Dershowitz: Mueller Making Decisions on ‘False Statements’
By Sandy Fitzgerald
President Donald Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen’s decision to plead guilty to lying to Congress about work he did on a Trump real estate deal on Russia shows special counsel Robert Mueller is “making all of his decisions based on false statements,” and that the plea could also mean a perjury trap for the president himself, Harvard Law Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz said Thursday.
“He is admitting to making false statements,” Dershowitz told Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” about Cohen.
“His credibility as a witness diminishes. The question is whether he will say what others have said about buildings in Moscow or whether or not that constitutes any kind of criminal activity. I find it very hard to define.”
However, Cohen’s plea could even mean a “perjury trap” for Trump himself, Dershowitz added.
“They are going to comb through every one of his answers and see if they can come up with anybody who can contradict anything the president said,” said Dershowitz, referring to written answers Trump has given Mueller in the case.
“That is why it is called perjury. Even if the president believes what he said was true, if somebody will contradict it, then the president can be charged with lying to government officials, which is the equivalent of perjury.”
This makes it dangerous for Trump or anyone who is the subject of an investigation to answer questions from prosecutors, as they can “get evidence that they can use to show contradictions,” said Dershowitz.
The professor also added that Thursday’s guilty plea means Mueller’s report is not quite ready to release, if the investigators are still filling blanks.
“They have lost Paul Manafort as a witness,” said Dershowitz. “Of course, he is unlikely to be a witness. . . they are probably hustling to try to get a new witness to fill some of those gaps.”
Meanwhile, Mueller’s case has never been very strong against the president, said Dershowitz, but Cohen won’t be a good witness because of his own “history of questionable conduct…I think they are going to look to see if they can get some information that can be corroborated.”