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Tags: alan dershowitz | newsmax | trump | fire | lawyers

Dershowitz to Newsmax: Trump Needs to Fire His Lawyers

By    |   Thursday, 30 May 2024 08:52 PM EDT

Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz shredded Donald Trump's legal team, predicting to Newsmax that one thing the former president will do in the aftermath of Thursday's guilty verdict is "fire his lawyers."

At issue for Dershowitz is that the former president's legal team, led by Todd Blanche, did not do a good job of preserving the trial record for appeal, among other missteps.

"I'm going to predict that the first thing Trump does is fire his lawyers, which he should have done before the trial rather than after the trial," Dershowitz said on "The Record With Greta Van Susteren."

Dershowitz made the comments after a Manhattan jury found Trump guilty on all 34 counts of falsifying business records.

"His lawyers did not do a good job. And what worries me, as an appellate lawyer, is that they didn't do a good job preserving the record for appeal. They focused exclusively on the trial, which is what many trial lawyers erroneously do," Dershowitz said. "But you can't win an appeal if the lawyers below didn't create a record for appeal. And they didn't do that here, particularly the missing witness, the issue of, the failure to allow the expert witness to testify."

That witness: Trump’s former finance chief Allen Weisselberg, currently serving jail time for perjury. Prosecutors say Weisselberg was the third person in the room when Michael Cohen claimed that Trump instructed him to pay off Stormy Daniels and conceal the reimbursement to Cohen as legal expenses.

"Apparently, the judge gave the defense an opportunity to call Weisselberg outside the hearing of the jury and to see whether they want to call him or not. And they didn't do that," Dershowitz said. "And they never got a missing witness instruction, nor were they able to argue that the key witness to the uncorroborated statement of the only witness to the elements of the crime, was never called by the prosecution."

Then there's the fact that the defense had to deliver closing arguments first, without knowing what crime the prosecution was going to roll out in its close.

"The rule in New York, generally, is that the defense goes first, which is absurd; violates the privilege against self-incrimination, violates due process. But in a case like this where you don't even know what the charges are, to have the charges laid out for the first time in the closing argument, without the defense having an opportunity to rebut, should have been a major issue that was raised and preserved by the defense, and they didn't do it, as far as I can tell," Dershowitz said.

"I can tell you, I was in the courthouse enough, and I know enough about this to know this was not a distinguished performance by a great defense lawyer. Trump could have gotten a lot better and I hope he gets a lot better on appeal," Dershowitz added.

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Mark Swanson

Mark Swanson, a Newsmax writer and editor, has nearly three decades of experience covering news, culture and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz shredded Donald Trump's legal team, predicting to Newsmax that one thing the former president will do in the aftermath of Thursday's guilty verdict is "fire his lawyers."
alan dershowitz, newsmax, trump, fire, lawyers
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2024-52-30
Thursday, 30 May 2024 08:52 PM
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