Trump’s raid shows ‘the pendulum is swinging against the Constitution’: Alan Dershowitz

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Civil rights lawyer Alan Dershowitz says the raid on former President Donald Trump’s Florida home, Mar-a-Lago, could become a pivotal moment in history – with implications felt by all Americans – according to the next swing of the pendulum.

“Right now the pendulum is swinging against the Constitution, against free speech,” Dershowitz told The Epoch Times. “If I had to put a symbol on the Department of Justice it would be: ‘Due process for me but not for you’. Freedom of speech for me but not for you. Equal protection for me but not for you. C This is the direction the pendulum seems to be swinging today.

There seems to be a double standard at work, Dershowitz said.

He pointed to the treatment of Sandy Berger, a national security adviser to President Bill Clinton, who was fined and served two years probation in 2005 for removing classified documents from the National Archives without permission, and Hillary Clinton , who kept classified intelligence community emails on an unsecured private email server at her home. She was not prosecuted.

“Why are different standards applied? Dershowitz said. “Why did they arrest and chain up people like Peter Navarro and Paul Manafort and Roger Stone, instead of just calling their lawyers and saying, ‘Make him show up for arraignment in a day or two. That’s how we usually do it. What we see is probable cause that a double standard has been applied to Trump and Trump loyalists.

Protect the right to vote

Although Dershowitz represented Trump in his 2020 Senate impeachment trial, he says he is not a Trump loyalist and did not vote for him. But he doesn’t want to see Trump disqualified from running because voters have the right to vote for any candidate they want.

“I don’t want to see the American electoral system twisted by bureaucrats saying, ‘Oh no, you can’t run.’ I don’t want Congress to pass laws saying some people can run, some people can’t run,” he said. “It would violate the separation of powers and the text of the Constitution itself, which provides only four criteria to stand for election. [president]You must be over 35, you must be born in America, you must not have fought in the Civil War against the Union, and you must not have been voted disqualified from office by the Senate.

None of those criteria were violated in Trump’s case, Dershowitz said.

“It’s ‘Get Trump at all costs’. Don’t let him run. Make sure he can’t run no matter how badly you have to trash the Constitution.

This is what happens when partisanship trumps principle, he said.

“Principles are established by precedents. Once the precedent is set that you can use research as a first resort rather than a last resort, you can prosecute people based on their policy, not based on the relative culpability of the crime,” he said. declared. “It can happen to anyone, and it has. We have seen more use of these draconian techniques. It is easily possible that local prosecutors will notice.

“Remember, American lawyers across the country are under the control of the United States Attorney General, who justified this and said it was allowed,” Dershowitz said. “He didn’t explain to us why that was the case, but he justified it. And that’s very worrisome for the average American.

If it can happen to Trump, he warned, it can happen to anyone in the United States.

A summons should have sufficed

Dershowitz views the search warrant as a likely overrun. After the search warrant was executed, Attorney General Merrick Garland said the usual process at the Justice Department is to use less intrusive methods and to use the search only when absolutely necessary.

“I’ve been doing this for 60 years, and I see no possible reason why they couldn’t go through a subpoena. If they want the material back, you assign that. It’s the usual way to pick up material,” Dershowitz said. “If you want to get documents, you issue a subpoena, and then the other side protests and says, ‘No, it’s not classified. This has been declassified. This is attorney-client privilege. We’re invoking the Fifth Amendment about the production of this,” and you plead. You go to court. You plead. You don’t just grab the material and then say, “I got it.” And now you have to plead.

The Mar-a-Lago raid had two opposing effects. He has both empowered and stifled Trump supporters and those who care about the rule of law.

“In places where there are a lot of leftists and liberals, they all shut up. They write to me and say, ‘Why are you talking? If you were silent, people would approve of you. But if you speak out and it seems to benefit Trump, we’re not going to talk to you. It’s very easy to keep silent,” he said.

But others were emboldened by the raid.

“People who live in heavily Republican areas can join others in protesting what’s going on, and protesting is part of American tradition,” he said. “But silencing others is not part of the American tradition.”

Dershowitz thinks telling the truth is the right thing to do, and he details some of the consequences he faced — being canceled for sticking to principles rather than politics — in his most recent book, “The Price of Principle: Why Integrity Is Worth the Consequences.”

In it, he explains that principled people are actively punished for not being partisan enough and that today partisan ends justify unprincipled means, such as the denial of due process and freedom of speech in the interest in achieving partisan or ideological objectives.

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Beth Brelje is an investigative journalist covering Pennsylvania politics, the courts, and the Commonwealth’s most interesting and sometimes hidden news. Send her your story ideas: [email protected]

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