think they're wrong. i think they are right. and we could have a debate about that. i don't think it is fair to question the motives of people
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to the extent of saying if hillary clinton had been impeached for doing what donald trump did come all those people would have necessarily been on the others. i think when you start using lines -- i'm sorry, guys. you're may not want to hear it but you're not gonna like what you hear in november from the voters either. i -- >> let's keep it civil place. >> i'm perfectly happy to have a civil discussion. and i think we should not use words like hypocrisy. we should not use words like question people's motives. think that it advances public dialogue to join president trump in quoting cnn and trashing cnn. my advice to you as a nonpracticing lawyer's don't sue them, you will lose.
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during the impeachment trial, and this is the quote i think you are talking about -- what you want? [inaudible] >> i have no idea you're talking about. i may be better for it. >> please, let's have civility. this is rude. we are here to listen and learn . >> no problem. i knew coming in here that this was going to be like that. i said i would do it. >> i'm giving you an extra two minutes. >> i don't need it. i think this is the exact quote from professor dershowitz. if a president does something which he believes will get him elected in the public interest,
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that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment. he has parsed that statement now or explained that statement, but i think it is profoundly off-base. earlier when you use the word extortion as a grounds for impeachment, i think what the president did to the ukrainians was exactly extortion. that, he argued that a mere abuse of power was not a grounds for impeachment. what if a president started a conflict in october of the election year to get reelected when he has warmaking powers and evidence came out that his motive was purely political? the power, butad he would have abused the power. it's exactly in my view which should be impeachable. now i want to talk about the aftermath of all of this. if you decide that a president who obstructs justice cannot be
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indicted and a president to -- who abuses power can't be impeached, then you give the president a license to engage in wholesale abuse. since the trial that is what donald trump has done. we have seen that with roger stone, with the purging of law enforcement officials. i think there are some people who agreed with me and they listened to professor dershowitz. i'm perfectly happy to take any of your questions, and happy to debate any of you but i will make my case. [applause] >> we have seen the purging of law enforcement officials and others who testified in the impeachment proceedings, demand for re-examination of the michael flynn case, a statement that he has the right to interfere in justice department criminal cases. and i saw an interview that professor dershowitz gave on breitbart radio where he said obama did this, and i hold in my
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hand a 302 that indicates that there's going to be a lawsuit about this, but he didn't say what the lawsuit was, gave no evidence, we don't know what would be in that lawsuit and it reminds me of joseph mccarthy going to wheeling, west virginia and saying i hold my hand the names of 200 officials in the state department who have communist ties. not questioning motives but you are calling me mccarthy. >> i didn't call you mccarthy, i said that was a mccarthyite tactic. what is the case? >> you will find out about it very soon. >> isn't that great. >> yeah it is very great. i have a client to represent who has not given me the authority to disclose the specifics, but i will disclose the specifics which mccarthy did not do. i have a 302 which i would be happy to show you which pinpoints the fact that the president of the united states
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started the investigation. he says this was done on behalf of george soros. that's one of the worst right-wing memes we have going around this country today. >> but it is true. [applause] mr. shrum. you and donald trump are under -- mr. shrum you and donald : trump are under the mistaken assumption that if you believe something it is true. this has to be settled in a court of law. mr. dershowitz it will. :mr. shrum and you will lose. : politically, what are the consequences of all of this? in the quinnipiac poll, voters say acquittal did not clear trump of wrongdoing. among independents, it's a five to 40. presents approvals and 43%, it has not budged -- i'm sorry, it is not -- i know so you are going to cite the gallup poll. isthe real clear politics approvals at 45%.
