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Tags: dershowitz | doj | warrant | affidavit | trump | fbi

Dershowitz to Newsmax: 'Plenty of Probable Cause' in DOJ's Trump Affidavit

(Newsmax/"John Bachman Now")

By    |   Friday, 26 August 2022 01:44 PM EDT

Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz told Newsmax on Friday that federal Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart did "the right thing" by issuing the warrant for the FBI's Mar-a-Lago search as there was "plenty of probable cause" included in the document.

"Not only did he correctly issue a search warrant based on probable cause, but every magistrate judge and every judge in America would have issued a search warrant based on that," Dershowitz, a Newsmax analyst, said on Newsmax's "John Bachman Now."

Dershowitz, just after the document was released and before he'd read more into it, had commented that "probable cause is the easiest standard to meet in the world. I don't know any magistrates who ever turned down probable cause ... any judge would have found probable cause. The question is not whether there was probable cause."

Later, after seeing what he could observe in the heavily redacted affidavit, released by the DOJ, Dershowitz said that "not only did he correctly issue a search warrant based on probable cause, but every magistrate judge and every judge in America would have issued a search warrant based on that."

In the affidavit, the DOJ states that "there is probable cause to believe that additional documents that contain classified NDI or that are Presidential records subject to record retention requirements currently remain at the PREMISES. There is also probable cause to believe that evidence of obstruction will be found at the PREMISES."

It also states that there "is probable cause to believe that the locations to be searched at the PREMISES contain evidence, contraband, fruits of crime, or other items illegally possessed."

Dershowitz said Attorney General Merrick Garland, not Reinhart, deserves the blame for the warrant being issued.

"Even though there was probable cause and it was easy to get a search warrant, the evidence that I've seen doesn't justify him seeking a search warrant," Dershowitz said.

Dershowitz added that after he read the affidavit, he believes that the "search warrant seems to be overly broad" and encompassed almost all locations at Mar-a-Lago, except for private areas in the estate.

"It doesn't seem to justify the search of [Melania] Trump's closet, if that search indeed occurred," said Dershowitz. "I'm only basing it on reports, so I think there's a real question about whether or not the search was significant and properly limited within the words of the Fourth Amendment."

However, rather than being concerned about whether there was enough probable cause to justify the warrant, Dershowtiz said the real question remains about whether the items should have been sought by subpoena, rather than through a search warrant with the FBI entering Trump's home.

"That's a hard question, but probable cause is a very easy standard to meet, and it was easily met by the affidavit," said Dershowitz.

But if there is evidence that nothing has changed, Dershowitz questioned the rush to seize the boxes of documents.

"Why did they have to get a search warrant and why didn't they get this search warrant much earlier in time?" he said. "Why didn't they execute the search warrant immediately after they got it? Those are good questions and they're not answered by the affidavit, at least what we've seen so far."

The affidavit, meanwhile, "contains enough information for a prosecutor to seek and probably obtain an indictment," against Trump, said Dershowitz.

"But it's again, it's very easy to get an indictment … it doesn't seem to meet the two standards that are necessary to meet for a person who may be running for president against the incumbent, who the attorney general was appointed by," said Dershowitz.

"Those two standards are the Nixon standard and the Hillary Clinton standard. The Nixon standard is overwhelming evidence of a serious crime so substantial that even members of the president, former president's own party would justify the indictment," he added.

Dershowitz said the next step will likely include negotiations between Trump's legal team and the DOJ.

"The president has not yet been declared a target and usually that's the first step," said Dershowitz. "If you're going to indict somebody, you declare that person to be a target right now; or he's a subject or witness, but he's not a target, even though he was the subject of a very intrusive search warrant, so we have to wait and see."


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There was "plenty of probable cause" for a federal judge to issue the Department of Justice's warrant to search former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate earlier this month, but there was no need for the warrant to be issued in the first place, Alan Dershowitz said.
dershowitz, doj, warrant, affidavit, trump, fbi
Friday, 26 August 2022 01:44 PM
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