Alan Dershowitz, the liberal law professor from Harvard, has gotten into a feud with Rep. Maxine Waters, D-California. When Dershowitz noted that special counsel Robert Mueller had chosen a grand jury from the Washington D.C. area would mean that the panel would be less sympathetic to President Trump and his aides, Waters called him a racist. Professor Dershowitz, understandably exasperated, suggested that the congresswoman was “crying wolf” by playing the race card.

Jury selection is a fine art

Dershowitz notes that he learned quite a bit about jury selection from the late Johnny Cochran, with whom he defended O.J.

Simpson during the former football player’s infamous murder trial. The example is apt. The preponderance of African Americans on the Simpson jury is credited for Simpson’s acquittal, a decision that had less to do with the evidence that with Cochran’s putting the Los Angeles Police Department on trial and crucial mistakes made by the prosecution.

Jury selection has become a new science, with attorneys on both sides of a court case vying to stack the panel with the jurors who would be most sympathetic to their side. Specialists who use demographic statistics and psychological profiling make lots of money helping legal teams to, in effect, prepare the battle field even before the opening arguments are made.

Waters’ problem with Trump

Maxine Waters has always tended to make over the top statements that make for good media copy. She seems to have come into her own as Donald Trump had become president. There are never trumpers, anti-trumpers, and Maxine Waters where it comes to opponents of the president. Waters has never acknowledged Trump as the president and has vowed to impeach him at the earliest opportunity.

Part of Waters’ hopes for putting an end to the Trump presidency is the idea that Mueller will find enough dirt on Team Trump so that impeachment will become more of a possibility. Mueller seems to have moved away from the notion that Trump directly colluded with the Russians to seize the presidency to looking into Trump’s financial dealings with Russia.

The phenomenon is a common one with special counsels in which they exceed their original brief to look for other potential crimes. Ken Starr, for instance, began with Whitewater in his investigation of then President Bill Clinton and wound up with Monica Lewinsky’s blue dress.

Waters is clearly irritated with Dershowitz’s pointing out the obvious, that Mueller is stacking the grand jury with members more likely to hand down indictments of he wants them too. Fortunately, she is so promiscuous in playing the race card that it has lost most of its sting.