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>> they want you to talk into the mic. mr. shrum: in the reuters zip so is paul. 49% of the people agreed impeachment is the right thing to do and only 41 -- only 39% thought that the president was innocent of the charges brought against him. i would like to look at that in terms of the 2020 election. first i would cite the clinton precedent and what happened in the year 2000. after that impeachment, after the trial, after he was acquitted he had a very high job , approval, and he had a very low personal approval. if you went out and talk to focus groups, they just wanted to be gone. the kids had seen things on television they didn't want them to see. that open the way for george w. bush to run on the proposition he was going to change very
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little, he was going to have a tax cut to share the prosperity, but he was going to preserve the budget surplus. but he would restore honor and dignity to the white house. that was all about the clinton impeachment. i think the same overhang is likely for trump. he is the only president since polling began never to be above 50% approval. i think impeachment reinforces the public reaction to a pattern of continuing presidential misconduct. he is actually broken the historic connection so far between approval on the economy and job approval in general. there is about a 20% higher job approval on the economy then there is job approval in general. i'll conclude by saying my view is that trump cannot win the election. ing] >> but the democrats can lose the election. [applause]
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mr. shrum: for example, the health care question and medicare for all. medicare for all could invert the democratic advantage on health care we're issues like pre-existing conditions help dry democratic victory in 2018. trumbull run a scorched-earth campaign against the democratic thenee and if that is nominee's positions or records repel voters otherwise inclined to vote democratic, trump could be reelected. not for his virtues if i can use that word, but because the democrats once again lose the on lousiville election. [applause] >> i know you have a number of things to respond to but i have a question i want to work and because i didn't understand.
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you made the distinction between the impeachment of president clinton, william defended, and president trump, whom you defended. with president clinton was accused of doing was in fact a felony. wondering under your theory of -- impeachable?ot mr. dershowitz: because the constitution says high crime and what clinton did was a low climate -- low crime. it was a crime of personal misconduct, not a crime of governmental misconduct. it was much like what happened to alexander hamilton. alexander hamilton, you may remember, if you are a scholar history or you've seen the play, remember was seduced by a woman while he was secretary of the treasury. and the woman's husband came and demanded extortion payments which he paid.
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those were not impeachable offenses although adultery was a felony at the time. but then the extortionists went over to hamilton and said unless you pay me more money i will say you got the money from the treasury department and used that money to pay the extortion. and of course he didn't get the money from the treasury pamphlett, he issued a which was embarrassing to him and his family in which he admitted the affair, but said he paid the money personally. he paid the money from his wife's fund which was ironic. all the framers had one thing in common, they married rich women. he was one of them and his wife didn't know she was paying extortion money. the point is clinton committed a low crime. i want to throw a question back in my distinct opponent. i want to ask this directly. if a public official or elected official says to himself i want to take an action, i want to vote a certain way, i think it
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will help the national interests , but i think it will also help my election. is that a crime or impeachable offense? it's a rhetorical question because of course it's not. that's exactly what i said. and mr. shrum you've totally distorted what i said. let me read you what i said. mr. shrum: i think i quoted you. mr. dershowitz: no you didn't. what you did as you left out the words before and the words after. you quoted me as saying this is what i don't believe, a president can do anything and you quoted me as saying at present to do anything. you did exactly what cnn did. you left out the following words , if the quid pro quo were illegal. you deliberately left out those words. and if you put those words in, what it says is if a president , if i hadhing illegal
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said that, which he believes will help him get elected, that would be the issue. what i said was if the president does something perfectly legal which he believes will get him elected that cannot be defined a quid pro quo that results in impeachment. shame on you for repeating the sin of cnn. [applause] mr. dershowitz: you may have persuaded me because you are an honest and decent man whose motives i won't challenge, but because you have indulged in the same kind of gutter politics as -- very then i may have -- may very well have to sue cnn to make sure people like you can never repeat the canard that i said a president can do anything. i challenge you to read my entire quote to the audience, not do what cnn did. [applause] mr. dershowitz: not just the
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excerpt, read the quote. listen, guys, we can either have a discussion and we can be civil which alan just was not or i can respond in kind. shameful that someone i admired for years represented the single most reprehensible person ever to sit in the oval office as president of the united states. [booing] mr. shrum: secondly. talk about mccarthyism. i'm gonna talk, i didn't under review, don't interrupt me. secondly. when you listen to his explanation about that quote, i defy anybody in this audience to figure out what the hell he was saying. the quote says and it is exact. if a president does something which he believes will help them get elected in the public typeest that cannot be the of quid pro quo that results in impeachment. i know what he is saying.
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he is saying he has to commit a crime. i don't agree with that. i don't think president clinton should have been impeached at all. i don't think high crimes and misdemeanors means crimes in the conventional sense and i think if abuse of power is not an impeachable offense, then democracy in this country is in terrible trouble. obviously it's a rhetorical question that alan asked if a public official says to himself i'm gonna vote this way because i'm going to get myself reelected and that's in the national interest, obviously that's not an impeachable offense. mr. dershowitz: that's exactly what i said. mr. shrum: would you like to have a stage to yourself? i think you would love it. so let me finish. mr. dershowitz: i would like to hear truth from the other side. mr. shrum: allen. you think you have the truth just like donald trump thinks he has the truth, but you don't get to decide. so either be quieter or not, say a word. we can have a dialogue.
