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‘Never Seen Such a Spectacle’: Alan Dershowitz Was ‘Shocked’ by What He Saw at Trump Trial

Attorney and Harvard Law Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz was present for former and potentially future President Donald Trump’s hush money trial in New York City on Monday, which is when the prosecution rested its case. He teased over X on Monday how “the case looks even weaker” after what happened. Although he experienced technical difficulties for the show he planned to do that night, he appeared on Fox News’ “Hannity” and wrote a Substack piece about his experience.

A rather notable moment discussed at length about the trial has been how former Trump attorney and convicted perjurer, Michael Cohen, is supposedly the prosecution’s star witness Plenty of details that don’t exact help the prosecution’s case have been revealed during the defense’s cross-examination, such as how Cohen admitted to stealing from Trump.

There’s also how biased Acting New York County Supreme Court Justice Juan Manuel Merchan has been in the case, given how his adult daughter has an interest. Dershowitz addresses Merchan further, though, and that includes insight on how he flipped out on Robert Costello, the defense’s witness.

During his appearance on “Hannity,” Dershowitz was rather animated as he shared his take from inside the courtroom that day, including how he was somehow allowed to remain when Merchan was letting Costello have it.

As Hannity clarified, Merchan was castigating Costello for rolling his eyes, as the Fox News host then pointed out “I’m my rolling my eyes just hearing about what’s going on in that courtroom!” Dershowitz then confirmed to Hannity he’s never seen anything like this in the years he’s practiced law.

Dershowitz himself rolled his eyes and stared him down, he explained, who had been sitting in the very front row, “when the judge made some rulings that were absurd,” adding “any first year evidence student would understand that he was making biased rulings in favor of one side.”

Despite how Dershowitz repeated how he himself rolled his eyes and “stared [Merchan] down,” Costello didn’t and “acted like a normal witness,” though Merchan still “went berserk” and “violated Trump’s constitutional right to a public trial by kicking the media out of the courtroom” to go after Costello.

According to Dershowitz, who gave a play-by-play as he wagged his finger for emphasis, Merchan had claimed that Costello “looked at [him] contemptuously,”with Dershowitz suggesting “the judge had such a thin skin” which is why he “threatened him,” all just for rolling his eyes.

“You have a constitutional right to roll your eyes and to stare at anybody. It was absurd,” Dershowitz made clear, as he then reminded he “sat so close to Cohen” who lied on the stand, including about whether he would accept a pardon from Trump. “There were so many lies,” Dershowitz emphasized in an animated manner.

Bringing it back to Merchan, after also lamenting how full testimony from an expert was not allowed, Dershowitz offered that “this judge has committed more reversible errors in the one day that I was in the courtroom than I’ve seen in years and years of practicing law! It’s just an outrage!”

In making similar points in his Substack piece, “I was inside the court when the judge closed the Trump trial, and what I saw shocked me,” Dershowitz reminded “I have observed and participated in trials throughout the world.” That’s to set up just how absolutely wild the case against Trump is. “But in my 60 years as a lawyer and law professor, I have never seen a spectacle such as the one I observed sitting in the front row of the courthouse yesterday,” he then goes on to write.

As Dershowitz wrote about Merchan:

The judge in Donald Trump’s trial was an absolute tyrant, though he appeared to the jury to be a benevolent despot. He seemed automatically to be ruling against the defendant at every turn.

Many experienced lawyers raised their eyebrows when the judge excluded obviously relevant evidence when offered by the defense, while including irrelevant evidence offered by the prosecution.

But when the defense’s only substantive witness, the experienced attorney Robert Costello, raised his eyebrows at one of New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan’s rulings, the court went berserk.

Losing his cool and showing his thin skin, the judge cleared the courtroom of everyone including the media.

For some reason, I was allowed to stay, and I observed one of the most remarkable wrong-headed biases I have ever seen. The judge actually threatened to strike all of Costello’s testimony if he raised his eyebrows again.

That of course would have been unconstitutional because it would have denied the defendant his Sixth Amendment right to confront witnesses and to raise a defense.

It would have punished the defendant for something a witness was accused of doing.

Even if what Costello did was wrong, and it was not, it would be utterly improper and unlawful to strike his testimony — testimony that undercut and contradicted the government’s star witness.

The judge’s threat was absolutely outrageous, unethical, unlawful and petty.

Moreover, his affect while issuing that unconstitutional threat revealed his utter contempt for the defense and anyone who testified for the defendant.

The public should have been able to see the judge in action, but because the case is not being televised, the public has to rely on the biased reporting of partisan journalists.

But the public was even denied the opportunity to hear from journalists who saw the judge in action because he cleared the courtroom.

Trump’s already been hit with a gag order criticized by legal experts as unconstitutional when it comes to his rights as criminal defendant. Now, Dershowitz is speaking to yet another unconstitutional move that Merchan has threatened to engage in, which would be to strike Costello’s testimony, with Dershowitz warning that “would have denied the defendant his Sixth Amendment right to confront witnesses and to raise a defense.”

Dershowitz also addresses the spin from the liberal media, which is putting it politely, given how they made up stories over what the experienced legal expert was discussing with CNN’s Norman Eisen, a former student and research assistant of his:

Even when journalists do report on courtroom proceedings, their accounts must be taken with a grain of salt. When you watch CNN or MSNBC, you generally see an account of a trial that never took place.

They spin the events so much that reality is totally distorted.

I experienced that distortion firsthand yesterday, when I saw one of my former students and research assistants, a CNN legal analyst named Norman Eisen, during a break and went over to him and asked him about his family. We chatted for a few minutes in the most friendly way.

But NBC, the Daily Beast and other media decided to make up a story about the event. They claimed that I had a spat with my nemesis, rather than a friendly conversation with a former student. Their account was made up, yet it was circulated through the media.

To his credit, Eisen wrote to the media to correct the account, saying that the person sitting next to him would confirm the media’s false reporting. I doubt we will see a retraction.

This minor incident is simply the tip of a very large and deep iceberg of false reporting about the trial that can only occur because the proceedings are not being televised.

Dershowitz has also been one to watch and listen to, not merely because of his legal expertise, but also because he’s a Democrat who has defended Trump before despite being vocal about how he’s voted against him before and looks forward to voting against him again.

The episode of “The Dershow” will air on Tuesday via Youtube and Rumble.

READ 16 COMMENTS
  • Scholar says:

    If Mr.Dershowitz says its shady’ Then it is 100% a Sham, Scam, Politically motivated Trial. Thnx Alan, a lot of us confirm your report.

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