After FBI agents raided former President Donald Trump's residence at Mar-a-Lago on Monday, legal expert Alan Dershowitz questioned on Newsmax the justification of a "last-resort" action by the Justice Department.
"A raid is supposed to be a last resort, but this administration has used the weaponization of the justice system against its political enemies," Dershowitz told Monday's "Rob Schmitt Tonight." "It's arrested people, denied them bail, put them in handcuffs – used all kinds of techniques that are not usually applied to American citizens, and I just hope this raid has a justification.
"If it doesn't have a justification, the material seized in it will be suppressed."
The FBI and the Justice Department should not have conducted the raid on Mar-a-Lago without exhausting all other remedies, Dershowitz told host Rob Schmitt.
"I suspect it has to do with some investigations leading toward Donald Trump and some of his associates, but again, the law is clear: You don't engage in a raid unless you've exhausted all the other remedies – unless you believe that the person rated will destroy the evidence.
"Raids are not a first recourse in America. They are a last recourse. And so the government will have to show a court, eventually, that they exhausted all other possibilities, or they had a reasonable basis for believing that the evidence would be destroyed if it was sought in the normal legal course of events through subpoena."
Dershowitz, a civil liberties legal expert and advocate, lamented the Biden administration Justice Department having used raids before exhausting other remedies.
"Raids are a last resort, but today, in many instances, it's being used as a first resort," he continued.
The DOJ has been using raids "to get on television" to highlight its actions, Dershowitz warned, adding the legal process should begin with a letter to lawyers asking for a court appearance before a judge.
"That's the way it usually works, but in order to get on television, they have a lot of these raids where people are arrested, put in handcuffs, sometimes put in leg shackles, bail denied," Dershowitz said.
"Presumption" of innocence, he added, "still applies, but it's applied only in theory, but not in practice."
In a statement on Truth Social, Trump called the raid unnecessary, inappropriate and "prosecutorial misconduct."
"Unless there is evidence that we're not aware of, this is improper and it is misconduct, and we have to find out what the facts are," Dershowitz said. "But we have to make sure that the shoe fits on the other foot.
"We want to make sure that what's being done here is something that Democrats would not oppose if it were being done for Democratic operatives as well."
"I don't think it passes" that standard, Dershowitz concluded.
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Eric Mack ✉
Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.
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