News & Politics

Alan Dershowitz Slams the Russia Probe on Fox News — And Proves He Has No Idea What He's Talking About

Dershowitz has complained that he has been ostracized for defending Trump. Maybe this is why.

Photo Credit: Fox News

If Alan Dershowitz really isn't a supporter of President Donald Trump — as he has repeatedly insisted — why does he keep going on Fox News and spreading falsehoods about the Russia investigation?

The legal scholar appeared on the network Tuesday night with Sean Hannity, once again pushing his perplexing case against special counsel Robert Mueller.

"I think Mueller is going to end up having not accomplished very much," he said. "Because you cannot indict a sitting president — we know that [Supreme Court nominee Brett] Kavanaugh agrees with that as well. And you cannot impeach a president unless he's committed a crime. Collusion is not a crime."

He continued: "The president cannot obstruct justice simply by exercising his authority under Article II. So, in the end, there's just going to be a report. Some low-hanging fruit. Some people will be indicted, their families will be ruined."

Considering the fact that Dershowitz just published a book on the idea of impeaching Trump, it's amazing how much he got wrong on the topic in just a few sentences.

First, he assumes that Mueller's only important goal is to somehow go after Trump — which it clearly is not. Mueller has already indicted more than a dozen Russians of crimes against the United States related to election meddling.

Even if Trump is innocent of every crime or wrongdoing accusation, Mueller's investigation concerns far more people than the president alone, and he could be quite successful in his goals in other ways.

Second, Dershowitz makes some bold claims — a sitting president cannot be indicted, you can't impeach a president who hasn't committed a clear crime — which may be respectable views to hold, but they are not settled as a legal matter. Ultimately, they are constitutional questions that remain unanswered, and Dershowitz' claim that he knows the answers misleads his audience.

Third, he says "collusion is not a crime." "Collusion" itself is not a legal term in this context, but it certainly may involve criminal acts, and there's no reason to assume, as Dershowitz seems to, that Mueller won't uncover any criminal forms of collusion. Again, he's unnecessarily misleading his audience.

Fourth, he repeats his dubious assertion that "The president cannot obstruct justice simply by exercising his authority under Article II." Many legal experts argue that Dershowitz has just invented this principle out of whole cloth and that it is absolutely false. But even if he is correct on this point, Trump might have committed obstruction of justice in other ways, outside of his presidential powers — a claim Dershowitz apparently doesn't consider.

Fifth, Dershowitz writes off any other accomplishment Mueller could achieve as "low-hanging fruit" and some indictments. Again, he apparently doesn't consider the fact that very serious crimes may be uncovered — Paul Manafort has already been accused of several — and that the integrity of American elections might be strengthened through his work.

Watch the clip below:

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Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor. Follow him on Twitter @codytfenwick.