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President Trump Facing a ‘Kangaroo Court’ and ‘Star Chamber’: Alan Dershowitz

May 20, 2017 (EIRNS)—Harvard Law Prof. Alan Dershowitz penned a useful article published in Newsmax today warning that with the naming of Special Counsel Robert Mueller to investigate President Trump’s Russian ties, Trump will be subjected to a legal proceeding more akin to a Star Chamber than anything remotely connected to the U.S. Constitution.

As for alleged Trump-Russian ties, he points out,

"even if there were such direct links, that would not constitute a crime under current federal law. Maybe it should, but prosecutors have no right to investigate matters that should be criminal but are not."

As for the "kangaroo court" quality of Mueller’s investigation, Dershowitz points out that the investigation will be conducted in secret, behind closed doors.

"Witnesses will be denied the right to have counsel present during grand jury questioning; they will have no right to offer exculpatory testimony or evidence to the grand jury; inculpatory hearsay evidence will be presented and considered by the grand jury; there will be no presumption of innocence; no requirement of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, only proof sufficient to establish the minimal standard of probable cause. The prosecutor alone will tell the jury what the law is and why they should indict; and the grand jury will do his bidding. As lawyers quip: they will indict a ham sandwich if the prosecutor tells them to."

There is nothing in the Constitution "that mandates such a kangaroo proceeding," Dershowitz states.

"All the Fifth Amendment says is: ‘no person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury.’ The denials of due process come from prosecutorially-advocated legislative actions. The founding fathers would be turning over in their graves if they saw what they intended as a shield to protect defendants, turned into a rusty sword designed to place the heavy thumb of the law on the prosecution side of the scale."

Apparently, Dershowitz ruffled quite a few feathers at CNN a few days ago when he made the same arguments, saying that he didn’t think Mueller had any jurisdiction, because no crime had been committed. This provoked indignant howling from CNN’s Anderson Cooper and guests, that anyone could suggest such a thing.