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Dershowitz Says Trump Can Fast-Track Hush Money Appeal to Supreme Court

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Famed Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz explained over the weekend how former President Donald Trump may be able to have the U.S. Supreme Court quickly review his hush money conviction in Manhattan last week.

Following his 34-count felony conviction on Thursday, Trump and his legal team vowed to quickly appeal it. Dershowitz said it’s possible the nation’s highest court could review the case before the presidential election, The Epoch Times reported.

Legal experts have told the outlet that the standard practice is for all possible appeals in the New York state court system to be exhausted before an appeal reaches the Supreme Court.

However, there has been speculation about the possibility of expediting this process.

Amid allegations that the trial was politically driven and riddled with bias, there have even been calls for the Supreme Court to intervene at an earlier stage before the state appeals process is exhausted.

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For instance, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) stated that the Supreme Court should “step in” and overturn the conviction. He argued that the circumstances of the case have led to a deterioration of public trust in America’s justice system.

Johnson and others have contended that the case was a covert attempt to damage Trump’s reputation among voters and undermine his election prospects. They argue that the Supreme Court should have the opportunity to weigh in before voters head to the polls in November to restore a sense of fairness.

Dershowitz discussed the case and how the Supreme Court could get it sooner rather than later during an interview with podcaster Megyn Kelly on Friday.

The retired law professor advised President Trump’s legal team to hasten their appeal so that the New York Court of Appeals, the highest level of the New York state court system and the court that hears appeals before the U.S. Supreme Court, can hear it.

However, he noted that appeals to this court are not guaranteed; they typically necessitate approval either from the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court or directly from the New York Court of Appeals itself.

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“He should make an appeal to the New York Court of Appeals asking them to bypass the Appellate Division because he’s not going to get justice in the Appellate Division,” Dershowitz said, going on to say that those judges are elected are likely more concerned about electorate blowback if they find in favor of Trump.

“The Appellate Division or Manhattan judges that are elected and they don’t want to have to face their families and say you were the judge who allowed Trump to become the next President of the United States. They don’t want to be Dershowitz’ed,” he said, referring to blowback he received after defending the then-president in his first impeachment trial in the Senate.

“They don’t want to be treated in New York, the way I have been treated in Martha’s Vineyard and Harvard and New York because I defended Donald Trump, so they should skip the Appellate Division,” he continued.

Trump’s attorneys should directly petition the highest appeals court in New York state and request an expedited process to bring their case before the Supreme Court, Dershowitz said.

“Go to the New York Court of Appeals, ask for an expedited appeal. In the meantime, prepare for an expedited appeal in the United States Supreme Court and say that this was a rush to try to get this case, a verdict of conviction before the election, and the Supreme Court of the United States has an obligation to review this case before the election so that the American public knows whether or not Donald Trump is guilty or not guilty of these made up crimes,” Dershowitz said.

The professor said Trump’s team should argue two points: 1) “the state’s highest court recently reversed Harvey Weinstein’s rape conviction because the trial judge prejudicially allowed testimony on allegations unrelated to the case,” The Epoch Times reported, and 2) “the judge allegedly didn’t instruct the jury properly on why prosecutors didn’t call former Trump Organization CFO Alan Weisselberg to testify in the case.”

Weisselberg could have refuted the prosecution’s main witness, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen.

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