Legal scholar Alan Dershowitz affirmed that if claims made by President Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, that the president knew about a meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian official are true, it is a "political problem" and not a "legal problem." Alleged "collusion" to obtain negative information about a political opponent is not a "federal crime," Dershowitz affirmed. "[T]he big picture is that even if everything he [Cohen] says is true, it's not a crime," said Dershowitz.

In an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper on July 27, Dershowitz said, "Even if the president actively sought material dirt on Hillary Clinton, terrible thing, but even if he sought it, but the dirt had already been gathered, and he wasn't asking them to hack the DNC or do anything criminal, that would not be a crime." The famed Harvard Law professor emeritus said, "It would show, perhaps,  'collusion," and added, "But there's nothing in the federal code that makes collusion itself a crime." 

Cooper asked Dershowitz earlier in the interview, "Professor Dershowitz, if the reporting turns out to be true -- and that's a big if -- and the president did know about the meeting [and] there were other people to corroborate Cohen's story, isn't that a major problem or is that a major problem for the president and Donald Trump Jr., who between the two of them have denied the president's knowledge of the meeting nine times?"

Replying, Dershowitz said, "Oh, it's a political problem to be sure, but I don't think it's a legal problem. Even if the president knew of the meeting, knew exactly the role of the woman who was there, that she was representing the Russian government, and even knew that they were going to go to try to collect dirt that had already been gotten by the Russians on Hillary Clinton, that would be a political sin but it wouldn't be a federal crime."

"And I think if this is the best that Cohen has to offer, I don't think he's going to be given immunity by the federal prosecutors," said Dershowitz. "He may have to compose and not only sing in order to get that kind of immunity because this isn't very much from a legal point of view."

"It's a big deal from a political and public relations point of view," he said, "but legally it's a 3 on a scale of 10, maybe."

Dershowitz added, "But I think the big picture is that even if everything he says is true, it's not a crime. You know, in my new book, The Case Against Impeaching Trump, I set out a hypothetical based on this possibility, a hypothetical: Even if the president actively sought material dirt on Hillary Clinton, terrible thing, but even if he sought it, but the dirt had already been gathered, and he wasn't asking them to hack the DNC or do anything criminal, that would not be a crime. It would show, perhaps,  'collusion.' But there's nothing in the federal code that makes collusion itself a crime."

Later on, Dershowitz challenged attorney Michael Avenatti, who represents Stormy Daniels, about predictions of revelations that will force Trump to resign. While Dershowitz admitted that Avenatti is correct that are are more audio tapes secretly made by Michael Cohen. He added, "I said it was true what you're talking about [more audio tapes from Cohen] and that's why it needs some explanation." Dershowitz said, “You did guarantee the American public back in May that President Trump would resign. We're watching our watches and waiting to see if that prediction comes true."

"That's the one prediction that you really staked your reputation on," he said to Avenatti. "So your reputation will turn on whether he does resign or not."

 

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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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