President Trump’s former lawyer Alan Dershowitz Saturday shot down Democratic suggestions President Trump could be criminally charged in a federal indictment unsealed after his administration ends.
Mr. Dershowitz, who represented Mr. Trump during the impeachment proceedings brought against the president, said during a TV interview “there is no realistic possibility the president will be indicted.”
Appearing on the Newsmax channel, Mr. Dershowitz, a constitutional law expert, later added Mr. Trump might potentially face state charges but suggested that would be a stretch.
“I don’t think they will find anything to indict him for,” Mr. Dershowitz said. “I certainly hope he doesn’t get indicted. That’s what banana republics do. They indict their presidents after the presidents lose an election. So let the president go on, let him finish his term.”
Mr. Trump is set to be succeeded by President-elect Joseph R. Biden on Jan. 20, at which point he will no longer be protected by precedent barring a sitting president from facing federal prosecution.
Andrew Weissmann, a former prosecutor in the U.S. Department of Justice’s investigation of the 2016 election, argued earlier this week that Mr. Trump recently committed a crime and could be charged soon.
Pardoning former Trump advisers convicted as a result of that probe, Roger Stone and Paul Manafort, “was essentially the president carrying out the final act of an obstruction of justice,” Mr. Weissmann said.
Mr. Dershowitz, 82, defended Mr. Trump elsewhere during the Newsmax interview over the pardons he granted recently to Mr. Stone and Mr. Manafort, among others, during his final days as president.
“These are people who the president honestly believes were subject to injustice, and under his power of check and balance, it’s the right thing to do,” Mr. Dershowitz said. “I think he should be praised and commended and should give more pardons and more commutations and, I think, exercise his full power under the Constitution. That’s what he’s supposed to do”
Mr. Dershowitz also during the interview that he hopes Mr. Trump attends Mr. Biden’s inauguration.
• Andrew Blake can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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