Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz says that under his own “fraud” standard, Special Counsel Jack Smith could be indicted for omitting a key portion of then-President Donald Trump’s speech in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021.
The indictment charges Trump with four counts, including “conspiracy to defraud the United States.” But in a portion recounting Trump’s speech at the “Stop the Steal” rally, Smith repeats the errors made by House Democrats in Trump’s second impeachment trial: he focuses on Trump’s use of the phrase “fight like hell,” and omits a sentence highlighted by Trump’s defense team: “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”
Dershowitz told the Megyn Kelly Show podcast on Friday that by his own standard, Smith could be charged with fraud, because of his omission of Trump’s “peaceful” rhetoric.
“Under the indictment itself, Jack Smith could be himself indicted. He told a direct lie in this indictment. He purported to describe the speech that President Trump made on January 6th. And he left out the key words, when President Trump said, ‘I want you to demonstrate peacefully and patriotically. You know, a lie by omission, under the law, can be as serious as a lie by commission.”
The fact that Smith repeated the error of the House impeachment managers would appear deliberate, because these phrases were the crux of Trump’s Senate trial. Trump’s lawyers even played footage of Democrats using similar “fight” rhetoric, to show its common usage.
Trump’s defense team returned, again and again, to the fact that Trump told his supporters to rally “peacefully” at the Capitol, which was ultimately a major reason he was able to defeat the House impeachment charge of incitement.
Notably, Smith did not charge Trump with incitement. But in his statement to the press, he claimed that Trump’s “lies” about the election caused the riot, all but making the claim of incitement.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.