Dershowitz Warns Trump Could Still Be Tried Before November

( – Harvard Law Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz told audiences on Monday, July 1 that former President Donald Trump could still be tried in Washington, D.C. for allegations surrounding his role in the events of January 6, 2021 before the November general election.

Dershowitz was discussing a recent ruling from the Supreme Court regarding Trump’s claims of presidential immunity; the high court held that presidents cannot be prosecuted for official acts but left some room for prosecution of “unofficial” acts. Lower courts will now have to parse which acts are which, and Dershowitz suggested there is a slim possibility of a trial being held before November.

Dershowitz added that hearings regarding what constitutes an official vs unofficial act could begin this summer or early in the fall, keeping Trump’s legal troubles in the news cycle. He highlighted how some actions are obvious, like ordering the military to strike a terrorist stronghold, versus things like purchasing an NDA for his electoral campaign. D.C. courts will have to parse whether his challenging of the 2020 electoral results constituted an official or unofficial act.

Dershowitz highlighted that the court ruled that the intentions of the president don’t matter so much as the objective acts which he performed and whether or not they could be considered a part of his presidential duties.

Trump’s been slapped with various criminal allegations in relation to January 6 including conspiracy, and the nebulous “threatening constitutional rights,” as well as obstruction of an official proceeding. That last one was recently thrown out by the Supreme Court in another case.

In Fischer v. the United States, the Supreme Court limited the use of 1512(c)(2) which is the obstruction of an official proceeding charge to defendants who destroyed documentation or evidence, which only covers a narrow number of January 6 defendants convicted or charged with the offense.

SCOTUS kicked the issue back to lower courts. The charge was curiously only ever applied to conservative protesters on January 6 who challenged the results of the election and was never used against leftists or other protesters before or after. The law was originally intended to punish the destruction of evidence in the wake of the Enron scandal where that behavior was allegedly common.

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