While many legal experts and pundits are opining that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has an exceedingly weak case against former President Donald Trump, at least one notable attorney disagrees.
On Wednesday, Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz cautioned that ex-president Donald Trump has bleak prospects of being acquitted in liberal New York City, as Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is pursuing an unprecedented legal case against him.
“There’s no way he can get a fair trial,” he told Fox News’ Sean Hannity. “I don’t care if Jesus, Muhammad, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington and Thurgood Marshall defended Trump in New York, he wouldn’t win this case. Hung jury? Maybe. Acquittal? Never.”
Following Trump’s arraignment on Tuesday, where he pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records related to 2016 hush-money payments, Dershowitz made his remarks.
“It reminds me of when I was a civil rights person in the South… even if you didn’t spit on the sidewalk, if the sheriff said you spit on the sidewalk and charged you with it, there’s no chance you could get acquitted by an all-White Jim Crow jury,” he said.
“Everybody knew that. You were innocent, but everyone knew you were going to be convicted,” he continued.
Dershowitz clarified that he did not intend to draw parallels between the Jim Crow South and New York City. However, he did mention that finding an impartial jury of 12 in the city would be extremely challenging.
“[They] don’t want to walk around town and have people say ‘That’s the juror who freed Donald Trump and allowed him to be president,'” he said.
According to Dershowitz, the judge presiding over Trump’s case shares that opinion and is likely just as hesitant to move the trial out of Manhattan to a more impartial location for fear of facing criticism.
Trump’s supporters have expressed concerns that selecting a jury from the Manhattan borough, which voted heavily for President Biden in the 2020 election, could give an unfair advantage to the prosecution. “They also claimed moving the trial to nearby Staten Island would be a fairer approach,” where there is a more conservative population, Fox News added.
“Any decent judge would change the venue immediately, but this judge won’t do that,” Dershowitz said. “Any decent judge would throw the case out on the statute of limitations. This judge won’t do it. He doesn’t want to ruin his career… Remember, judges in New York are elected.”