Dershowitz to Newsmax: DOJ’s Trump Warrant Should Be Made Public

Dershowitz to Newsmax: DOJ's Trump Warrant Should Be Made Public alan dershowitz talks on a phone Alan Dershowitz (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

By Sandy Fitzgerald | Thursday, 11 August 2022 12:23 PM EDT

The American public has the right to see the search warrant used by the FBI to enter former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home and remove several boxes of documents earlier this week, Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz said Thursday on Newsmax.

Further, Dershowitz told Newsmax's "National Report," "Trump should waive any secrecy rights and should have his lawyer examine it first, and then the American public should see it. Let's see what they were going after. Let's see if there was a justification."

In the "normal course of events," a subpoena, not a search warrant, would have been used to obtain the documents unless there was a fear that the evidence would be destroyed, said Dershowitz.

"You know Trump was 1,000 miles away," he said of the former president, who was in New York while his home was being searched. "The boxes were stored in the basement and closed. I don't think that they would have alleged in their affidavit that they had a legitimate fear of the material being destroyed."

Dershowitz said he believes a search warrant was used because the Department of Justice did not want Trump to invoke his Fifth Amendment rights and refuse to produce the documents.

"If you produce it, then you have to admit you had it, and they would have had to give him immunity, much like what's going on in New York," said Dershowitz. "Search gives you much more latitude to go into his wife's closet to look around, to rummage, to seize anything in plain sight in addition to the 12 boxes."

The DOJ, he added, should have a press conference and answer hard questions about the FBI's actions.

That would mean Trump would have to "willingly give up any right of privacy," said Dershowitz. "I think that would be a trade-off worth doing."

Dershowitz, though, said he thinks the DOJ had probable cause to search Trump's home for classified material, even though others don't agree.

The agents, though, did not have probable cause to search for materials in connection with the Jan. 6 incidents at the Capitol, he said.

"Let's remember, too, that never before in history has a search been conducted for this kind of a violation," said Dershowitz.

The DOJ should also have to answer why it did not apply the same standards the actions against Hillary Clinton or Sandy Berger concerning classified materials, said Dershowitz.

Meanwhile, he said it came as surprise to him that Trump invoked the Fifth Amendment in his case in New York this week.

"I don't understand it," Dershowitz said. "The motion I would have made is I would refuse to answer on the ground that [New York Attorney General] Leticia James ran for office on the campaign promise to get Trump and that should recuse her and disqualify her.

"No person should have to answer questions from somebody who, even before they got into office, swore to get the person. That doesn't seem like fair justice and that would have been a more aggressive and, I think, more publicly acceptable claim of why they didn't want to answer the question."


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