The left-wing news media is crowing all over the the television and the newspapers that former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s guilty plea will lead straight to an indictment of President Donald Trump. But liberal law professor Alan Dershowitz was quick to disabuse the leftist media of their foolish conclusion jumping.
Dershowitz appeared on Special Report with Fox News host Bret Baier and laid out the facts. While noting “it’s complicated,” Dershowitz nonetheless destroyed the ill-informed left’s claims that Trump has been laid bare and is all but convicted by the Cohen guilty plea.
As LifeZette reported, Dershowitz said:
“The law is clear that the president may contribute to his own campaign,” said Dershowitz. “So if the president had paid $280,000 to these two women, even if he had done so in order to help his campaign, that would be no problem — that’s legal. And if Cohen himself made the contribution that would be unlawful because he has a limit of $5200.”
“The prosecutor’s a little bit [of] a Catch-22,” said Dershowitz.
He explained that if the prosecutor accepts Cohen’s version of events — that the president directed him to do it — then there’s no crime. And if the prosecutor doesn’t believe Cohen’s story, it isn’t the president who would have committed a crime; rather, it would be Cohen himself.
He completely discounted some liberal pundits’ assertion that Cohen’s admission to a crime makes Trump an unindicted “co-conspirator,” noting further that it is matter of “basic criminal law.”
“[They are] just wrong,” said Dershowitz.
“You don’t become an unindicted co-conspirator if your action is lawful even though the action of the other person is unlawful.”
Dershowitz added that prosecutors really aren’t interested in Cohen. They are in the hunt to destroy Trump. But even if there were payments made to shut women up who threatened to derail Trump’s campaign, it still isn’t illegal.
Dershowitz went on to say that paying “hush money” — payment exchanged for the silence of someone who may otherwise reveal embarrassing or damaging information — isn’t a crime at all, much less “in the bullseye of high crime or misdemeanor,” as Harry Litman, former deputy assistant attorney general, had laughably characterized it on MSNBC.
“It’s not even a close question,” said Dershowitz.
“It’s just not a crime to contribute to your own campaign,” he added.
This won’t work for the left at all. They have already convicted Trump of their imaginary crimes!
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.