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mr. dershowitz: that's your choice. mr. shrum: know your choice is to maybe -- maybe the judge can get you -- my final point which i was making and they don't thing a balance of time but there is any inequity here, in fact if there is it's on the others to the podium. that,ublic official does i don't think it's an impeachable offense, but if congress has appropriated money that is supposed to go to ukraine for its military defense and the president withhold that money then the signals are sent to the ukrainians that they won't release it until there's an investigation of joan hunter biden, i think that is an impeachable offense. mr. dershowitz: let's just remember one thing trump said and that is it is despicable that i was the lawyer for the president of the united states. that is the most mccarthyite statement i have ever heard. i grew up during mccarthyism.
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when lawyers were held responsible for their clients. the next thing he's going to say is that it was despicable that i represented michael milken, thatcable i represented -- i'm trying to help benjamin netanyahu. mccarthyism squared. now it is despicable that a lawyer represents benjamin netanyahu, the prime minister of israel. despicable that a lawyer represents the president of the united states, that is a new meaning to mccarthyism. [applause] we promised you an exciting debate and i think you got it. [laughter] let's have a round of applause for both. [applause] >> thank you, judge kaczynski. i don't think there's enough manischewitz in california to
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give us a little calm on this issue, i want to ask the audience, and i know there are a lot of passions, we will get to this issue of passion and politics and the breakdown of communication, which unfortunately we are seeing a little bit of on the stage, but people's reputations and their reputations that they built over a lifetime are very precious and valuable so i would like to ask both of you to stick to the issues of the issue at hand and i want to transition to now is the subject of the #metoo movement. many of you know that professor dershowitz wrote a book called "guilt by accusation." i'm sure that professor bob shrum has seen some of the cases that have occurred where women were abused by people whom they put their trust in.
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the cases of harvey weinstein, bill cosby, many of you have seen that women have been subject to significant abuse. some would say it is as old as the casting couch in hollywood, but the fact is that we live in a different era where women's rights are in the forefront and there has been this tremendous explosion that has built up for decades of people feeling abused. women feeling abused by men of power especially men who are predators. the question for me is as the -- has the pendulum swung too far, or is it acceptable? i will tell you a couple of quick examples and then i would like to hear your take. one example is a number of men in the congregation telling me i'm just not hiring women
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anymore, i'm get a higher guys. ofon't want to take a chance sexual harassment lawsuit because of something i said, i complement a woman's appearance and i'm told by my legal counsel that you can't do that, you can say you have a beautiful dress on today, but you can't say you look beautiful. body as a rabbi recently had an experience were three months ago one of the women who works in the office when i came in was on the phone crying and i said what happened, she said my father just died. i when gave her a hug. our labor lawyer said you can't do that you have to ask permission, may i give you a hug. has this swung too far and are we at the point the did we has caricatured in the curb your enthusiasm episode where larry david put his camera down on the desk -- on the table as he was beginning to kiss his date and said i want to make sure you are in complete agreement with me
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going ahead and kissing you. the question i want to ask both and i'll start with professor shrum, has the movement swung too far, are we in a place in society where we can get accused fearonvicted and where the of this women's retribution is making people do things like not hiring women and hiring men for positions that they are perfectly capable of fulfilling. mr. shrum: first i have to say it is ironic that there are three men on this stage discussing this. there should be women up here discussing this. secondly -- [applause] mr. shrum: i have to observe that you had better tell your friend that if he has a pattern and practice of not hiring women he is in violation of federal civil rights laws and better be careful. -- i i think it has been understand the frustration that some people have i understand
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, that people can be falsely accused. i think that has happened, but for time immemorial, women have not been believed, women have not been listen to, these complaints have been brushed off, and i think that the me too movement is good for our society. i think it will make the country a better place. do i think that those things can -- thank you. do i think that those things can be carried too far? of course. do i think that mere accusation should make someone guilty? of course not. but we also are any situation and this isn't just the #metoo movement now, this is what's going on in the catholic church. we are in a situation where there are circumstances under which there is a cascade of accusations, a cascade of accusations.
