Once the darling of the Liberals, Alan Dershowitz, Harvard Law Professor and long-time civil rights advocate, is now in their cross hairs. Why? Because he has the nerve to go on national TV and give his legal opinion of the Mueller witch hunt.
The most recent “witch” is Michael Cohen, the former attorney for private businessman, Donald J. Trump, and later a campaign adviser.
According to Dershowitz, if Cohen is telling the truth (that Trump directed him to pay hush money) it’s a catch-22 for the prosecution. Any candidate is entitled to pay hush money to anyone he wants during a campaign. And there are no restrictions on what a candidate can contribute to his own campaign. If the president directed Cohen to do it as his lawyer and was going to compensate him for it, the president DID NOT COMMIT A CRIME.
“If Cohen did it on his own, then Cohen commits the crime,” Dershowitz said. The crime would be exceeding the $2,700 campaign contribution limit.
The president did not break the law if, as a candidate, he contributes to his own campaign. So if Trump gave $1 million to two women as hush money, there would be no crime. If Trump directed his lawyer (ie, Cohen) to do it, and he would compensate the lawyer, Trump committed no crime.
The only crime is if a third-party, namely Cohen, on his own contributed to a campaign. THAT would be a campaign contribution above the statutory limit. So, it is a catch-22 for the prosecution. if they claim that the president authorized Cohen to do it or directed Cohen to do it, it is not a crime for anybody. If Cohen did it on his own, then it is a crime for Cohen but not for the president.
This is going to be a very difficult case for the prosecution to make, Dershowitz stated on MSNBC recently.
Candidates violate election laws all the time, go back to any campaign’s campaign violations. In these cases the campaign pays a fine. There are no criminal charges AND THE CANDIDATE IS NOT REQUIRED TO RESIGN FROM HIS/HER ELECTED OFFICE.
Of the eight counts against Michael Cohen, five are for bank fraud and income tax evasion (based on a business partially owned by Cohen). This activity had nothing to do with Trump or Trump’s campaign. Counts #6, #7 & #8 pertain to the campaign. The most amusing charge is “caused and made the payments . . . . . in order to influence the 2016 presidential election.”
Influence an election? Every single campaign worker, paid or volunteer, is trying “to influence the . . . election.” If Americans weren’t aware that Mueller’s investigation is just an attempt to deny Americans their Constitutional right to choose their own president, they do now.