DERSHOWITZ ON FIRE: Legal Scholar Attends Trump Trial, Demolishes Judge Merchan's Prejudicial Conduct

Mary Altaffer

Alan Dershowitz is always good for a quote on legal matters. The Harvard Professor of Law, Emeritus, has represented a variety of clients from O.J. Simpson to Donald Trump, and regularly appears on cable news to opine on the legal matters of the day. He’s controversial—and is prone to confounding both sides of the political aisle—but he is certainly opinionated and not shy about showing it. 


I have never seen Dershowitz as animated as he was Monday evening after attending the clown show Donald Trump trial currently underway in New York City, where the former president stands accused of fraudulently misclassifying business accounting records. (Seriously? They want to imprison a former president for putting an expense in the wrong column in an Excel file?)

Read Susie Moore’s excellent rundown of the events in the courtroom:

The Fat Lady Hasn't Sung Yet: The Trump Trial Continues On (Day 19)

Dershowitz was laughing, he was gesticulating, he was appalled, he was incredulous. Judge Juan Merchan “went berserk” when dealing with defense witness Robert Costello, he said.

He was appearing on the Sean Hannity show, and he absolutely eviscerated Merchan’s conduct as he oversees this abomination on our legal system. Take a look (his comments start at the 55-second mark):

Hannity and Dershowitz were discussing the judge’s meltdown when defense witness Robert Costello—formerly a lawyer to serial liar Michael Cohen—rolled his eyes after another one of Merchan’s nonsensical rulings.   

HANNITY: Alan Dershowitz was in the courtroom today... You were in the actual courtroom. You were not asked to leave. You actually saw this whole, well show, go down with with Bob Costello and the judge. You know, "You trying to stare me down?"—and what is he, what is he talking about? He [Costello] rolled his eyes. But I'm rolling my eyes, you know, just hearing about what's going on in that courtroom. I've got to imagine in all the years you practice law, have you ever seen anything like this? 

DERSHOWITZ: No, I never have. I sat in the front row, literally just feet away from where all the action occurred. I rolled my eyes when the judge made some rulings that were absurd. Any first-year evidence student would understand that he was making biased rulings in favor of one side. 

stared him down, but Costello didn't. He acted like a normal witness and the judge went berserk. The judge violated Trump's constitutional right to a public trial by kicking the media out of the courtroom. I don't know why I wasn't kicked out, and I heard him lecture Costello... "What you did was contemptuous. You looked at me contemptuously...”


Here the famed attorney comes up with the best line of the night, bringing up the late great comedian, screenwriter, sex symbol, and playwright whose career spanned over seven decades—Mae West reminded me of Mae West when a judge said, you're showing contempt for the court and Mae West said no, Your Honor, I'm trying my best to hide my contempt for the court. 

I'm sure Costello was trying to hide his contempt for the court, but the judge had such a thin skin that he threatened him. He said he would strike the testimony and hold him in contempt if he rolled his eyes again. You have a constitutional right to roll your eyes and to stare at anybody. It was absurd! 

Dershowitz wasn’t just disgusted with the biased rulings of Judge Merchan; he also pointed to the duplicitous star witness, the aforementioned Michael Cohen, and said his dishonesty could bring down the whole case:

And then to sit so close to Cohen, watching him give lie after lie—would you believe what he actually said? He would not have accepted a pardon from Donald Trump after he had previously said he would do anything to avoid prison. He would, essentially, he would lie, he would cheat, he would do anything to avoid prison—but "I won't accept the pardon from Donald Trump." 

If you believe that I got a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn. There was so many lies!… this judge has committed more reversible errors in the one day I was in the courtroom than I've seen in years and years of practicing law. 

It's just an outrage.   


This trial is an absolute embarrassment for America, but it’s hard to know whether a New York jury can see through the insanity and vote “not guilty.” I mean, a Los Angeles jury set O.J. Simpson free all those years ago, so it’s impossible to predict whether logical minds will prevail here.

No matter what happens, however, this sham proceeding will go down as a stain on our history.

As an aside, Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett also makes some excellent points in the clip above. Definitely worth a watch. 

More Dershowitz:

'That's Forbidden Love!'—Dershowitz, Turley, Graham Weigh in on 'Rotten Justice' in Fani Willis Case

Alan Dershowitz Savages Justice Department’s Dirty Tactics Against Trump


Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on RedState Videos