Alan Dershowitz, a former Harvard Law professor, once gained fame as a member of OJ Simpson's defense team. Now 84, Dershowitz, proudly liberal with his politics, may seem an unlikely Trump defender, but he says the ongoing process of using American law to attack the outspoken former president sets a dangerous precedent.
He compares the efforts of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg to indict Trump on a charge of paying hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels to the efforts of former Sen. Joe McCarthy (R-Wisconsin) to expose individuals he identified as Communists and sympathizers in the 1950s.
"It's a real attack on the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution, and it's a return to McCarthyism. Whether you're a Democrat or a Republican, a liberal or a conservative, you ought to be concerned about that," Dershowitz told American Family Radio Thursday. "It's targeted injustice. This is an attempt to create a crime, to manufacture a crime against somebody who's already been targeted – and that's not the American way of doing justice." [Editor's note: The latest reports say a decision in that case has been delayed until at least next week.]
The author of 40 books of both fiction and non-fiction and a regular guest with national media personalities, Dershowitz says he puts his politics aside with what he sees as a threat to the rule of law.
In his book "Get Trump," Dershowitz examines four cases against Trump and takes issue with the campaign platforms of New York Attorney General Letitia James and Bragg who he says both promised to "get Trump" if elected.
"I'm a liberal Democrat. I voted against Trump twice, plan to vote against him a third time, but I care deeply about the principles of the Constitution, and those principles demand that this investigation stop now," Dershowitz said.
Why the case is flawed
Bragg's case fails on two obvious fronts, Dershowitz said. First, the statute of limitations has expired; and second, the alleged action breaks no law.
"There's no crime here. What happened was a settlement of a potential lawsuit from someone who was extorting Donald Trump. To turn that into a state felony after federal authorities refused to prosecute, and the previous district attorney refused to prosecute, is clearly a miscarriage of justice," Dershowitz said.
If the DA's office continues to press what Dershowitz sees as a flimsy case, Trump could benefit in his bid for a second term if swing voters who agree join Trump's already passionate base.
"In my office I have a mug shot of one of my favorite entertainers in history, Frank Sinatra, who I always have loved. Now that will be the second-most prominent mug shot. If Donald Trump is arraigned and a mug shot is made, his mug shot will be his campaign poster. It will be the most popular T-shirt worn. It will be portrayed all over the world," Dershowitz said.
Attacks get personal
A group known as The 65 Project is a key figure in the weaponization attempts. The group describes itself on its website:
"A bipartisan effort to deter future abuse of the legal system by lawyers seeking to overturn legitimate elections. We will hold such lawyers accountable for past abuses and will work to revitalize the state bar disciplinary process so that lawyers, including public officials, who lie about election results and who fuel insurrection will face professional consequences."
But the attacks on lawyers aren't strictly professional, Dershowitz said. His book includes an entire chapter on what he calls "McCarthy-ist" attacks and how they are growing in number.
"It has spread to social situations. My wife was working out in a gym, and someone said, 'That's Alan Dershowitz's wife. We can't be in the same room with her.'"
Dershowitz was also publicly criticized at a dinner party by the daughter of former President John F. Kennedy. Caroline Kennedy is currently the U.S. Ambassador to Australia.
"Caroline Kennedy was seated next to me at a dinner party, and she said, 'If I knew you had been invited I wouldn't have come.' This is an attack on a man who represented her uncle, Ted Kennedy, and who worked closely with her other uncle, Robert Kennedy; but she couldn't sit next to me because I had defended President Trump on the floor of the Senate as I defended the Constitution on his behalf."
The attacks are not new and are not limited to New York, Trump spokesperson Liz Harrington told AFR host Jenna Ellis on her Tuesday program. In Georgia, Trump has been investigated by a special grand jury called to consider alleged election interference.
"You've seen it for seven years now. They've weaponized every different law enforcement agency against him throughout his first term. It's not just now in New York City. It's in Georgia, it's in DC. They're stacking the deck. They're really perverting the grand jury system. They're stuffing radical leftists on these grand juries. They're using Marxist prosecutors and Marxist judges to go after an harass President Trump in his campaign," she said.