In laying out a long-running objection to election fraud by former President Donald Trump, House impeachment managers are effectively making the case for the defense because the speech under the microscope is protected, even if they disagree with it, according to constitutional law expert Alan Dershowitz on Newsmax TV.
"Very good theater, terrible constitutional law," Dershowitz told "The Chris Salcedo Show" of the House Democrats' opening statements Wednesday.
"The videos make good theater; they're very riveting," the noted legal scholar said. ""But they prove President Trump's constitutional defense."
House Democrats are emphasizing that Trump had long argued the election was stolen, but then they show how the president challenged it "by all lawful means and all political means," Dershowitz told host Chris Salcedo.
"The Constitution protects a person that says the Earth is flat as much as a person who says it's round," Dershowitz said. "The Constitution protects a Holocaust denier as much as it does a historian who can prove that 6 million Jews were killed.
"And the Constitution, the First Amendment, protects a president who's wrong about the election as much as a president who's right."
Instead of tying the lone article of impeachment -- incitement of insurrection -- solely on Trump's Jan. 6 "Stop the Steal" rally speech, which was delivered at a rally just before the Capitol siege, House Democrat impeachment managers are making a case that he'd long objected to a stolen election as a predicate to inciting the storming of the U.S. Capitol Building.
"Matters of opinion cannot be disputed or taken outside of constitutional protections," Dershowitz said. "So I think the House managers were actually helping the Trump defense by trying to prove that what he said was false."
Dershowitz did suggest that Democrats' gaffe might be part of a plan to "lay a trap" for Trump defense lawyers -- getting them to argue the validity of a stolen-election claim, which could derail the president's case.
"That would be a serious mistake, because it would lose a number of senators who are now on their side," Dershowitz concluded.
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