Renown liberal legal scholar Alan Dershowitz stated on Monday, following a raid of President Donald Trump’s personal attorney’s office and home, that the goal of special counsel Robert Mueller appears to be to produce a report that will be used to impeach the chief executive.
“I think that’s the plan,” Dershowitz told Fox News’ Sean Hannity, when asked about Mueller’s ultimate endgame.
He explained the decision to raid Michael Cohen’s office may represent an effort to turn the attorney against his client.
“This may be an attempt to squeeze Cohen. He’s the lawyer. He’s the guy who knows all the facts about Donald Trump,” said Dershowitz. “And to get him to turn against his client. This is a very dangerous day today for lawyer-client relations.”
The New York Times reported that the FBI seized emails, tax documents and records, some of which are related to Cohen’s $130,000 payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels in the days before the November 2016 presidential election. A source told the paper that the parameters of documents identified in a search warrant went back years.
Dershowitz observed that Trump faces a dilemma in deciding whether to agree to be interviewed by the special counsel.
“If he pleads the Fifth, Mueller gives him immunity and then he has to testify and immunity doesn’t cover impeachment,” the attorney said. So the special counsel can include anything he uncovers or any inconsistent statements in his final report.
Dershowitz further explained if Trump declines to be interviewed, “the problem of course for the president is Mueller ultimately holds the card in which he can subpoena the president, call him in front of a grand jury without his lawyer, without restrictions.”
At a meeting with his national security team at the White House on Monday night, Trump described Mueller’s actions against Cohen as “a disgrace.”
Trump said the Mueller investigation is “an attack on our country in a true sense. It’s an attack on what we all stand for.” The president may have been referring to the nation’s legal system or abiding by election results.
“So they find no collusion, and then they go from there and they say, ‘Well, let’s keep going,’” Trump stated. “And they raid an office of a personal attorney early in the morning, and I think it’s a disgrace.”
Asked whether he will fire Mueller, the president replied, “We’ll see what happens,” and, “Many people have said you should fire him.”
In an Op-Ed published in The Hill that same day, Dershowitz argued the targeting of Trump’s lawyer “should worry us all.”
“I have been widely attacked for defending the constitutional rights of a president I voted against,” he wrote. “In our hyperpartisan age, everyone is expected to choose a side, either for or against Trump.”
Dershowitz continued, “But the essence of civil liberties is that they must be equally applicable to all. The silence among most civil libertarians regarding the recent raid shows that we are losing that valuable neutrality.”
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