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there may be a statute of limitations. you cannot find out in a criminal court whether this happened, so you go forward as the church has finally done in the case of cardinal mccarrick to basically defrock him and sent him out to someplace in kansas. >> finally. >> i agree. i think it took forever. but it's been true forever but we have denigrated women, we've denigrated their complaints and i think it is wrong and i think we have to change it. the point where we say everybody is guilty simply because one person accused them of something. you need to investigate it and find out. look at roger ailes. finally, the dam broke. i don't know how many of you have seen the movie, finally the dam broke and fox conducted an investigation, and he was clearly guilty. there was no criminal process. there wasn't even civil process
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over there have been a series of lawsuits settled. and he was fired. i think that was the right thing to do. so i would not rollback this movement, i would continue to insist that people ought to be treated in a responsible way that one accusation, that unsubstantiated, does not prove a whole case against somebody. >> thank you. professor dershowitz. mr. dershowitz: i agree with much of what bob said. i support the me too movement. i think it is too little too late in many ways. i think it's important that we take women's accusations. but is eric once said, every cause starts as a movement in that it becomes a business and ultimately a racket. are we are seeing now lawyers with highly questionable legal ethics who have made a business out of falsely accusing people. i was one of his victims. he set up a complete shakedown
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plan in which a woman that i never met, never heard of, never knew existed falsely accused me after telling the fbi she didn't have sex with me, after telling her best friend and she never met me. all of which was known to the lawyers, after which her own lawyer said to me, it is impossible that you could have been in the place she said that you were. after getting the former head of the fbi to do a complete independent investigation to conclude it was wrong, they are still coming after me, even though it is clear without any doubt that i never had any contact with this woman at the 92nd street y at which i have spoken in the last 25 years. i was the second most frequent speaker in their history after
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l.a. these l. they've now canceled me and said i can never speak there again. i couldn't speak on behalf of israel. i have the new book called defending israel and i wanted to speak there. mr. shrum: that's why you're here. [applause] what they said as we know you are innocent but you are accused and we don't want trouble. if you are accused, we don't want trouble. .o you can't speak here anymore the same thing is true today on college campuses. i'm fighting back, i am lucky i have nothing to hide. i have been with my wife who is here tonight since the day that i met jeffrey epstein during the relevant period. i've never touched another woman, i don't hug, i don't flirt, i don't go out with people. i don't do any of that. nonetheless i was picked. why was i picked? because i'm a famous guy and the
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lawyers understood that if they accused me publicly they could go to leslie wexner, the owner theictoria's secret and say same woman that accused dershowitz publicly seven times has accused you seven times including making her wear victoria's secret type lingerie, and there are ways of resolving this. they had a meeting. they had a meeting and after the meeting leslie wexner's name disappeared from all the court pleadings. he was never accused. the lawyer said we believe him, we think he is telling the truth. if you believe him that means you believe your own client has made up stories about him. all of this is coming out now. all of this will come out in court. what is most despicable is the david and the other lawyers are destroying #metoo movement.
