Famed Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz shot down claims of obstruction of justice Wednesday, telling CNN’s Anderson Cooper that presidents have the right to start or stop any investigation.
Dershowitz said that, constitutionally, a president may direct an intelligence agent to stop an investigation. The “best proof” of that fact, he says, is that Trump could’ve easily pardoned former national security advisor Michael Flynn and the entire investigation would have been over anyway.
“Trump could have told Comey, ‘You are commanded, you are directed, to drop the prosecution against Flynn.’ The president has the right to do that,” he explained. “Remember also what the president could’ve done. He could’ve said to Comey, ‘Stop this investigation, I am now pardoning Flynn. That’s what President Bush did.”
Dershowitz cited the case of Caspar Weinberger, who was pardoned by George H.W. Bush before he could be tried in relation to the Iran-Contra scandal.
“You cannot have obstruction of justice when the President exercises his constitutional authority to pardon, his constitutional authority to fire the director of the FBI, his constitutional authority to tell the director of the FBI who to prosecute, who not to prosecute,” Dershowitz elaborated.
“You don’t believe he was trying to influence of impede any possible or further investigation into Flynn?” Cooper asked.
“What I’m telling you is that even if he did want it to impede it, and even if he did impede it, that is his constitutional power. He has the right to say, ‘You will not investigate Flynn.'”
Alan Dershowitz: “You cannot have obstruction of justice when the President exercises his constitutional authority” https://t.co/yU7cy0NFuM
— CNN (@CNN) June 8, 2017