‘Public has a right to know’: Meet the lawyer scrutinising Harry’s visa over d*ug use


EXCLUSIVE: Express co uk spoke exclusively to the lawyer pushing for the release of Prince Harry’s visa application after the Duke recently admitted to taking d^ugs in the past.

Prince Harry’s at risk of deportation over d^ug use

A US lawyer is demanding the release of Prince Harry’s visa application over concerns he was given “preferential treatment” after recent admissions about d^ug use. The Duke of Sussex, 38, revealed in his tell-all memoir Spare and in recent TV interviews that he had taken cocaine, cannabis and magic mushrooms in the past. The lawyer, taking on Washington officials on behalf of conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation, believes the public has a right to know whether Harry declared his past d^ug use on his visa application.

Dewey continued: “We had a concern that Prince Harry had preferential treatment because there are certain grounds for inadmissibility into the country regardless of your visa applications; you can’t come into the country without meeting certain criteria and one of them relates to d^ug use.”

US immigration law regards any failure to declare d^ug use to immigration officials a serious violation that can result in deportation and being permanently barred from applying for citizenship.

The lawyer said the Heritage Foundation is agnostic over whether Harry should or shouldn’t get a waiver based on the facts, but it’s a matter of principle that the truth comes out.

Samuel Dewey is pushing for the release of Harry's visa over drug use admission

Campaign: Samuel Dewey is pushing for the release of Harry’s visa over d^ug use admission (Image: Getty Images/SamuelDewey)

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It’s not known exactly what questions Harry was asked when applying for his US visa, because it is not yet clear which visa he received.

However, the question on the ESTA application which most UK applicants would use is: “Have you ever violated any law related to possessing, using or distributing illegal d^ugs?”

“We just want to know what happened because if improper treatment has been given that’s a huge concern as it relates to the enforcement of the law,” Dewey said.

If it turns out that Harry was given preferential treatment, this has ramifications that go beyond Harry’s visa status, the lawyer suggests.

“When you’re talking about immigration it’s often a zero sum game. If resources were spent processing and giving a special favour to Prince Harry because of his status, they may have been taking away from an applicant who didn’t have any potential grounds for inadmissibility and has a very good case to come here,” he said.

Besides legality, Americans have a right to know the truth, claims Dewey, because it relates to what he calls the “American stance of fairness”.

The lawyer explained: “We don’t have royalty here but there’s a sense of unfairness in taking your hereditary title and using it very directly to profit without engaging in public service.”

How strong is the case?

Dewey says he has had “very productive conversations” with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

The lawyer claims 'public has a right to know' whether Harry got special treatment

Samuel Dewey: The lawyer claims ‘public has a right to know’ whether Harry got special treatment (Image: Samuel Dewey)

“Unfortunately we’ve been told by US Customs and Border Protection they won’t produce records without a waiver from Prince Harry because it’s private,” the lawyer continued.

However, Dewey believes Harry has forfeited his right to privacy by going “enormously” out of his way to “put his stuff in the public spotlight”.

Secondly, the public interest argument is strong, the lawyer believes.

“Obviously there’s a clear public interest here. Was Harry given preferential treatment because of his status? That’s a really important question,” Dewey said, adding: “I can’t say but the public has a right to know”.

The lawyer says he is “fully expecting” to have to go to federal court to get these documents “but we are prepared to do that”.

Harry revealed in his memoir that he had taken cocaine as a teen

Admission: Harry revealed in his memoir that he had taken cocaine as a teen (Image: Getty Images)

Who is Sam Dewey?

Dewey specialises in white-collar investigations, including compliance and litigation, as well as complex public policy matters.

The legal professional has served as the Senior Counsel in charge of Oversight & Investigations with the US House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, as Chief Investigator & Counsel with the US Senate Special Committee on Aging, and as the Senior Advisor with the United States Agency for Global Media.

He has also worked for a number of private legal firms over the years, including Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and McDermott, Will & Emery.

Dewey graduated from Brandeis University with a BA in Political Science in 2006. He proceeded to Georgetown University Law Center in Washington DC, and earned his Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 2009. He was a Senior Editor of Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy and an Executive Board Member at Harvard Federalist Society.

In response to Express.co.uk’s request for comment, the State Department said: “Visa records are confidential under Section 222(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA); therefore, we cannot discuss the details of individual visa cases.”

Express co uk has approached Harry’s representatives for comment.


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