WASHINGTON, D.C. – Alan Dershowitz, a lawyer known for his work in U.S. constitutional law and American criminal law, was interviewed by Newsmax on Friday about the January 6 committee’s public hearing on Thursday night, calling the proceedings “not fair” and “unethical” in regards to how he claimed former President Trump was portrayed on the day of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
In particular, Dershowitz took exception with how a clip of Trump’s pre-riot speech – which the veteran attorney was critical of – was purportedly edited when it was shown at the hearing, claiming that specific words were left out in an effort to paint him in a worse light.
“Take, for example, President Trump’s speech on January 6… I opposed that speech. I didn’t think it was done well, and I didn’t think he should have done it,” he said. “He said at the end of the speech he wanted people to show their voices patriotically and peacefully. They doctored the tape. They edited those words out. If a prosecutor ever did that, they’d be disbarred.”
Dershowitz claimed that the edit to the televised speech was unethical, since Trump was unable to present any rebuttal during the hearing.
“You can’t present part of the tape and deliberately omit the rest of the tape in order to mislead the audience, especially when the other side has no opportunity to cross-examine, no opportunity to present its own evidence,” he said. “They cheated the viewers of hearing the actual words that Donald Trump spoke. The committee had a special ethical obligation not to cheat, not to defraud the viewers, and that’s exactly what the Democrats, with their two Republicans, did yesterday.”
The January 6 committee’s public hearing last week – which attracted a whopping 20 million viewers – was the first of six that will be aired on television following their investigation into last year’s attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters who were attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Trump is being accused of purposely inciting the riots in an attempt to remain in office following his loss to current President Joe Biden.
However, Dershowitz said that the former President’s words on January 6 fell under the auspices of free speech, with the lawyer saying that he would defend anyone in Trump’s situation “on the grounds that the First Amendment protects advocacy, it doesn’t protect incitement.”
“So, President Trump committed no crimes. Anybody who thinks that he did fails to understand the First Amendment,” he said.