Constitutional expert attorney Alan Dershowitz told Newsmax Tuesday that police “overcharged” those involved in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, while many municipalities dismissed, or gave misdemeanor charges to Black Lives Matter and antifa protesters during the summer.
“I think there has been overcharging. I have no doubt about that,” Dershowitz said during “The Chris Salcedo Show.” “I know that people have been charged with felonies for merely trespassing and you can't say that they obstructed Congress if they engaged in peaceful protests, even if it involves trespassing.”
Dershowitz said that while some of the hundreds of people who went to the Capitol during the joint session of Congress to verify the Electoral College results of the 2020 election were rioters and did illegal things, there was still a majority outside the building that were protesting peacefully.
“This was a protest, partially an unlawful protest, breaking into the Capitol, taking over seats, maybe some violence, destruction of property, but also peaceful protesters. People who stood outside, people who went inside welcomed by the police.” he said.
“I'm representing one young man who's a law student who simply went inside at, he claims, the invitation of the police in order to encourage Senators to vote against accepting the count. That's a legitimate form of constitutional protest. So, we have to distinguish the word insurrection. Is just a political word, and it's a defamatory word. It doesn't apply to people who supported the government, but just wanted the government to act in a certain way, the way that I personally disagree with, but that doesn't make it into a crime.”
While some 60 people involved in that event have pleaded guilty to charges, many that were involved in riots throughout the country in the wake of George Floyd’s murder at the hands of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin saw their charges dismissed even though they took part in setting fires, looting, and assaults.
Dershowitz said they should all face the same penalties for their actions because the law is the same for everyone.
“You have to have one law, regardless of whether a person is black, or white, or liberal, or conservative,” he said.
“I represented some of the people in the Chicago seven case back in the late 1960s, the same rules apply. Some people went to protest the Democratic convention. Some people went to disrupt it. Some people went to commit violence, and we managed to get the courts to sort out everything because that was the left. This is the right, and you can't have different rules applying to the left and the right. The same bail rules have to apply. The same rules separating people into the violence and nonviolence have to apply, and if you're going to prosecute people for protests that turned violent, then you have to prosecute those on the left that have done the same thing.”
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