Harvard Law Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz said on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” Thursday that Michael Cohen’s guilty plea with the special counsel’s office is another example of Robert Mueller “creating crimes.”
Cohen, President Trump’s former personal attorney and fixer, made another plea agreement in August with prosecutors in the Southern District of New York.
Cohen’s appearance Thursday in a Manhattan courtroom was not expected, and is the first charge against him relating to Mueller’s probe.
Dershowitz said that crimes by Cohen were committed as a result of Mueller’s appointment, not before he began his investigation.
Dershowitz added that this shows Mueller “didn’t start with very much” and is now charging former Trump associates with making false statements to his investigators.
“The very fact that he’s conducting an investigation has created these crimes. … In the end, I don’t think Mueller is going to come up with very much terms of criminal conduct that existed before he was appointed and that’s quite shocking,” he said, adding that it calls into question the role of a special counsel in “creating” crimes.
Cohen pled guilty in August to violating federal campaign finance laws by arranging hush-money payments to two women, Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, in 2016 “at the direction” of then-candidate Donald Trump.
Dershowitz, a lifelong Democrat and fierce supporter of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016, explained that Cohen’s admissions to lying will hurt his credibility as a potential witness, and added that President Trump’s written answers to Mueller could have played a role in the new charge against Cohen.
“Practically, the entire series of indictments grows out of false statements, rather than any substantive charges,” said Dershowitz, adding that Cohen is relying on federal prosecutors and Mueller to weigh his testimony and hoping for a significantly reduced prison sentence.