left is borrowing tactics from the old Soviet Union in an attempt to
bring down President Trump, contends Harvard law professor Alan
In an interview with “Fox News on Sunday,” Dershowitz
said the charge that Trump is mentally unstable and should be removed
from office is similar to what communist leaders during the Cold War did
to political dissidents he represented.
“There’s only one thing
worse than trying to criminalize political differences, and that’s
trying to psychiatrize them,” said Dershowitz, the Washington Examiner reported.
charge of mental incompetence is a major theme of a book by journalist
Michael Wolff, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” that has
consumed the news cycle since excerpts were released last Wednesday.
House has called the book, which also claims Trump didn’t want to win
the election, “trashy tabloid fiction” and pointed out that a number of
subjects dispute quotes attributed to them, including a Trump friend and adviser quoted calling the president “stupid.”
admitted Monday in an interview with “CBS This Morning” that he did not
interview Vice President Mike Pence or any Cabinet members, even though
some of the most provocative claims in his book are credited to Cabinet
members, the Daily Caller reported.
told “Fox News on Sunday” the “psychiatrists now who are trying to
diagnose without ever having met the man, that’s what they did in
“I represented dissidents who they locked up in mental
hospitals,” he said. “That’s what they did in China. That’s what they
did in apartheid South Africa.
“How dare liberals, people on the
left, try to undo democracy by accusing a president of being mentally
ill without any basis,” he said.
Wolff said in an interview Sunday with “Meet the Press”
that concern in the White House about Trump’s fitness for office has
become so great that members of the administration routinely talk about a
The reference is to the 25th Amendment,
which says a majority of the Cabinet can decide to remove the president
once he or she is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his
Last June, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, urged Congress to use the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office, arguing “it is utilized when a president is perceived to be incompetent or unable to do his or her job.”
cited Trump’s failure to act quickly enough to counteract Russia’s
election meddling as an example of incompetence. Legal experts, however,
warned against using the amendment to resolve political disputes.
the Soviet Union, the KGB designed a system to use psychiatry against
political opponents, presuming anyone who opposes the communist system
must be mentally diseased or incompetent.
In a 1959 speech published in the Communist Party newspaper Pravda, Premier Nikita Khrushchev said:
crime is a deviation from generally recognized standards of behavior
frequently caused by mental disorder. Can there be diseases, nervous
disorders among certain people in a communist society? Evidently yes. If
that is so, then there will also be offences, which are characteristic
of people with abnormal minds. Of those who might start calling for
opposition to communism on this basis, we can say that clearly their
mental state is not normal.