Alan Dershowitz, Felix Frankfurter professor of law at Harvard Law School, said the latest indictment of former President Donald Trump, and perhaps even the three others, amount to “nothing.”
“First of all, nobody should take at all seriously that there was a grand jury indictment,” Mr. Dershowitz told Fox News on Monday evening. “It means nothing, it’s the prosecutor who indicted him, the best evidence of that it was on the website before the grand jury even voted.”
Reuters had been the first to report that the Georgia court posted, then removed, two pages listing several counts against President Trump while the grand jury was still hearing witnesses regarding the challenge to 2020 election results. Ultimately, the former president and 18 other co-conspirators were indicted on a total of 41 counts, including racketeering.
Mr. Dershowitz believes the “whole strategy” in the four ongoing cases against President Trump are designed to “get a conviction before the election, even if they’re going to lose on appeal.”
“I used to teach my students, many future prosecutors, that if you bring a RICO case, that increases your chances of winning a trial and losing on appeal, the same thing is true with conspiracy and other cases involving mental states,” he said. These cases require prosecution to prove, in many cases, that President Trump had corrupt intent, and carried out his actions while believing he had actually lost the elections.
“So all four of these cases are designed to get quick convictions in jurisdictions that are heavily loaded against Donald Trump.”
Mr. Dershowitz, who is not a Republican nor a supporter of President Trump, had defended the president during his impeachment.
“These prosecutors don’t care as much as prosecutors generally do in having the convictions reversed on appeal, because that will happen after the election,” he said, adding to the claims that supporters of the GOP frontrunners have made about the indictments being election interference.
Mr. Dershowitz said, as he’s repeated for months, that bringing a case against a political rival of the incumbent president, “you would darn well better have the strongest case possible.”
Yet the three cases he’s reviewed of the four were the “three weakest cases I’ve ever seen against any candidate,” he said, criticizing what he sees as the Department of Justice’s loose adherence to the law. “If you’re going after the man running for president against your person, you have to have the strongest case. Otherwise it becomes a banana republic. Anyone can prosecute anybody.”
“We’re opening the door to prosecution of Democrats by Republicans, Republicans by Democrats,” he said, as Republicans have floated the idea of impeaching President Joe Biden. “It’s what Alexander Hamilton wrote in The Federalist is the most dangerous threat to democracy, and we’re seeing it unfold in front of our eyes very, very tragically.”
“I’m not a Republican, I’m not a Trump supporter, but I care deeply about the Constitution, I care deeply about preserving the rule of law, and we’re seeing it being frittered away for partisan political purposes,” he said.
Mr. Dershowitz also told Fox News Digital that President Trump is doing “the same thing” Al Gore did in 2000.
Mr. Gore had challenged the election results in 2000, calling for a recount of votes in Florida. The strategy was “very similar” to what President Trump has done, Mr. Dershowitz explained.
He had authored a book about that very strategy, titled “Supreme Injustice” as the high court had intervened and stopped the Florida recount, which Mr. Dershowitz viewed as a “partisan” hijacking of the 2000 elections.
At the time, Democrats were supportive of the recount initiative. Ron Klain, a member of the Democratic National Committee, told reporters in a conference call that a hand recount may produce enough votes in Broward and Palm Beach counties and put their candidate in a lead over George W. Bush, who filed a motion to stop the recount.
In 2020, President Trump had called Georgia’s then-Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger asking for a recount “to find 11,780 votes.” The phone call became the center of the Fulton County, Georgia, investigation into the former president and several others.
“We challenged the election, and we did much of the things that are being done today and people praised us,” Mr. Dershowitz said. “Now they’re making it a crime.”