OAN’s Daniel Baldwin
3:05 PM – Friday, May 12, 2023
Famous criminal lawyer and Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz said the next step for the Trump legal team after the verdict in the E. Jean Carroll case was clear.
“This would be an easy case to order an appeal if the defendant’s name was not Donald Trump,” Dershowitz said. “It’s gonna be a hard uphill battle with a name like Donald Trump.”
A New York jury found President Donald Trump liable for battery in a civil trial brought by Carroll, awarding her $5 million in civil damages. Carroll accused Trump of groping and raping her in a Bergdorf-Goodman dressing room at some point in the 1990s. Dershowitz, who has been called “the best known-criminal lawyer in the world,” said this was “an inconsistent verdict.”
“The jury found that there was no rape,” Dershowitz explained. If that’s the case, how do you get defamation? Trump said he didn’t rape her and that became the defamation essentially.”
Trump has completely denied the allegations, saying this was the latest example of a politically-driven witch hunt.
“They’re doing this for election interference,” Trump said during a CNN town hall. “This woman, I don’t know her. I never met her. I have no idea who she is.”
Dershowitz emphasized that the case was littered with “so many mistakes,” starting with the fact that Clinton-appointed Judge Lewis Kaplan withheld the names of the jury from the defense.
“How do you prepare to examine a juror to determine whether they’re biased or not if you don’t even have their name,” Dershowitz asked. “The first thing I do as a lawyer when I have the name for jurors, I look up social media. Find out what they’ve said on Twitter. Find out what they said on Facebook and see if I can discern any prejudices. The defense was denied the opportunity to do that in this case. So if his name weren’t Donald Trump, this would clearly be a reversible error.”
The author of “Get Trump” said this violated the 45th president’s right to a trial by jury.
“How do you know if it’s a fair trial unless you know their names,” said Dershowitz. “It would’ve been unheard of at the time of the ratification of the Bill of Rights to have a jury whose names were kept from the lawyers.”
Dershowitz explained the suspension of the statute of limitations played a significant role in the case as well. In 2022, New York passed the Adult Survivor’s Act which created a one year window for people to sue alleged sexual assault assailants. Carroll and her team capitalized on this. The normal statute of limitations for civil sexual assault cases is approximately three years in New York.
“When you extend the statute of limitations after it’s already expired and allow a 27, 28 year old case to come before a jury, inevitably you’re going to get kind of results like this,” Dershowitz explained.
The Harvard professor said bringing forward a case that occurred nearly three decades ago can create ambiguity.
“Did she forget? Did she remember? Is she telling the truth? Maybe she’s remembering this, but forgetting that. It’s a mess when you go back 27 years in a she said, he said situation,” said Dershowitz.
Another key piece was that Linked-In co-founder Reid Hoffman was revealed to be funding Carroll’s case. Hoffman is on the record admitting he would “spend as much as I possibly can and it takes and is effective [to beat Trump].” Despite this, the judge would not allow this to be submitted as evidence in the case. Meanwhile, Carroll’s team was permitted to submit the infamous Access Hollywood tapes of Trump from 2005.
“Who funds the lawsuit is far more relevant than whether or not he said something foolish on the Access Hollywood tape,” Dershowitz said.
Dershowitz actually explained the language Trump used in the tapes did not fit the argument Carroll’s team was attempting to make.
“What [Trump] said on the tape is that women welcome being touched,” said Dershowitz. “They allow it being touched by celebrities. That’s not what he was charged with. He was charged with doing it against the wishes of the woman. So it was highly irrelevant and highly prejudicial.”
Finally, he claimed to have an issue with Carroll’s story
“Here you had an adult, serious woman with contacts in the media,” Dershowitz said. “With an ability to go to the media, to go to the police, to go seek medical aid if what she said was true. There was every reason for her to come forward if not the week it happened, within years after it happened.”
He said the bottomline was simple.
“There are so many mistakes in the case.”