Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz tells Fox News that Dianne Feinstein has no idea what she is talking about when she claims President Trump could be charged with “obstruction of justice” for firing former FBI director James Comey.
Feinstein told NBC News yesterday that Trump fired Comey because he did not agree to “lift the cloud” of the Russia investigation and this represents “obstruction of justice”.
“You cannot charge a president with obstruction of justice for exercising his constitutional power to fire Comey and his constitutional authority to tell the Justice Department who to investigate, who not to investigate,” said Dershowitz. “That’s what Thomas Jefferson did, that’s what Lincoln did, that’s what Roosevelt did. We have precedents that clearly establish that.”
The Harvard law professor warned that if Congress charged Trump with obstruction of justice, a “constitutional crisis” would be set in motion.
He added that “clearly illegal acts” would have to be identified to hit Trump with obstruction of justice charges. In the example of Watergate and Richard Nixon, these included “hush money being paid,” “telling people to lie” and “destroying evidence,” according to Dershowitz, none of which Trump has engaged in.
“There’s never been a case in history where a president has been charged with obstruction of justice for merely exercising his constitutional authority,” said Dershowitz, asserting that Feinstein “simply doesn’t know what she’s talking about.”
Reports are swirling that the White House may be preparing a preemptive defense for an obstruction of justice charge after Trump said in a tweet, “I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI.”
This prompted some to claim that Trump was aware that Flynn had lied to the FBI and that Trump fired Comey for pursuing charges against someone whom Trump knew to be guilty.
However, Trump has repeatedly said he fired Comey for refusing to publicly confirm that Trump himself was not under investigation.
Trump’s attorney took the blame for the badly worded tweet and subsequently stated, “The president cannot 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.”
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