If there's been a crime committed in Manhattan, it occurred when District Attorney Alvin Bragg's office leaked the grand jury indictment of former President Donald Trump, Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz said.
"The leaking of a grand jury indictment is a felony in New York, and it was obviously not leaked by the Trump team," Dershowitz said on Newsmax's "National Report." "They were taken by surprise, so it almost certainly was a leak done by either somebody in Bragg's office or somebody who was connected with the grand jury."
Bragg's office is trying to present a case consistent with his campaign promise to "get Trump," said Dershowitz, noting that he titled his latest book "Get Trump" because of the campaign promises of Bragg and New York Attorney General Letitia James to go after the former president.
The indictment against Trump remains unsealed, said Dershowitz, joking that "maybe they have a video of him shooting somebody on Fifth Avenue," echoing Trump's 2016 campaign boast about his supporters stand behind him, no matter what.
But "short of that, to go after the president, the former president, but most importantly, the man who's running to become the future president against the head of the Democrat Party, when you're a democratically elected DA who ran on the platform of 'get Trump,' there's something very dangerous about that," Dershowitz said.
It's still important to keep an open mind and see if the indictment is a "slam dunk," he continued, because if not, "there is damage being done to our political system and our criminal justice system."
Meanwhile, it's been reported that Trump could face over 30 charges, but Dershowitz said that's something prosecutors' offices do routinely.
"They take every single phone call and make it a separate crime, every single check a simple crime," said Dershowitz. "We have to see what the essence of this [is]. Is it a failure to honestly report a hush money payment? Has anybody in history ever honestly reported a hush money payment? Why would you pay the money? If you then have to report it publicly? Of course, that's never done."
It's also an "abuse of prosecutorial discretion" to "staple it together with a federal felony," said Dershowitz.
Meanwhile, the case is so thin that "any first-year law student could win this case if the guy's name wasn't Donald Trump, and it wasn't in New York City," said Dershowitz.
He added that Trump's team will likely make motions to dismiss the case based on statute of limitations concerns, and will make a motion to move the venue to Staten Island or upstate New York.
But there won't likely be a plea bargain arrangement, as "there's nothing to plead," said Dershowitz.
He also said he doesn't think a Manhattan judge will dismiss the case to avoid being known as the person who freed Trump.
"Consider what happened to me in Martha's Vineyard when I simply defended President Trump on the floor of the Senate," he said. "I lost all of my friends. My wife lost all of our friends. No judges want to throw this case out.
"They are elected judges in New York, so this case has to be moved to a place where a judge can do honest justice rather than political or ideological injustice."
Dershowitz added that he discusses the Manhattan case and other claims being made about Trump in his book, but there is "nothing legally or factually in any of the four cases."
"The New York case is the weakest one of all, based on what we know," he said.
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Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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