Aftenposten, founded in 1860, is Norway’s largest printed newspaper by circulation and Norway’s answer to New York Times.
Like the NYT, it was once a highly respected newspaper. No further explanation is needed.
On August 6, Aftenposten published an editorial titled «En god dag for Amerika» – A good day for America:
«Trump is wrong. There is nothing sad about a functioning rule of law», writes the newspaper, referring to the former president’s comment to reporters after the latest indictment concerning January 6th.
Aftenposten summarizes the indictment against Trump, and it is an assortment of cherry-picking and lies. Among other things, they claim that Trump tried to sabotage the election by getting votes from dead people in Arizona:
“With a co-conspirator, Trump tried to sabotage the election in Arizona by getting votes from dead people.”
As for Arizona, there are conflicting stories, but the liberal version is that Trump pressured Arizona Governor Doug Ducey to overturn the state’s 2020 election. They portray him as a mafioso who will stop at nothing.
Sources who claim that Trump pressured Duceyy over the phone are anonymous; no calls were recorded, and reports that Pence got the job to pressure the governor were recently refuted by the former vice president himself.
One of the stories is that Trump claimed that over 30,000 illegals voted in the election. That may be true, but several online searches show no stories about the president trying to sabotage the Arizona election by getting votes from dead people.
Nevertheless, regardless of what one may think of Trump and what he has said in connection with the 2020 presidential election, he is protected by the Constitution’s First Amendment, allowing Americans to express a wide range of opinions and views.
Just like millions of liberal election deniers.
Aftenposten further writes that there is nothing sad about the judicial system dealing with Trump’s misdeeds:
“That’s exactly how a well-functioning rule of law must work. Democracy has an impartial judiciary.”
According to Harvard law professor and Democrat Alan Dershowitz, Trump’s indictment shows that the rule of law in the United States is neither well-functioning nor impartial.
Who knows what is best for America: Alan Dershowitz or the editorial staff at Aftenposten?
After nearly 60 years as a law professor, Dershowitz knows what he’s talking about, especially when interpreting the United States Constitution, in which he is an expert. In addition, Dershowitz is a Democrat but is still among the most prominent critics of the Justice Department’s indictments against Trump.
He has said on several occasions that the January 6 indictment is based on lies and contains a blatant lie from Jack Smith.
Dershowitz believes the only serious indictment is Trump’s handling of classified documents, but the law professor also adds a «maybe» there.
We look at some of his arguments.
Biden’s actions and Trump’s indictment are reminiscent of a banana republic.
On Friday, Dershowitz said the prosecutors’ latest indictment against Donald Trump is reminiscent of a banana republic.
The comment came after the New York Times reported that President Joe Biden was frustrated by the slow pace of the Justice Department’s investigation, and Biden told close aides that Trump was a threat to democracy and needed to be indicted by the Justice Department:
«That begins to look like banana republic land. That’s what happens when people in power are afraid of the democratic process. What they do is they seek the indictment and prosecution of the people who are running against them.»
«I have a constitutional right to vote against Donald Trump for the third time,” Dershowitz said. “I voted against him twice, I intend to vote against him again, but I want to have that right to vote against him and not have that right taken away from me by prosecutors and by the president, who wants to see him imprisoned. That’s just not the American way.»
Dershowitz is right: That’s just not the American way.
Being wrong does not make Trump a criminal.
Alan Dershowitz and other legal experts have noted that much of the conduct Jack Smith claims is criminal in the indictment against Trump appears to be protected by the First Amendment, which covers free speech. Dershowitz says:
«The problem with the indictment is that the Supreme Court has repeatedly held under the First Amendment that there’s no such thing as a false opinion. Every American, and especially politicians, have the right to be wrong about their opinions. They also have the right to express their false opinions, at least as long as they honestly believe they are true.»
What would it look like if every politician who told a lie to get elected was prosecuted and imprisoned? asks Dershowitz:
«Our legislative sessions would have to be held in the Allenwood prison rather than in the halls of Congress. Lying has long been endemic in politics. That’s why we honour George Washington and Abraham Lincoln as truth-tellers among the array of politicians who don’t meet that standard.»
Trump will not get a fair trial in the District of Columbia.
Dershowitz also says that the indictment is an attack on Trump’s right under the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution, which requires that in all criminal cases, the accused shall have the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury – in the state and district where the crime is committed.
However, under federal law, a trial can be moved when it is practically impossible for the defendant to get an impartial jury, says Dershowitz:
«The prosecution of Donald Trump for the events around January 6, 2021 would seem to call for a change of venue. The District of Columbia is the most extreme Democratic district in the country. Approximately 95% of the potential jurors register and vote Democrat. Whereas approximately 5% voted for Trump.»
Many will also have experienced January 6 up close, which has caused even more anger against Trump.
The goal of the Sixth Amendment is to assure not only that the defendant is treated justly but that the appearance of justice is also satisfied, writes Dershowitz:
«A jury and judge that are impartial, and seen to be impartial, are essential to achieving this goal.»
Dershowitz says this becomes especially important when the sitting president has encouraged his attorney general to pursue his political opponents aggressively.
Although the government should not oppose such proposals, they usually will if it gives them a tactical advantage, says Dershowitz:
«Moreover, such demands are rarely granted, as are proposals to recall an elected judge.»
Dershowitz does not doubt that Judge Tanya Chutkan should be removed from Trump’s trial. She has a long history of bias against Trump and his supporters, and the law firm she worked for is known for conflicts and corruption.
Jack Smith’s indictment contains a blatant lie.
Dershowitz has said on several occasions that if special counsel Jack Smith followed the same standard of «fraud» that he uses against Trump in the indictment, he could be indicted for omitting part of Donald Trump’s speech on January 6, 2021.
Dershowitz was a guest on the Megyn Kelly Show and said Smith’s indictment contains a blatant lie, as he left out important keywords from the speech:
«Smith] told a direct lie in this indictment,» claimed Dershowitz. «He purported to describe the speech that President Trump made on January 6. And he left out the key words, when President Trump said, ‘I want you to demonstrate peacefully and patriotically.»
Finally, Alan Dershowitz says that under the law, lying by omission is as bad as an outright lie:
«You know, a lie by omission, under the law, can be as serious as a lie by commission.»
Aftenposten is guilty of both, and although they are not indicted, hopefully, they live in a democracy with an impartial judiciary.
Donald Trump does not.
Norwegian-American Elisabeth Rooney is the USA correspondent for Document News. She lives in South Florida.
How Alan Dershowitz Would Defend Former President Trump as His Lawyer in the January 6 Case.