Harvard emeritus professor Alan Dershowitz believes former Trump-lawyer Michael Cohen is going to flip and cooperate with the federal prosecutors' investigation into his financial dealings and involvement with Donald Trump. The show aired after CNN revealed a recording of a telephone conversation between then-candidate Donald Trump and Cohen in 2016 purportedly about paying off an actress linked to Trump.
Appearing on “Cuomo Prime Time,” Dershowitz told show host Andrew Cuomo, “You have a situation where he (Cohen) is going to flip. There’s no question. He’s now made it clear. He said he’s going to tell the truth, he’s going to cooperate, he’s turned, and he’s pressed the reset button. If that doesn’t mean he’s going to cooperate with the government, I don’t know how you can say it anymore then if you walked into the prosecutor’s office and said ask me as many questions as you want me to answer.”
When asked about the legalities involved in the conversation between Trump and Cohen, Dershowitz said, “There’s no crime here. What you have is a lawyer and a client discussing something. The client says pay cash, and the lawyer says no pay it by check. That’s a typical conversation I’ve had a dozen times with clients.” He said that even if everything Cohen’s attorney Lanny Davis is true, “There’s no crime. There’s no federal crime. There’s no impeachable offense.”
Dershowitz began the segment by saying, “I don’t know why anybody waived the lawyer-client communication regarding this tape.” The famed legal expert continued, saying, “[H]ere you have the client maybe saying, let’s pay cash. The lawyer says, no, no, no, do it by check. And the client comes back and says, I’ll do it by check. That’s a typical conversation. I’ve had that conversation a dozen times with clients, and you persuade them to do the right thing. But I think the big picture here is, number one, Lanny [Davis] is a terrific lawyer. And so, there is a real lawyer who is now against Trump, unlike [Michael] Avenatti [attorney for Stormy Daniels] and some of the others, a really, really good lawyer who’s on this case. Second of all, you have a situation where, you know, he’s going to flip. There’s no question. He’s now made it clear.”
Dershowitz later stated, “This is all political. There is no crime here. The worst, worst case scenario, take everything Lanny Davis says as true, there’s no crime. There’s no federal crime. There’s no impeachable offense. This is all about how the president looks in the court of public opinion, whether or not he, through his lawyer, said something that was not true. I think they will win that fight because the tape’s ambiguous enough so that there will be people who will hear it the way they want to hear it, and other people who will hear it the way they want to hear it.”
In April, Dershowitz predicted that Cohen and others associated with Trump will flip for prosecutors. Show host Wolf Blitzer asked Dershowitz if Cohen would flip under the “enormous pressure” applied by federal prosecutors. Dershowitz replied, “I have told every client I have represented over the last 53 years, assume your best friend will flip. The prosecution has enormous leverage. They can charge you with a dozen crimes, even if they are relatively technical crimes, that accumulate with the guidelines and tell you, you are never see freedom again. You are going to serve the rest spend your life in prison.
“That kind of pressure brings about, not only singing, but sometimes composing. And that is witnesses realize the better the story, the better the deal they get. So the risk is they will exaggerate or elaborate or even sometimes make up stories.
“So I think the President has to assume that his closest friends, his greatest associates, the people he trusts the most, if exposed to the pressure, the risk of life imprisonment, will flip. That has to be his working assumption.”
What kind of a lawyer would tape a client? So sad! Is this a first, never heard of it before? Why was the tape so abruptly terminated (cut) while I was presumably saying positive things? I hear there are other clients and many reporters that are taped - can this be so? Too bad!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2018
President Trump denounced the release of the tape that recorded his conversation with Cohen. “What kind of lawyer would tape a client? So sad!Is this a first, never heard of it before? Why was the tape so abruptly terminated (cut) while I was presumably saying positive things? I hear there are other clients and many reporters that are taped -- can this be so? Too bad!”
Released on Tuesday night by CNN, the tape records presidential candidate Trump discussing with Cohen a proposal to buy the rights to the story of Karen McDougal, a Playboy model who claims to have had an extramarital affair with Trump about 10 years ago. The tape records Cohen telling Trump about planning to create a company and finance the purchase of the rights from American Media, which publishes the National Enquirer. "I need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend David," Cohen said in the recording, in an apparent reference to American Media head David Pecker. When the conversation returns to the topic of financing, Trump asks Cohen, "What financing?" When Cohen says, "We'll have to pay," Trump says "pay with cash" but the audio is distorted. Cohen says, "no, no" but it is not clear what is said next. According to Rudy Giuliani, the President's attorney, no payment was made even while he previously acknowledged that the recorded discussion was about buying the story rights. "There's no indication of any crime being committed on this tape," Giuliani said on Fox News Channel Tuesday night.