By Naveen Athrappully
Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz says that special counsel Jack Smith, who recently indicted former President Donald Trump, could be indicted based on claims he has laid out against the former president.
“Under the terms of this indictment, Jack Smith can be indicted,” Mr. Dershowitz said in a recent interview with Fox News. “The Statute says the following: ‘If two or more persons conspire to injure and deny somebody the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution.’
“What if a court ultimately rules that Donald Trump had a right under the First Amendment to make his Jan. 6 speech and to do what he did? Then, Jack Smith will have conspired to deny him (Trump) of that right. That’s how serious this is.”
“And Jack Smith also in his indictment deliberately, wilfully, and maliciously leaves out the words that President Trump spoke on Jan. 6 in his terrible speech, which I disagree with. But what he said was—I (Trump) want you to assemble peacefully and patriotically. Jack can’t leave that out. That is a lie—an omission lie.”
In his indictment, special counsel Mr. Smith focuses on Mr. Trump’s use of the term “fight like hell” during the “Stop the Steal” rally. Mr. Smith omitted a key statement Mr. Trump made at the time, “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”
During Mr. Trump’s second impeachment trial, House Democrats had also adopted a similar tactic—omitting the former president’s call for a peaceful rally.
“If you’re going to indict somebody for telling lies, don’t tell lies in the indictment. If you’re going to indict somebody for denying people their constitutional rights, don’t deny them their constitutional rights by indicting them for free speech. That’s how hypocritical this is,” Mr. Dershowitz said.
The indictment against Mr. Trump charges him with a conspiracy to “impair, obstruct, and defeat” the collection and counting of electoral votes, obstruction of the electoral vote counting by Congress on Jan. 6, 2021, conspiracy to obstruct the electoral vote counting, and a conspiracy against Americans’ right to vote.
Mr. Smith has already made a false claim to court against Mr. Trump in his declassified document case. In a July 31 court filing, his team admitted that during a court hearing, they had incorrectly claimed to provide all Mar-a-Lago surveillance footage to Mr. Trump’s defense attorneys, as required by law.
Under the Brady rule, prosecutors in a criminal trial are obliged to provide all evidence to the defendant’s legal team, including information that could be favorable to the accused.
The Epoch Times has reached out to Mr. Smith for comment.
A ‘Banana Republic’
Mr. Dershowitz also expressed worries about the United States turning into a corrupt nation.
“We know that President Biden urged his attorney general to indict the man who he knew was going to be the leading opponent against him,” he said in an interview to Fox. “That begins to look like banana republic land.”
“That’s what happens when people in power are afraid of the democratic process. What they do is they seek the indictment and prosecution of the people who are running against them.”
Mr. Dershowitz pointed out that he has a “constitutional right” to vote against Mr. Trump. He has voted against Mr. Trump twice and intends to do so for the third time.
“But I want to have that right to vote against him and not have that right taken away from me by prosecutors and by the president who wants to see him imprisoned. That’s just not the American way.”
When the host asked whether the United States has become a banana republic, Mr. Dershowitz replied that “we’re not there yet” but that the Trump indictment “is a step in that direction.”
“And also placing the case in the District of Columbia, which is 95 percent anti-Trump, putting it in front of a judge with a history of anti-Trump,” he said, was adding to his concerns.
In an Aug. 3 post at Truth Social, Mr. Trump had said that it is “IMPOSSIBLE to get a fair trial in Washington, D.C.”
The judge who will preside over the indictment case, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, is a former assistant public defender who was nominated by President Barack Obama.
In November 2021, she rejected the former president’s attempt to block the Jan. 6 House select committee from accessing hundreds of documents from the White House despite Mr. Trump’s claim of executive privilege.
Judge Chutkan has so far sentenced at least 38 people who were convicted of crimes related to the Jan. 6 breach.
“If the government thinks they have a strong case, they ought to join the defense and agree to move it to West Virginia or Virginia and put it in front of another judge who doesn’t have a long history of anti-Trump attitudes. So, I don’t believe he can get a fair trial in the District of Columbia,” Mr. Dershowitz said.
During the 2020 election, President Joe Biden won more than 92 percent of the vote in Washington. In contrast, Mr. Trump dominated in West Virginia where he garnered over 68 percent of the vote.