OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case against former President Donald Trump has taken many turns lately. Last month, Trump was arraigned on federal charges related to his handling of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
As such, Bragg’s case against Trump is now likely adjourned as the federal case takes precedence.
However, famed attorney and Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz is blasting the seemingly endless investigations into Trump as the 2024 presidential election looms.
“What I worry about is if it becomes Turkey, or it becomes Iran, or it becomes a country where a suspicion is equivalent to conviction of guilt on one side of the political spectrum, rather than the other. But the key is, you have to have one system and one standard of law enforcement,” Dershowitz said.
“If there is a certain level of evidence of serious crime against anybody on either side — whether it’s the sitting president, the son of the sitting president, the former president, the same rule has to be applicable to all of them,” he continued. “The Justice Department cannot be allowed to use its enormous power of the criminal justice system to influence political elections.”
“He’s not acting like most criminal defendants,” Dershowitz said of Trump’s vehement response to rumors of his indictment. “Most of them stay quiet. And that’s why he’s gotten in trouble, but he’s exercising his constitutional rights, not only under the First Amendment, but under the Fourth Amendment, the Fifth Amendment, and the Sixth Amendment.”
“He didn’t just simply roll over when prosecutors said, ‘We think you’re in trouble over possession of classified material.’ He fought back. And you’re allowed to do that,” Dershowitz noted, who also referenced Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s campaign promise to investigate Trump.
Dershowitz has been sounding the alarm bells regarding Bragg’s office attempting to “keep secret” certain aspects of his case against Trump.
In May, Dershowitz said he believed Bragg could be disbarred for his case against Trump.
Dershowitz told DW’s Tim Sebastian that while he does not support Trump politically, he does believe the indictment brought by Bragg against the former Trump is “absurd and politically motivated.”
Dershowitz argued that Trump will not get a “fair trial in Manhattan” given the judges and prosecutors are elected, meaning those in New York all likely lean to the Left politically.
Dershowitz went on to argue that things could potentially get difficult for Bragg if he uses former Trump attorney Michael Cohen as a witness at the trial, which is scheduled to begin in December.
“I don’t think an indictment can actually come forward now after the comments made by [Robert] Costello,” the attorney said.
He said that “he has proved that the main witness is going to be a perjuring liar on the witness stand, and that puts the district attorney in a terrible position.”
“If he uses Cohen as a witness, he could actually lose his bar license. It’s unethical to put a witness on the stand who you know is lying, and he has to know that Cohen will be lying. Or he tries the case without Cohen, which would be very difficult, or he does the right thing: he drops the case,” Dershowitz said.
Dershowitz also argued in a prior interview that Bragg could face up to five years in prison if he is found guilty of leaking details of Trump’s indictment to the media.
Leaking grand jury testimony to the public is a Class E felony in New York and carries a prison sentence between one and five years.
Dershowitz also wrote in an op-ed that whoever leaked the sealed indictment is the person guilty of the only felony, in his opinion, in this case.
“It is likely that a serious felony has been committed right under District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s nose and he is not investigating it. Under New York law, it is a felony to leak confidential grand jury information, such as whether the jurors voted to indict. The protection of secrecy is as applicable to President Trump as it is to anyone else,” Dershowitz said.