by Alan M. Dershowitz • June 20, 2017 at 3:00 pm
- "Corrupt motive" is an extraordinarily vague and open-ended term that can be expanded or contracted at the whim of zealous or politically motivated prosecutors. It is bad enough when this accordion-like term is used in the context of economic corruption, but it is far worse – and more dangerous to liberty – when used in the context of political disagreements.
- In political cases – especially those not involving money – the act itself is constitutionally protected, and the motive, which is often mixed, is placed on trial. It becomes the sole criteria for turning a constitutionally authorized political act into a felony.
- Corrupt motive is in the eye of the beholder, and the beholder’s eyes are often more open to charges of corrupt motives on the part of their political enemies than their political allies.