Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz said Tuesday it was unlikely that Special Counsel Jack Smith’s Capitol-riot-related indictment of former President Donald Trump would “survive” court scrutiny.
Smith secured a four-count indictment of Trump relating to his efforts to contest the results of the 2020 election after he previously secured a 37-count indictment against Trump in June based on an investigation into allegations surrounding classified documents, which was supplemented with a superseding indictment issued Thursday that included charges against Carlos De Oliveira, a maintenance worker at Mar-a-Lago, the Florida estate owned by former President Trump.
Trump was ordered to appear before a federal magistrate on Aug. 3.
“I read the indictment very carefully. There is no smoking gun,” Dershowitz said. “There is no one who is credibly prepared to testify that Donald Trump said to him, ‘I know personally, I lost the election.’ There’s a lot of evidence people told him he lost the election, but you know Donald Trump and you know he’s gonna make up his own mind and they’ll have a very hard time proving it. Now, it’s the District of Columbia, 90-someodd percent of the jury pool will have voted against him. So, they may actually get a conviction from a D.C. jury, but will it survive appellate review and review in the Supreme Court? I don’t think so.”
“This indictment strikes me as an amateurish joke. Frankly, Jack Smith, the special counsel, should be indicted for stupidity, it’s that bad,” Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett said. “But he has this disreputable habit of bringing politically-driven prosecutions by contorting the law and mangling the evidence.”
Smith prosecuted then-Republican Gov. Bob McDowell of Virginia over receiving gifts, and secured a conviction on multiple charges that the Supreme Court unanimously threw out in 2015.
“I’ve never seen an indictment this messy and sloppy in my life,” former acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker said. “Really at the end of the day, they are saying it is not, it should be a matter of what Donald Trump thought or didn’t think but instead, they tried to use a reasonable person test to suggest that because Director [of National Intelligence John] Radcliffe, Attorney General Barr and others had told president that he lost, somehow, no reasonable person would believe that.”
“It’s a junk indictment, and it is politically motivated,” Jarrett said.
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