Constitutional expert and famed Harvard law Professor, Alan Dershowitz, took on Jeffrey Toobin to discuss the ongoing Trump-Comey saga, saying in no uncertain terms that “this is not obstruction of justice.”
He explains, “That is his constitutional power. He has the right to say, ‘You will not investigate Flynn.’ The best proof of that is he could have simply said to Comey, ‘Stop the investigation, I’ve just pardoned Flynn.’”
To back up his assertions, Dershowitz reminded viewers of when Bush I pardoned Casper Weinberger the night before trial. After doing so, no one cried ‘obstruction’ because it was within the rights of the President of the United States to do so.
“That’s what President Bush did,” Dershowitz said, citing the case of Caspar Weinberger. “You cannot have obstruction of justice when the president exercises his constitutional authority to pardon, his constitutional authority to fire the director of the FBI, or his constitutional authority to tell the director of the FBI who to prosecute and who not to prosecute.”
He made the point that impeachment and obstruction are two entirely different things, which reduced Jeffrey Toobin to look like an 11th grade history student learning the constitution for the first time. The President can be impeached for all manners of things, but not for firing Comey and/or asking him to stop investigating Flynn — because it is his right to do so.
“You can impeach him if you don’t like what he did,” he said. “But you cannot say it’s a crime. It’s simply not a crime for the president to exercise his constitutional authority to pardon or to direct the FBI.”
He concluded, “If you and I were expert witnesses in an impeachment trial of President Trump, and we were asked the question, ‘has President Trump committed an obstruction of justice by pardoning Flynn or by firing Comey, or by telling Comey not to investigate Flynn?’, my answer, as an expert on the constitution would be ‘absolutely not, he didn’t commit an obstruction of justice […] it simply isn’t a crime for the President to exercise his constitutional authority.’”
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