Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan M. Dershowitz said Sunday that former President Trump should have the right to see and reveal the evidence against him, despite Special Counsel Jack Smith’s effort to obtain a protective order against that disclosure.
Dershowitz spoke to Breitbart News senior editor-at-large Joel B. Pollak on Breitbart News Sunday on SiriusXM Patriot 125, in the wake of a Friday court filing by Smith that complained about a recent Trump post on his Truth Social platform.
Jack Smith uses a Truth Social post as excuse tonight to seek another restrictive protective order on discovery and limit Trump's access to evidence in J6 case (similar to "classified doc" case)
Why does DOJ think a post about going "after Trump" is referring to them? pic.twitter.com/GJ7YeaEvLs
— Julie Kelly 🇺🇸 (@julie_kelly2) August 5, 2023
Smith asked Judge Tanya Chutkin to impose a protective order, and the judge — bypassing rules that require giving the defense 14 days to respond — gave Trump’s lawyers until the close of business on Monday to state why she should not impose such an order.
Dershowitz called Trump’s post “silly,” saying that it could be misunderstood by one of his followers as an encouragement to attack someone, even though Trump says he did not intend it that way. Nevertheless, “there’s no basis for restricting his free speech.”
Instead of restricting Trump’s right to post on social media, or even to share documents obtained during discovery, Dershowitz said prosecutors could simply question Trump about his remarks or “introduce that as evidence against him, if it’s relevant.”
In a trial where a former — and possible future president — was at peril of losing his liberty, or his life, Dershowitz said, the public should be allowed to see prosecutors’ evidence against him, “unless there’s some very compelling reason for keeping it secret.”
“He has a First Amendment right — and we have a First Amendment right — to know what’s in the documents,” Dershowitz said.
He agreed with Pollak that Smith should not have accused Trump publicly of inciting the January 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol without charging him with incitement in his indictment. “Nor should the prosecutor have puported to quote from [Trump’s] January 6 speech” while leaving out Trump’s urging to protest at the Capitol “peacefully and patriotically,” Dershowitz said.
Dershowitz predicted Trump’s indictment in his recent book Get Trump: The Threat to Civil Liberties, Due Process, and Our Constitutional Rule of Law, in which he argued that Democrats were trampling core civil liberties in their effort to punish Trump.