Dershowitz says Special Counsel Smith seeking 'down and dirty convictions' of Trump to interfere in 2024 election outcome

December 20, 2023
by
Ben Marquis

Former President Donald Trump has often and repeatedly accused Special Counsel Jack Smith of election interference over his criminal indictments that, at least for now, appear set to go to trial in the middle of the 2024 election season.

Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz appears to agree with that assessment and recently asserted that Smith is seeking to win "down and dirty convictions" of Trump before the elections are held next year, according to Fox News.

Indeed, Smith has gone to great lengths, including an unorthodox and out-of-turn emergency appeal to the Supreme Court, to try to maintain a hasty pace and remain on track for an increasingly unlikely March 4, 2024 trial start date in his 2020 election-related prosecution of Trump.

Smith aiming to convict Trump before the election

During a discussion with Fox News host Maria Bartiromo on "Sunday Morning Futures," professor Dershowitz was asked at what point the alleged "election interference" by Special Counsel Smith crosses a line and constitutes "election fraud."

"It's very hard to prove fraud by government agencies," Dershowitz replied, "but I think in the court of public opinion, what we're seeing is an attempt to get down and dirty convictions of Donald Trump. Of course, they're going to get convictions if they bring trial in New York City or in the District of Columbia and [Georgia's] Fulton County, knowing that it's very likely that a number of these convictions will be reversed on appeal after the election."

"And that really does constitute a kind of election fraud, misusing the criminal justice system to influence an election," he continued. "You know, the Department of Justice has regulations saying never, never, ever time prosecutions to have an impact on the elections. And these manipulations clearly are designed to have an impact on the elections, and they will cause many Americans, if their results are against Trump, they will cause many Americans to say it was dirty pool."

Dershowitz added, "And what we need more than anything else is the cleanest possible election in 2024 without any political thumbs on the scale of the justice system, which will entitle people to question the election. We need an election, whichever way it comes out, in which every American says this is fair, let's move on."

Unexpected and premature Supreme Court showdown

That discussion came concerning Special Counsel Smith's surprisingly unorthodox move last week to bypass the normal appellate court procedures and jump straight to the U.S. Supreme Court with a demand for them to expeditiously rule on whether former President Trump retains protection from prosecution through presidential immunity.

Nor has Smith been shy about the main reason for his request for rapid judgment being his desire to see Trump tried and convicted ahead of the 2024 election.

Unsurprisingly, SCOTUSblog reported that Trump's attorneys, in response to Smith's request, countered the special counsel's attempted speed run by urging the Supreme Court to take its time and not make a hurried decision on the critically important and unsettled question of the full expanse and duration of presidential immunity.

Trial court proceedings on hold pending resolution of appeals

Unfortunately for Special Counsel Smith, his effort to hurry along the appellate process to maintain the tentative March 4 trial start date may be moot as presiding District Judge Tanya Chutkan granted a motion from Trump's attorneys to place nearly all of the court's proceedings and deadlines on hold indefinitely -- including the trial start date -- until the pending appeals in the D.C. Circuit Court and Supreme Court have been fully addressed.

"Judge Chutkan has granted President Trump’s motion to stay proceedings pending the resolution of the appeal on President Trump's immunity for doing his job as president and protecting our elections from fraud and abuse," Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung said in a statement. "This is a big win for President Trump and our rule of law, as it derails Deranged Jack Smith’s rush to judgment strategy of interfering in the 2024 Presidential Election in support of Joe Biden’s campaign."

"They waited almost three years to bring this hoax 'case' and are now desperately trying, and failing, to rush it because they know President Trump is dominating the election," the statement continued. "The constitution should not be suspended in a baseless prosecution against the leading candidate for President."

"This stay stops the trial itself and all discovery obligations. The stay will remain in effect while President Trump continues to appeal his assertion of presidential immunity, which should result in the complete dismissal of this witch hunt in its entirety," Cheung added. "The American people, not the courts, should decide who becomes president, and they are supporting President Trump in historic numbers."

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