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During a discussion with Blaze Media co-founder Glenn Beck, Dershowitz argued that prosecutors will not be able to prove Trump acted with a “corrupt motive” as he allegedly sought to overturn the results of the 2020 election over claims that it was stolen.
Still, the inquiry is escalating as Trump is campaigning as the GOP frontrunner in the 2024 race for the White House, setting up a possible general election rematch with President Joe Biden, Dershowitz noted.
“This just doesn’t satisfy the banana republic test. In banana republics, presidents prosecute their political opponents and the stronger their political opponents are in the polls, the more likely they are to be prosecuted,” Dershowitz said.
Alan Dershowitz tells @glennbeck: "This doesn't satisfy the Banana Republic test. In Banana Republics, presidents prosecute their political opponents and the stronger their political opponents are in the polls, the more likely they are to be prosecuted." pic.twitter.com/uTUnom7MPG
— TheBlaze (@theblaze) August 2, 2023
Dershowitz pointed to polling showing Trump and Biden virtually tied in a head-to-head matchup. He said any indictment against the former president “better be the strongest indictment in American history” with “smoking gun” evidence.
The four-count indictment brought on Tuesday is “flawed” and “filled with speculation,” Dershowitz said, adding that it does not meet the “Nixon standard” established when former President Richard Nixon’s Republican allies turned against him during the Watergate scandal.
Trump has been charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstructing an official proceeding, and conspiracy against rights. He is expected to be arraigned in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.
Among Smith’s defenders is former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal, who told MSNBC that the special counsel was “picked as an independent, career prosecutor.” He said attacks on “the Biden Justice Department” for “going after” Trump are “poppycock.”
On the other side of the argument is George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, who wrote an op-ed published by USA Today saying Smith aims to “criminalize false political claims” in a way that will “bulldoze through the First Amendment and a line of Supreme Court cases.”
Trump faces two other indictments in a documents-related case brought by Smith and a hush-money case brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. He may also be charged in a 2020 election inquiry in Georgia. Trump has broadly denied any wrongdoing and claims he is the target of a political “witch hunt.”
Dershowitz, who defended Trump in his first impeachment trial, previously claimed to Fox Business that Smith’s documents-related case against the former president failed to pass the Nixon test and “may be the most dangerous indictment in political history.”