Alan Dershowitz: ‘Creating Thought Crimes Out Of A President’s Motives Would Create A Serious Constitutional Conflict’

Appearing on Fox News’ "Fox & Friends," renowned legal scholar Alan Dershowitz called into question the collusion investigation into President Trump.

Referencing remarks made by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), co-host Pete Hegseth asked if an obstruction case is being built against the president, and that if such a case is being built, would it be "credible."

Dershowitz replied:

I think the answer is yes, and no. I think that the special counsel is trying to build an obstruction case — that's why he's interviewing people who are witnesses to the alleged obstruction. But there's no credible case because under the Constitution, a president cannot be charged for merely exercising his constitutional authority under Article II.

What Senator Blumenthal referred to is cases where a president destroys evidence — there's no evidence of that. That's what president Nixon did. Nixon was charged with obstruction of justice for ordering his underlings to lie to the FBI, paying hush money, and destroying evidence. President Clinton was charged with obstruction for allegedly lying to the grand jury [and] at a deposition. But if the president simply exercised his constitutional authority, namely firing an underling — which he's entitled to do; telling the FBI not to investigate a particular person — which he is entitled to do; pardoning people — which he hasn't done yet; thinking about maybe whether [we] should fire the special counsel — that's not obstruction of justice under the Constitution.

Dershowitz added that investigators appear to be trying to "create crimes" out of what was initially supposed to be a collusion investigation:

It is supposed to be about collusion, but of course they soon discovered that collusion is not a crime, and so they are now trying to create crimes out of the way the president allegedly defended himself against the charges of collusion. It's a typical prosecutorial tactic. You can't get them for the substantive crime, so you get them for the alleged cover up or obstruction.

The legal scholar warned, however, that such a path could be dangerous:

It would create a constitutional crisis and a separation of powers issue if a president was ever charged with merely exercising his constitutional authority because the prosecutor didn't approve of his motive. Everybody has mixed motives, and to start creating thought crimes out of a president's motives would create a serious constitutional conflict.

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