Liberal attorney Alan Dershowitz said on Sunday that “motives” cannot come into play when considering obstruction of justice charges against a U.S. president merely exercising his constitutional powers.
Dershowitz responded “no” when asked if special counsel Robert Mueller could pin obstruction of justice charges on President Trump, because he was “merely exercising his power” under the Constitution’s Article II. (RELATED: President Trump Hammers Mueller’s ‘Rigged Witch Hunt’ In Scathing Tweet)
“You cannot question a president’s motives when the president acts,” Dershowitz told host George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week.” “If a president pardons, that’s it. If a president fires, that’s it. You can’t go beyond the act and get into his motive or into his intent.”
“It doesn’t matter,” Dershowitz said when asked if the president could conceivably cover up a murder. “The pardon is the pardon. The covering up of the murder may be an independent crime. The pardon cannot be the actus reus of a crime because you cannot have an actus reus of a crime that is a constitutionally protected act.”