Liberal attorney and Harvard professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz on Tuesday discussed former Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s plea arrangement with CNN’s Chris Cuomo and former prosecutor Jennifer Rodgers. When the conversation worked its way around to the potential legal ramifications for President Trump, Dershowitz said that it amounted to “essentially jaywalking.”
“We’re probably not going to end up in court with an indictment against Donald Trump on this, in large part because of the office of legal counsel opinion that a president can’t be indicted,” said Rodgers, noting that such a plea deal is still “unprecedented.”
“I mean never before has someone stood up, sworn under oath that the president directed them to commit a crime, which means of course that the president also has committed a crime,” she continued. “And I don’t agree that these laws are vague or there’s some reason that this contribution to the campaign, which is clear is what it was, is somehow unenforceable. If the president were not the president, he would be indicted very soon if he hadn’t been already.”
Dershowitz took issue with Rodgers’ contention by arguing that a candidate is allowed to contribute to their own campaign.
“Any candidate has the right to contribute unlimited amounts to his own campaign,” said Dershowitz. “Any candidate. It may sound terrible, and it may be terrible, but any candidate has the right to pay hush money to somebody to influence the outcome of the election.”
“Not if it’s unreported,” interrupted Rodgers.
“Well, that’s the next question is whether it has to be reported, and is that a technical violation?” Dershowitz responded. “Do you know how many technical violations has the Obama campaign committed and every other campaign committed? Failure to report a contribution by the candidate itself is essentially jaywalking.”
Dershowitz then laid out the “credibility issue” with Cohen who, facing life in prison, would be tempted to say whatever prosecutors wanted him to say.