Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has put his grand jury on hold until at least Monday, and constitutional law and ethics expert Alan Dershowitz tells Newsmax it is due to pressure from "within," namely from people smarter than Bragg.
"There are pressures within his office now – smarter people, wiser people, more experienced people – saying to him, 'Wait a minute, this is not the right case,'" Dershowitz told "America Right Now."
"I think there are Democrats saying to him, 'Well, why don't we wait until we see what happens in Georgia and in Washington and Florida? But don't bring the weakest case first.'"
As in the case with Trump's alleged criminality in a hush money payment to Stormy Daniels, there is a thick, hard line between a crime and a sin, and Dershowitz even rejected the notion Bragg should be investigated for prosecutorial misconduct.
"Not yet, let's see what he does," Dershowitz told Lidia Curanaj.
Dershowitz's new book "Get Trump: The Threat to Civil Liberties, Due Process, and Our Constitutional Rule of Law" details the case Bragg is attempting to bring before a Manhattan grand jury in an effort to find something to charge the Democrats' chief political rival with.
"Read my book, No. 1, look at this thing in context," Dershowitz said he would tell Bragg if the Democrat prosecutor sought his advice. "No. 2, read the rules of legal ethics and look yourself in the mirror and say, 'Can I really represent to this jury and to all Americans that I believe that Michael Cohen will be telling the truth when he appears before a petty jury?'
"And the answer to that question is absolutely no. So I would recommend that he drop the case, and I would hope you would accept my recommendation."
Dershowitz had a similar message to any prospective prosecutor or law student.
"I think you should go to divinity school instead of law school: You don't understand the difference between sin and crime," Dershowitz said. "There is no crime here, and there is no basis for going forward.
"I'm an expert in legal ethics. I taught legal ethics for 35 years at Harvard – taught many of our current judges, prosecutors, etc.
"If Bragg were to call me or write to me and say, 'Am I legally entitled to bring this case now using Michael Cohen,' I would write him a legal letter saying, 'No, if you use Cohen now you subject yourself to disbarment because no prosecutor is entitled to put on a witness unless they can vouch for the truth of what they are saying.
"And no prosecutor looking at the entire record of Michael Cohen – what he said to his lawyers, what he said to other people – can honestly say that, 'We know that Michael Cohen will tell the truth now; he's been lying all this time. He lied to the federal government, lied to Congress. He lied to his lawyers. He lied, but now, now that I'm the prosecutor, I've turned him around, made him reform and rehabilitate. And now you can be sure that he's telling the truth.'
"That just doesn't work. And I don't think Brag is entitled as a matter of legal ethics to put Cohen on the witness stand."
Last Monday's grand jury testimony of former Michael Cohen attorney Robert Costello was damaging to Bragg's case before the grand jury, according to Dershowitz.
"Look, I think he may very well have blown up that case," Dershowitz said. "If I am a grand juror, honest grand juror, I say to myself, 'Why didn't Bragg bring Costello into the room? Why did he come on his own, No. 1.
"'Why did you hide 300 emails from Costello? What are you trying? To put the wool over our eyes? Why don't you tell us the whole truth? Why don't you give us all the evidence? We're a grand jury. We're supposed to be protective of defendant's rights.'"
But prosecutors are weaponizing grand juries to advance their own political agenda, Dershowitz lamented.
"Instead, grand juries today are used as efforts to weaponize the criminal justice system, and they almost always come to prosecution verdicts," he said. "But this case may be different."
That is because New York, despite its nearly unilateral leftist bent, just might see through Bragg's political scheme, Dershowitz concluded.
"If I'm a grand juror in this case, and New Yorkers can be very shrewd and very smart, and very contentious – I say to Bragg, 'Why didn't you give me all the evidence? Why, at the last minute, does Costello come forward on his own and demand being given an opportunity to speak in front of the grand jury. You are not being an honest prosecutor, and we're not going to listen to you.'
"That would be the smart thing and the best thing that ever happened to our grand jury system. It would return it to what the framers of the Constitution wanted it to be: a protection for defendants, not a play thing for prosecutors who could indict a ham sandwich."
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