Harvard Law School Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz is being prevented from offering powerful testimony to the House Judiciary Committee on behalf of President Trump because “establishment Republicans” are too fearful about his past work for Jeffrey Epstein to let him speak, Rep. Matt Gaetz said.
“I suggested we call Dershowitz. I think Dershowitz should have been on our list,” the Florida Republican said during an appearance Monday on the pro-Trump podcast War Room: Impeachment, which is hosted by Steve Bannon
“There were some establishment Republicans who were, like, ‘Oh no, we can’t have Dershowitz because of these Epstein allegations.’” Gaetz said. Dershowitz helped arrange a 2008 plea deal for the convicted sex offender, who died in jail earlier this year after being arrested on separate charges.
Gaetz protested what he described as Democrat-leaning academics using scholarly voices, which Dershowitz could have contested, to give legitimacy to the hearings, which begin Wednesday.
“They are going to bring what I can only perceive as pious, condescending, law professor, ‘act of omission’-types to talk down to the Congress and really talk down to the MAGA movement. You bring Dershowitz right in there and make Democrats look at a civil libertarian-style Democrat, and I think Dershowitz would have carved them up,” Gaetz said. “But, because they are worried about the [Epstein] allegations, there was consternation about calling him.”
“I think that was a mistake,” he said. “I don’t think there is anyone we could put in that chair better than Alan Dershowitz. There’s a decent chance Dershowitz would have been the professor of some of the Democrat witnesses.”
In a letter over the weekend to Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler of New York, ranking member Doug Collins of Georgia called for the panel to expand its list of witnesses and add more Republicans.
“To ensure fairness and restore integrity to the ongoing impeachment process, I request an expanded panel and a balanced composition of academic witnesses to opine on the subject matter at issue during the hearing,” wrote Collins.
“The Committee will hear from only four academic witnesses during its consideration of the question of impeachment. This is less than a quarter of those called to testify during the Clinton impeachment,” he said.
The four witnesses, all constitutional law scholars identified for the first time Monday, will appear Wednesday. Critics note an imbalance that privileges the Democrats.
Last week, a Republican aide reportedly said Nadler had not responded to four recent letters from Republicans with questions about the impeachment proceedings.