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because they are putting forward accusations that they know or should know are absolutely false and that discredits truthful people. he is not a hero of the #metoo movement here -- he is the villain. now we are having lawsuits, he is suing me for defamation, i'm suing him for defamation. the woman is claiming now that i raped her even though i never met her and the idea of how i raped her she admits she says the sex was consensual, which it didn't happen. but she says because i knew that others being enslaved by even if i had only sexual and -- consensual conduct, that would constitute rape. we have motions to dismiss that. the idea that somebody has -- was never done anything wrong sexually ever, i've never harassed someone, i have never
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even told a bad jokes. when it comes to this aspect of my life, like somebody with perfect attendance, i have been perfect. and yet i am being accused and people still believe that, and i've been accused by lawyers who know or should know that they are making a false accusation. beware of the #metoo movement excesses. the people who are exploiting the movement and trying to turn it into a racket. [applause] mr. dershowitz: if you want to read about it, my book called guilt by accusation lays out the whole thing. it has all the documents. $1.95 on kindle. you can see that there is not an -- you can read the whole thing and see that there is not an iota of evidence that supports these false accusations. >> alright we are going to go a little point counterpoint and move on to the next subject. perfect is probably not the word i would use given
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it's used by someone else to describe something that was imperfect. i'm not here to adjudicate what went on with professor dershowitz or didn't go on. i understand his acute sensitivity here and i make no judgment about the outcome of the situation. i know david, i haven't seen him in years. i know him to be an honorable person and i don't believe -- you all do not know him, i understand that you are on professor dershowitz's side. i know him to be an honorable person that he lied. the denial of public forums is a much more difficult thing. i think if a public forum was denied to alan dershowitz at the 92nd street y simply because they said we don't think he did anything but it would be trouble, i think that is wrong. [applause] mr. shrum: i also think that
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whether people are invited to speak on a campus, whether it relates to this issue or some other that in many cases people are making very individual judgments based on very specific cases. if the 92nd street y did this because he would be trouble, i think that's a mistake, and if they did it because they're worried it might be true and i want to be careful here, i understand that. i think everybody is entitled to a lawyer, and i left out one thing. alan got very upset because i said it was despicable that he represent the worst president in american history. i actually think of something of an old line in the law that everybody is entitled to a
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lawyer, but they not entitled to this lawyer. and you make choices. this relates to the me too movement. i think one of the things that has happened to professor dershowitz is because he represented jeffrey epstein and because he got a very good deal for a very bad guy, people assume he must be guilty of this other stuff. i think that is wrong. i think lawyers when they go to fight for a client, once they choose to represent that client they should fight as hard as they can to get as good a deal as they can, but i think that's partly why he is caught up in this. mr. dershowitz: let me briefly respond to a good point. you're entitled to me. let me tell you why. i taught legal ethics for many years at harvard. i taught 10,000 students that you are entitled to a lawyer, how can i then without being a hypocrite say that you are not entitled to me. my job is to represent the most despised, the most unpopular. the people who have very great
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difficulty getting a lawyer. i had tenure, i couldn't be fired. i was in the soviet union in the 1970's representing those people because they could not get lawyers in the soviet union. [applause] mr. dershowitz: i'm going to continue to represent the most despised, the most unpopular. the second most critical appraisal was not the o.j. simpson case, it was when i represented bill clinton. a lot of people said what a disgraceful thing. you representing the most powerful president in terms of his personal life and what he did. i got such horrible accusations for helping bill clinton. the shoe has to fit comfortably on both feet. mr. shrum: i have to say i would not compare sharansky with donald trump. >> i would like to go to this
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issue of not guilt by accusation but something that troubles me which is guilt by association. just because you represent the president of the united states should not make you as it has for professor dershowitz, persona non grata in certain circles. we all have a right to be heard, we all have a right to be defended in court, we all have a right to associate with the policies of the president who we may find odious. a lot of people had it in for bill clinton. a lot of people had it in for barack obama. being on the side of one of these presidents -- those presidents should not have made you a pariah. for me, the guilt by association is very troubling and it made me think of a circumstance. last night we had a professor sapolsky, from stanford university. professor sapolsky studied
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primates in the jungle and he also studied human behavior. mr. shrum: should have been here tonight. let me tell you. he studied republican and democratic primates. found was something really fascinating. what he found was that even though there is a tendency to consider someone of a different personlien, when that puts on a baseball cap and you are from l.a. and it says los angeles dodgers, import -- or a san francisco, the skin color goes out the window. and there are actually -- there can be areas where -- which he described an episode in world war i where soldiers got out of the trenches during christmas even started celebrating together and they didn't want to go back and fight the next day until their commanding officers forced them to go back to battle.
