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Tags: dershowitz | trump | corcoran | crime | law

Dershowitz: Requiring Trump Lawyer to Testify Imperils 6th Amendment

(Newsmax/"The Record with Greta Van Susteren")

By    |   Friday, 17 March 2023 08:53 PM EDT

Harvard law professor emeritus and author Alan Dershowitz told Newsmax Friday that a federal judge's order for one of former President Donald Trump's attorneys to testify in front of a grand jury investigating the handling of classified materials endangers the U.S. Constitution's Sixth Amendment regarding attorney-client privilege and the right to legal representation.

"People are just out to get Trump, and they're out to get his lawyers, and that endangers the Sixth Amendment," Dershowitz said during "The Record with Greta Van Susteren" Friday. "It endangers the right to counsel. It endangers due process, and we have to focus on it."

According to Cornell Law School, the Sixth Amendment guarantees the rights for criminal defendants including the right to a speedy trial, to be able to confront their accusers, and be represented by legal counsel, among others.

CNN reported Friday that Federal District Court Chief Judge Beryl Howell ordered Trump attorney Evan Corcoran to testify in front of a grand jury and special counsel Jack Smith who is investigating Trump's handling of classified documents seized by the FBI at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida last year.

"Whenever prosecutors target the attorneys, that's usually a good indication their underlying case is very weak," a Trump spokesperson told CNN Friday. "If they had a real case, they wouldn't need to play corrupt games with the Constitution. Every American has the right to consult with counsel and have candid discussions — this promotes adherence to the law."

Dershowitz said that any attempt to force a client's attorney to testify and potentially violate the attorney-client privileged communications had to have been taken to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland for approval.

"The attorney general of the United States himself must approve of trying to go after a lawyer and breach the privilege, so we know it went up the chain at the Justice Department," said Dershowitz, who added that he had faith Garland would "fairly" handle the matter.

"I have a lot of trust in Merrick Garland. I don't think he is part of the get Trump campaign. I think he is trying to do justice fairly as indicated."

Dershowitz said the testimony regarding the attorney is currently under court seal, so it is not clear what, if anything, he is contributing to possibly charging Trump criminally.

"We don't know very much because the record has been sealed, so we don't know what crime [Corcoran] is suspected of facilitating," Dershowitz said. "We don't know whether he is alleged to have knowingly participated in a crime, or just that the client used his unknowing activities to facilitate a crime.

"There are privacy interests so one can understand why a judge might want to keep that sealed. But I don't think anybody should rush to judgment until we've seen the entire record so we can make our own determination." 

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Politics
Harvard law professor emeritus and author Alan Dershowitz told Newsmax Friday that a federal judge's order for one of former President Donald Trump's attorneys to testify in front of a grand jury investigating the handling of classified materials endangers the U.S. ...
dershowitz, trump, corcoran, crime, law
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2023-53-17
Friday, 17 March 2023 08:53 PM
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