Alan Dershowitz to Newsmax: Jan. 6 'Stress Test for Democracy'; 'We Passed' Attorney Alan Dershowitz speaks to the press in the Senate Reception Room during the Senate impeachment trial of then-President Donald Trump on Jan. 29, 2020. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)
By Eric Mack | Thursday, 06 January 2022 07:12 PM
Throwing around the term "insurrection" to describe the events of Jan. 6, 2021, is not just overblown, but dangerous and might ultimately boomerang back on Democrats, according to legal expert Alan Dershowitz on Newsmax.
"We've watered down real insurrections, which we obviously have to prevent, and second we allow the weaponization for one party," Dershowitz told Thursday's "Spicer & Co."
"You can't throw those words around — 'insurrection' — because they'll be thrown back at you. Next time there's a protest by the Democrats, the Republicans will take out this statement and say, 'ah-ha!'"
Dershowitz warned Republicans are already talking about retribution against President Joe Biden after former President Donald Trump was impeached twice by the Democrat-led House only to be acquitted in the Senate, including one trial that included the testimony of Dershowitz himself on behalf of Trump, a president he had not voted for.
"There's a movement to impeach President Biden, and Republicans are saying, 'We don't think he really committed impeachable conduct, but because the Democrats impeached Trump, we're gonna impeach Biden,'" Dershowitz said.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and other Republicans have talked about impeaching Biden for "dereliction of duty" surrounding the deadly U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, but Dershowitz told co-hosts Sean Spicer and Lyndsay Keith that Republicans are suggesting "two wrongs make a right."
"No, no, two constitutional wrongs are worse than one constitutional wrong, and they certainly don't make a right," Dershowitz said.
The storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, was a "stress test for democracy," according to Dershowitz.
"It's not an insurrection," he continued. "This is a protest that became violent, a stress test of democracy, and we passed the test. The American public overwhelmingly rejected the use of violence."
Seeking to weaponize Jan. 6 to keep Trump from running for president in 2024 is an unconstitutional abuse of the 14th Amendment, which codifies equal protection under the law and delves into "insurrection" under Section 3.
"There are people who should know better," Dershowitz said. "Professor Laurence Tribe and others are partisan zealots, not constitutional scholars, weaponizing the Constitution for one party rather than the other.
"No, this was not the kind of insurrection that the 14th Amendment had in mind. This is much closer to what [former President Abraham] Lincoln said [in his second] inaugural address: 'With malice to none and charity for all, let's get back to doing business.'"
Dershowitz called for America to "calibrate" the events of Jan. 6 as a protest that turned violent, like many in American history before from both parties.
"If you had people who got up and said, 'Look, we know — we know — that Biden won the election fair and square but nonetheless we're going to overthrow Biden,' that would be one thing," Dershowitz said of the Jan. 6 rioters. "These are people who wrongheadedly believed, some of them at least, that the election was unfair. That's not an insurrection."
Dershowitz hearkened back to the 2000 election between then-Vice President Al Gore and ultimately elected President George W. Bush and his book, "Supreme Injustice: How the High Court Hijacked Election 2000," saying Gore won that election.
"I attacked the Supreme Court for giving the election over to the Republicans," Dershowitz said. "That was my constitutional right. And so we have to understand the difference between protests, even protests that turned violent, and insurrections.
"The First Amendment, the right to assemble peaceably and to petition the government for a redress of grievances, is critically important. And to start calling that an insurrection is to violate both intent of the framers and the words of the First Amendment."
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