News & Politics

Alan Dershowitz Is Not Going to Join Trump’s Legal Team

"I have no interest in becoming a lawyer in the case," he says.

Photograph via Flickr.

John Dowd, one of President Trump’s lawyers, resigned today, leaving open a big question: Who might replace him?

In a typical administration, top defense lawyers would line up to represent the President. But Trump—perhaps the highest-profile, hardest-to-control client in history—doesn’t have a lot of options. Ask around among Washington’s white-collar defense bar if anyone would represent him, and you’ll hear the same responses: “No.” “Never.” Sometimes, laughter.

Trump may need to get creative, as he did with his recent hire of Joseph diGenova—DC’s US Attorney in the mid-’80s, known more recently as a Fox News pundit who endorses a conspiracy theory that the Justice Department framed Trump.

The President seems to have an affinity for hiring people he sees on TV, so why not find another lawyer there, too? That led us to wonder: Would Alan Dershowitz join Trump’s legal team? Also a Fox News commentator who often espouses views favorable to the President—including that firing James Comey was not obstruction of justice, and that Robert Mueller should not have been appointed special counsel—the Harvard Law professor seems to fit the bill. Trump has praised Dershowitz on Twitter, and recently quoted him there.

But if the President was considering extending a job offer, Dershowitz has bad news. “I have no interest in changing my status from being an independent commentator on the current situation. I have no interest in becoming a lawyer in the case,” Dershowitz tells Washingtonian. “I’m going to continue to say what I think. Sometimes that will help the President, sometimes it may not help the President. I’m independent, and I’m going to remain that way.”


Senior Editor

Marisa M. Kashino joined Washingtonian in 2009 as a staff writer, and became a senior editor in 2014. She oversees the magazine’s real estate and home design coverage, and writes long-form feature stories. She was a 2020 Livingston Award finalist for her two-part investigation into a wrongful conviction stemming from a murder in rural Virginia.