Former President Donald Trump is being targeted with lawsuits over the Jan. 6 incidents at the Capitol and other matters by Democrats who are seeking to "use the law in a weaponized way," Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz told Newsmax Saturday.
"I think what he did was protected as president by executive privilege and by the First Amendment," Dershowitz said on Newsmax's "Saturday Report." "This is an attempt to use the law as a weapon."
He added that the legal actions are also often political, such as in the grand jury actions taking place in New York, where Attorney General Letitia James "ran for office on the campaign promise of getting Trump."
Dershowitz said he also thinks there will be even more lawsuits filed, as politically-based legal actions are growing more extensive from both parties.
"It's wrong when either party uses it (as a weapon) but it's being used now, extensively, broadly, and in an overreaching way against the former president of the United States," said Dershowitz. "If you don't like the former president of the United States don't vote for him if he runs again. Don't vote for the people he supports. That's your political right, but bringing lawsuits makes very little sense."
Trump would have little recourse through filing countersuits, Dershowitz added, but he can bring what's called "Rule 11" sanctions that would require those suing him to pay legal fees and to sanction lawyers who bring action against him.
"I'm not necessarily in favor of that, but there is legal recourse," said Dershowitz.
Meanwhile, people who have supported Trump are starting to be blocked from speaking in the nation's universities, and Dershowitz said this is the first time he's seen such things happen.
"I'm old enough to remember Kennedy and Nixon was a very divided election, but we never had these kinds of recriminations," said Dershowitz. "But today we have recriminations."
Dershowitz also discussed reports about USA Today fighting a subpoena from the FBI demanding compueter data that identify people who read a story online in February. The story was about a shooting in South Florida where two agents were killed and three were wounded.
Gannett, USA Today's parent company, has filed motions to quash the subpoena, saying the action is unconstitutional and violates the Justice Department's rules.
"Free press includes not only the right of newspapers to publish, it includes the right of everybody to read or not to read," Dershowitz said. "I helped rescue a guy from the Soviet Union in the 1970s. He had no place to go. He lived in my home with my family. I took him to Harvard Square and I showed him a bookstore.
"He couldn't believe it. 'You could buy a book without them keeping a record of what you bought and what you read? Oh, my God, this is America. This is great. In the Soviet Union, you can't read a newspaper, you can't read a book without them having a record of it.' We don't want to ever see that happen in the United States. You have a right to read what you want."
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Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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