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my analogy is if i'm driving down the road, and i see a family or a group of people in a broken down car, and the car has a maga sign on it, i will help that family. i don't care what the maggots sign says. if i see a bernie sanders sticker on the car, i will stop and help that family, and on a level of human compassion, we have to start putting aside this guilt by association tendency that seems so prevalent in our society that we ban people from speaking and we ban people from the opportunity of expressing their opinion. mr. shrum: i think that's absolutely right. i am the director at the usc of something called the tenter for -- center for the political future. my codirectors mike murphy, their public political sultan -- consultant with whom i have waged many campaigns on opposite sides and we have managed to
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maintain a friendship in spite -- all through that. we have had speakers on campus pollock you jeff just gave an interview to on breitbart. pelosi.e cutter, nancy [booing] mr. shrum: i guess the rabbi's words were not heard. [laughter] mr. shrum: nancy pelosi and mark short, the chief of staff for the vice president of the united states. i had the former president of the national rifle association and we had a perfectly civil conversation if i can use the word perfect. i didn't agree with him, a lot of the students didn't agree with him but nobody said he had no right to speak. utterly opposed to saying people have no right to speak. mr. dershowitz: i have a question, you had all these people, the vice president's person people trying to get , donald trump elected president, did you ever call them despicable the way you said
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it was despicable for me to represent the president of the united states? [applause] mr. shrum: why do you -- mr. dershowitz: why do you draw lines between called me despicable because it was a lawyer standing up for the constitution united states but it's ok to not call despicable the people who are actually trying to get trump elected? i'm not trying to get trump elected, i'm trying to leave it to everybody to decide who to vote for. i'm trying to defend the constitutional right of all americans and you call that despicable? [applause] mr. shrum: wait a minute. that's not a question, it's a speech. and let me tell you something. you did not defend the constitution of the united states. you kick the constitution of the united states into the gutter and i feel that very strongly and that's why i said it was despicable. you did not have to choose to represent this man, he does not come up to the standard of the kind of powerless people you
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were talking about representing before. i know people here don't agree with me, but i'm not giving an inch on this. >> reason all people -- please no shouting. reasonable people can agree to disagree and can say that defending an interpretation of impeachment and the constitution does not necessarily paint she with a red brush of guilt. i think for me that is the distinction that is significant. here at the theater when we agreed to have this forum, we received a lot of facebook postings, how dare you have professor dershowitz in a debate or in a dialogue or a discussion, how dare you? you know what is interesting. when we had rachel maddow on her , when we unchallenged had bernie sanders speaking on his book, unchallenged. we didn't get those facebook
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posts, we didn't get those negative comments. so i am deeply troubled that just the idea of having this kind of conversation, he did it has become is something that we should not do. that to me is not acceptable. mr. shrum: you should do it and and it was right to do it. when lisa asked me if i would do it and you did i did not pause, -- and then you asked me to do this, i did not pause i said i , would do it. i think that made sense. i thought we had moved on from our earlier discussion about impeachment to talking about other issues. so i don't want to go back over all of this again, i think we both had our say. i do think there is an interesting question which maybe you will ask. we are talking about how everybody should be able to speak in these public forums and on campus. what about the bds movement? >> thank you very much perfect segue and transition.
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now i know why you were a speechwriter. let's move on to that subject. because the campus is also an issue where freedom of speech is very much under assault. forums where we have heard people from different political persuasions seek to speak, their voices have been silenced. movement as many of us have studied it has been underway for over a decade called the bds movement. boycott, divestment, and sanctions, which was a planned concerted orchestrated premeditated movement to isolate israel. there have been a lot of people who said, i'm not really attacking the jewish people, i'm just attacking israel. they forget to mention that happens to be the state of the jewish people. they are making a distinction that for a lot of us doesn't add up.
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what has been your experience in terms of rising anti-semitism and the bds movement? mr. dershowitz: first of all the bds movement is an anti-free speech movement. let's start with that. it's anti-free speech. how do i know that? when oxford university invited me, the oxford union, the oldest debating society in the world, to debate bds, they invited the head of the movement. he said he refuses to debate dershowitz because dershowitz is subject to bds because he is a jewish zionist. so start out with them as an anti-speech movement. i support the right of people to advocate bds. i support the right of people not -- to advocate not renting houses to black people, jewish people, gay people. you have the right to advocate, but if you dare not to rent to a black person or a gay person,
