Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” law professor Alan Dershowitz said President Donald Trump could not be impeached for his motives.
Dershowitz said, “If the president sits down with Mueller, he may be walking into a perjury trap. If he is unwilling to sit down, he may be subpoenaed. Then probably there will be a year or so of litigation, but in the end probably he’ll have to appear in front of a grand jury. His great vulnerability is a perjury rap. As I argue in my book, you need to commit a crime to be impeached, and if he’s committed previous crimes, there’s no evidence of that, that won’t work. But if he commits the crime of perjury, he’s in Clinton land.”
He continued, “I argue this and I think I prove it conclusively, a president cannot be charged with obstruction of justice for merely exercising his power under Article Two. He can be the way Nixon was and Clinton was .”
Host Stephanopoulos said, “The question is what was going on in his mind, did he have corrupt intent.”
He continued, “You cannot question a president’s motives when the president acts. If the president pardons, that’s it. If a president fires, that’s it. You can’t go beyond an act and get into his motive or into his intent.”
Host Stephanopoulos asked, “What if a pardon someone to cover up a murder.”
Dershowitz said, “It doesn’t matter. A pardon is a pardon. The covering up of the murder may be an independent crime. The pardon can’t be the actus reus of a crime, because you cannot have a actus reus of a crime that is a constitutionally protected act.”
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