In an interview on Wednesday to explore the expanding cases against the former president Donald Trump brought by special counsel Jack Smith, longtime Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz revealed a bombshell.
A day after Smith charged Trump with four felonies in connection with the incident at the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021, the interview on Fox Business Network aired.
Trump was accused with three counts of conspiring to obstruct justice as well as one count each of making false statements and deliberate retention of national security secrets late on Tuesday. The maximum term for those offenses, according to the Daily Mail, is 55 years in prison, which would essentially be a life sentence for the 76-year-old former president. Smith has previously accused Trump of possessing 40 counts of classified materials, which he claimed to have declassified before leaving office as president.
Dershowitz stated in his interview that should Trump win his case, Smith himself might really face an indictment.
“You know the worst thing about this indictment, under the terms of this indictment, Jack Smith can be indicted. Let me explain to you why,” Dershowitz said. “The statute says the following, two or more persons conspire to injure and deny somebody the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured 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 of that right. That’s how serious this is,” Dershowitz said.
“Jack Smith … deliberately, willfully 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 want you to assemble peacefully and patriotically,’” Dershowitz noted further (see below).
“Jack [Smith] leaves that out. That is a lie, a lie, an omission lie, and if you’re going to indict somebody for telling lies, don’t tell lies in the indictment,” Dershowitz continued. “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.”
‘That’s How Serious This Is’: Alan Dershowitz Says Jack Smith May Be Indicted If Trump Wins Case | The Daily Caller@ https://t.co/Jrfd6pWkTX
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“The Supreme Court has said in an opinion by Chief Justice [William] Rehnquist … under the First Amendment there is no such thing as a false opinion or a false idea. The response to a false idea is the marketplace of ideas or Election Day,” Dershowitz explained further.
“So you’re absolutely right, this is a very, very dangerous indictment, dangerous to the First Amendment and also dangerous to the Sixth Amendment because it directly goes after Trump’s lawyers, names them as unindicted coconspirators without giving their names, but basically says they’re criminals for giving him advice on how to challenge the election,” he said.
The UK’s Daily Mail reported that in addition to Smith’s charges, “Trump is already facing 40 federal charges in Florida relating to his handling of sensitive government documents after leaving office, and is due to stand trial in New York next year accused of falsifying business documents after making a hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.”
Regarding the case from January 6, it was sent to Obama appointee and U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who has been referred to as “the toughest punisher” of the rioters who have been before her court.
Last year, The Associated Press noted: “Chutkan has handed out tougher sentences than the [Justice Department] was seeking in seven cases, matched its requests in four others and sent all 11 riot defendants who have come before her behind bars.”
The story, which ran under the headline, “In Jan. 6 cases, 1 judge stands out as the toughest punisher,” added: “In the four cases in which prosecutors did not seek jail time, Chutkan gave terms ranging from 14 days to 45 days.”