Dershowitz: Presidential Pardons Have ‘Strong Constitutional Defense’

Amber Athey White House Correspondent
Font Size:

Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz blew up a New York Times report that suggested President Donald Trump’s lawyers obstructed justice by discussing pardoning Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn.


The report said that Trump’s lawyer brought up the prospect of pardoning Flynn and Manafort — both key players in Mueller’s Russia probe — with their lawyers last year.

“If that pardon was dangled out there, in your opinion, could that be used in an obstruction of justice case?” NBC’s Chuck Todd asked Dershowitz on “Meet the Press” Sunday.

Dershowitz argued that because pardons are well within presidential powers, it would raise a “constitutional conflict” to charge Trump for using that power.

“Look, I think there are three categories of cases that are being investigated. The first and most important are constitutionally authorized acts by the president which include pardoning, offering pardons, firing, directing the prosecution,” Dershowitz explained. “If he were ever to be charged or impeached for any of those acts, that would be a real constitutional conflict and we have arguments on both sides constitutionally.”

“I do think that anything relating to pardon he would have a strong constitutional defense,” he concluded.

 Follow Amber on Twitter