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you have committed a crime. what i do is i oppose the fact that bds is discriminatory in fact. bds is not advocacy, it is we will discriminate. we will not buy goods from come we will not have speakers from come we will not allow universities to work together with israeli universities. it is the act of discrimination. not the advocacy of discrimination which is problematic. which is why i think that the bds movement itself is anti-civil liberties, anti-free speech and anti-semitic. why is it anti-semitic? because it only selects one country. there is no such thing as the bds movement like the gay movement or feminist movement. it doesn't apply to china. it doesn't apply to iran. it doesn't apply to belarus. it is a tactic directed only against the nationstate of the jewish people and only against
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the jewish residents of israel. bds doesn't apply to arab residents come muslim residents, christian residence. it only applies to jewish residents. i am in favor of banning the act of discriminating based on national origin and religion, but i am not in favor of banning advocacy of bds as long as it is not actually practiced. as long as discrimination is not actually practiced. i hope the president with the drafting of his recent executive order which was a great boon to opposing, making anti-semitism and anti-zionism on campus akin to anti-feminism, anti-gay, anti--- all the other bigotry's. i insisted, and i did not have to fight for this, everybody agreed, that the law should say
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the executive order should say, this executive order must be interpreted consistent with existing law which means the first amendment. nothing in the executive order can in any way undercut the first amendment. i support the first amendment. i think it comes before anything else but the first amendment does not protect actual acts of discrimination which is what it is. mr. shrum: i was going to say i entirely agree. i have a couple of other comments about it and then a question. first of all, i entirely disagree with bds. i do not and cannot imagine ever supporting it under any circumstances. [applause] i've been to israel 40 or 50 times. i am not jewish. i did the campaign when he defeated benjamin netanyahu which is probably why i alan
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fails with netanyahu. happensn't think what -- what's wrong with bds is it affects one country. the movement to boycott south africa was just about one country. i think it is wrong on the merits. it's wrong on the notion that somehow or other we will dictate the policy of a state like israel, single them out, make them the bad people. south africa deserved to be singled out. israel does not deserve to be singled out. [applause] mr. shrum: i think that there are harder cases. while i tend to be a free speech absolutist, and i can remember debating with my friend larry five years ago whether or not the nazis should be permitted to march in skokie. of course it was a public street. i think it becomes a more complicated question when you get to universities. i don't know the answer fully
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but i would not be party to inviting a nazi to speak at the university of southern california. i would not be party to inviting a holocaust denier to speak at the university of southern california. [applause] mr. shrum: i do think we have to draw some lines. bds is not in that category. i don't agree with them, i think they are wrong. the comment to professor dershowitz at oxford was completely wrong but i think we have to draw some lines and say that there are some people whom we do not have to lend a forum to. >> my business his miracles. you see this commonality and agreements here? [applause] >> miracles do occur occasionally. mr. shrum: having worked on that executive order for the president, can you get him to reverse his decision to repeal the executive order banning
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discrimination against gay people in employment by federal contractors? mr. dershowitz: i think it should be reversed, absolutely. i think you should be no toleration for discrimination based on sexual orientation, i will do anything in my power to avoid -- to make sure that doesn't happen. i want to throw a question back to you. you are against bds. do you think the democratic party, particularly with the emerging of the squad as having more influence, do you think the democratic party can today be bds?nst there were votes in the house and senate. the votes in the house, many democrats voted in a way that appeared at least to some not to be against bds and i think part of it was pushed by the 40 members of the squad, all who clearly favor bds. mr. shrum: what was the legislation? mr. dershowitz: it was -- it was
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-- it was complicated. clear that all the pro-israel people voted one way and a lot of the non-pro-israel people voted the other way. it was a kind of referendum on israel. let me -- let me stick to the squad. what you think the democratic attitude, party leadership attitudes should be towards the squad possible strong support for bds? mr. shrum: i think the resolution was incredibly is very narrow view of the democratic party. i think democrats are pro-israel and will continue to be pro-israel -- you know guys. it's kind of hopeless. we will continue to stand up for israel and much to your regret,
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the democratic nominee will probably get 70 percent to 75% of jewish voters in november. >> let me say something -- mr. dershowitz: could you support bernie sanders or president? support any will democratic nominee, not because i necessarily think they are all worst, most dangerous president in american history. [booing] >> we are back again, back around the circle. let me say this about the squad. i was involved in holding a fundraiser for new york congressman elliott angle in los angeles. elliott, after the anti-semitic comments of ill on ilhan omarn
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refused to kick her off that committee, i called elliott and i said elliott, how is it possible you couldn't find a way to at least stand up and condemn ilhan omar who is on your committee? his answer, bob, was sadly telling. constituentsf my are of puerto rican origin and aoc said if i do that, she will personally come in and campaign for my defeat in my own district. so there is a lot of intimidation going on here and that goes back to the point i was making about intimidation and guilt by association. he is now being challenged anyway. mr. dershowitz: isn't it interesting that what you just said is that he committed what would be an impeachable offense
