Harvard Law School Professor Alan Dershowitz denounced the Jan. 6 committee as a “kangaroo court” that produced a worthless report that should be “thrown in the wastebasket.”
In an interview Monday evening on Newsmax TV, the eminent lawyer said that “not only is [the Justice Department] not obligated to do anything, it is obligated not to do anything” in response to the panel’s recommendations Monday that former President Donald Trump be prosecuted.
According to Mr. Dershowitz, the panel operated against the spirit of one of only two civil-liberties provisions in the original Constitution, before the Bill of Rights was added — a ban on “bills of attainder.”
That provision banned Congress from passing indictments of unpopular people by name.
The spirit of the ban, Mr. Dershowitz said on the Newsmax show “John Bachman Now,” is “separation of powers — that you don’t let Congress decide who to prosecute.”
The committee members, all picked by Democrats, voted unanimously Monday to refer four charges to the Justice Department for prosecution: inciting the attack on the Capitol, obstructing an official proceeding of Congress, conspiracy to defraud the government, and making false statements on fake presidential electors.
Mr. Dershowitz, a liberals who twice voted against Mr. Trump but has become a vocal critic of liberal attacks on him, suggested that “the Justice Department should reprimand Congress for even trying to suggest who should be prosecuted.”
He acknowledged, though, that the Justice Department under President Biden would likely not do that.
“I don’t expect it to happen. I would hope it would happen. I do expect that they won’t take it seriously,” he said before outlining what he thought a properly operating non-political Justice Department would do.
“Don’t tell us who to investigate and who to prosecute. You had a kangaroo hearing. One-sided. You didn’t allow a cross-examination. You didn’t allow any adverse witnesses, so don’t expect us to take seriously any recommendations you make about prosecution. The American public should make no conclusions based on this one-sided recommendation and it should ignore it as well,” Mr. Dershowitz said.
It’s “worthless. It’s a worthless piece of paper,” he added.