Dershowitz: Obstruction Charges on Trump Would Bring 'Constitutional Crisis'

Dershowitz: 'You Cannot Charge a President With Obstruction of Justice for Exercising His Constitutional Power'

Alan Dershowitz: 'You cannot charge a president with obstruction of justice for exercising his constitutional power'

President Trump's personal lawyer John Dowd continues to make controversial statements on the ongoing investigation into the current administration's dealings with Russian Federation.

Dershowitz further commented that presidents throughout the nation's history have exercised their constitutional powers on investigations, said Dershowitz.

The detail heightened scrutiny on a private Oval Office meeting between Trump and Comey the day after Flynn was sacked. Yet he isn't above the law that defines obstruction as an attempt to block the course of justice with corrupt intent.

He argued that the president has full constitutional authority to fire the FBI director, as well as to direct investigations at the Justice Department.

Trump's attorneys are clearly getting desperate over Mueller's investigation in the wake of the Flynn guilty plea. Despite its Nixon-era origins, the theory is not that the president is above the law, but rather that any criminal case must wait until after he or she leaves office.

All we need to observe is that in the context of a properly predicated national security investigation in which evidence of major criminality had arisen and in which more than one witness had already lied to the FBI, the FBI director alleged that the President had asked him for a pledge of loyalty and had cleared the room and asked the FBI director to go easy on one of the people who had lied to the Bureau and that he had otherwise put pressure on law enforcement leadership on the conduct of the case. "It flows from the notion that no person is above the law", he said.

Dershowitz cited past administrations to clarify what does and what does not constitute obstruction of justice. And while Attorney General is a Cabinet position whose appointee serves at the pleasure of the president, this honorific reflects the recognition in this country that the Department of Justice's prosecutorial powers must be exercised independently of the White House. Trump's denial "infuriated me on the personal front, and then I ended up googling, and I read an article with all these women's accounts [of Trump harassment], because when that article first came out, it was 13 days after I'd been fired, so I was in my own personal shock", Bush said. But traditions, even salutary ones, can not form the basis of a criminal charge. But to paraphrase another former Washington official, you make your case with the laws and prosecutors you have, not the laws and prosecutors you wish you had.

Unlike a criminal case heard by a judge or jury, impeachment is a political process that comes down to votes: a majority in the US House of Representatives to impeach and a two-thirds vote of the US Senate to convict. Moreover, 13 different legal experts recently told Vox that the president is not above the law and can indeed be indicted for obstructing justice (and other crimes). Under that view, only Congress would have the power to act against him through its impeachment powers, which are not necessarily constrained by the elements of federal crimes.

"The mistake was I should have put the lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in a separate line referencing (Flynn's) plea", Dowd told Reuters.

Referring to the President's controversial tweet about firing General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in a statement to NBC News and Axios Dowd said that the "president can not obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer under [the Constitution's Article II] and has every right to express his view of any case".

Trump, on Twitter, described the segment as "a must watch".

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