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because he took into account his own political electability and changed the position that would otherwise have been a position against her but because of his own election, his own electability he changed his mind. [applause] come on. allen is a bit monomaniacal here. what we are talking about here in the case of trump was a congress appropriated the money, the people at the budget office said you had to give the money, he refused to give the money, he held it up as blackmail against hunter biden and joe biden. that's my view. i would like to stop talking about impeachment, i think it's ridiculous to keep going back to it and we have nothing from professor dershowitz on what he thinks the ultimate political impact of this will be. ocasio-cortez got elected with 10,000 votes. how did she get elected? joe crowley some of the party
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leader in queens and had the district for many years, first got it when it was an irish catholic district. the district changed, he took it for granted, he lost in a very low turnout primary. i think the press is fascinated with aoc, i think she is a bit player in the democratic party, i do not think she will become a major force in the party. she loves standing there with bernie sanders and i think as we look down the road, all of that is going to dissipate. democrats have always been pro-israel. i know the republican jewish voters are here. but democrats have been pro-israel. it was not for example democrats who sold warplanes to saudi arabia when they were mortal enemies -- enemies of israel. it was the reagan administration. so let's not partisanize this. the jews in america and israel
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are so much better and off when they don't become a partisan israel between the two parties. mr. dershowitz: i think it's becoming a partisan issue because more than the four democrats are now showing a very different attitude. liz warren won't come to aipac. englandanders went to and campaign for jeremy corbyn who is a vera lent anti-semite. let me announce here today i have never in my life voted against the democratic candidate for president, i will not vote for bernie sanders no matter who his opponent is, i could not pull the lever for a man [applause] who has supported an anti-semitic camry in britain -- candidate in britain. he didn't have to go there, he went there, he endorsed him. he has forever lost my support. [applause] >> a lot of people share that opinion. i would like to wrap it up with
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a wonderful quote from jewish tradition and it's one i've heard from many friends of mine who are catholic priests. decency precedes the -- it means common decency precedes even the bible. the way we talk to one another, communicate with one another, even when as in the talmud, rabbis violently disagree on points of law. the actual term common decency stems from the way of the earth. the way of the earth for us to be able to communicate with one another, especially when we disagree. i want to thank both of my guests here tonight, let's give them a nice warm thank you and please shake hands. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you. >> we can violently disagree but i think we have some common respect for each other.
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>> yes we do. thank you. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] >> here is a look at our live coverage tuesday. on c-span at 10:30 a.m. eastern, health and human services secretary alex cesar on the budget proposal for hhs at a senate appropriations subcommittee hearing. at 2:00 p.m. the house returns for work on bills including one that provides legal services to homeless veterans. on c-span two, the senate is back 10:00 a.m. to considered judicial and executive nominations in the afternoon senators vote on whether to move forward with two bills that set new policy standards.
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on c-span3, another hearing on the president's 2020 budget request with active homeland security secretary chad wolf at 10:00 a.m. eastern. ♪ the south carolina primary saturday. join us to hear the candidates reactions to results. live coverage saturday evening on c-span, on demand at or listen live on the free c-span radio app. >> sunday, book tv features conversations on u.s. presidents. plus america as a superpower. starting at noon eastern on in-depth, a live conversation with author and white house correspondent april ryan. >> i studied for the sid morgan state university. this is my vocation.
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not knowing i would be under fire for asking questions. questions of each president. the same question except for one. of each president over the last 21 years. asking questions now has me fearing for my life. >> her latest book is "under fire." join the conversation with your phone calls, tweets, texts and facebook messages. at 9:00 p.m. eastern on book,ards, in his latest syndicated columnist cal thomas explores the rise and fall of nations historically and america's role as a superpower. he is interviewed by author and cnn contributor amanda carpenter. >> we are not each other's enmities -- enemies as we set -- lincoln said. if we don't make this great experiment called democracy or constitutional republic work for
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succeeding generations and we will expire. there is no guarantee. when things are lookingthings at when things are looking great, it is time to shore up the foundation. authors april ryan and cal thomas sunday on book tv on c-span2. >> coming up on c-span, a look of vulnerabilities and infrastructure systems. that is followed by "washington journal," with your phone calls in today's headlines. later this morning, health and cesarservices secretary x azarses the -- ale discusses the budget. >>oo


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