"Why Cohen Plea Won't Lead To Trump Being Impeached"

22 August 2018, 14:36

This Harvard Professor explains why the confession of Donald Trump's former lawyer won't lead to the President being impeached.

Michael admitted paying hush money to a porn actress and a model to influence the US presidential campaign, implicating Mr Trump.

However, Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz has told Shelagh Fogarty it doesn't necessarily mean the President faces impeachment.

He said: "You have his former lawyer and fixer pleading guilty and saying that the President was the one who directed him to commit the crimes.

Shelagh Fogarty spoke to Alan Dershowitz
Shelagh Fogarty spoke to Alan Dershowitz. Picture: LBC

"That sounds very serious - and it is. But there are a lot of steps to possible impeachment or charging with a crime.

"First of all, it is not a crime for a President to pay hush money to help himself get elected. It is a crime for somebody else to do it. But if the President directed him to do it and told him he would be compensated for it, that becomes much murkier.

"Conspiracy to commit election fraud is a very common offence. Nobody has ever been impeached or seriously considered for impeachment for that crime.

"Secondly, you have the credibility of Cohen. He's admitted to lying and to cheating. And as a judge in the Manafort trial said, when you have somebody who has admitted to crimes and you squeeze him, sometimes he not only sings, but he composes - elaborates.

"It's very possible that Cohen has added one element into the mix. Namely that the President directed him to do it.

"That makes it less of a crime, but more culpable on the part of the President.

"We're a long way from impeachment. You need to have an actual high crime or misdemeanour to do it. Whether this would qualify or if there's enough evidence, we're not in Nixon-land yet."