In an interview with Breitbart News, Mr. Dershowitz said that President Trump’s leaning on the Justice Department might be imprudent or crude, but it both passes constitutional muster and is very far from unprecedented.
“There was a lot of White House control of the Justice Department during the Kennedy administration and I don’t think we saw very many liberal professors arguing against that,” the emeritus professor and longtime liberal champion said in the interview, which first aired on SiriusXM.
“I have some information … about how President Obama personally asked the FBI to investigate somebody on behalf of George Soros, who was a close ally of his,” he added without specifying who the target was.
But, he said, “I have in my possession the actual 302 [witness report] form which documents this issue and it will at the right time come out.”
“That’s going to come out in a lawsuit in the near future, yeah,” he said, continuing to parry his hosts on details and disclosure.
The case “will be disclosed in a lawsuit at some point, but I’m not prepared to disclose it now,” he said.
Mr. Dershowitz, a liberal who also has long been a supporter of presidential power and critic of prosecutorial abuse and broad conspiracy laws, did not actually defend Mr. Trump’s conduct on matters such as tweeting about active criminal cases such as that of Roger Stone.
The president’s tweeting, according to Attorney General William P. Barr, makes his job impossible.
“That is not unusual. People whisper to presidents all the time; presidents whisper to the Justice Department all the time. It’s very common; it’s wrong, whoever does it — but it’s common, and we shouldn’t think it’s unique to any particular president,” Mr. Dershowitz said.
The difference, he noted, is Mr. Trump’s overt manner.
“We’ve seen this kind of White House influence on the Justice Department virtually in every Justice Department. The difference: This president is much more overt about it, he tweets about it. President Obama whispered to the Justice Department about it,” he explained.
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