While President Donald Trump’s tweet calling for Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s text messages is an effort to open up transparency, it might also be weaponized to help special counsel Robert Mueller “stitch together” and “concoct” an obstruction of justice case, civil rights expert Alan Dershowitz said Sunday.
“I understand the president’s frustration — these should be public records, there should be transparency — but I’m sure the president’s good lawyers are advising him personally to stay out of this,” Dershowitz told Fox News’ “Fox & Friends Sunday.” “Remember, that according to The New York Times report, Mueller is trying to stitch together an obstruction case based on tweets, based on statements he made, based on other things, they’re trying to concoct an obstruction case.
“And you just don’t want to play into their hands. You didn’t want to give them anything that they don’t already claim they have.”
Dershowitz indirectly advised the president to seek other ways to open up Justice Department transparency, including instructing his attorney general “to vigorously seek to get the materials.”
“That would be entirely proper,” Dershowitz added. “He can instruct his White House counsel or even his private lawyers to figure out a lawsuit that would entitle the courts to mandate the kind of transparency that the president is seeking.
“But I think for the president to get into the weeds on this one, the cost benefit analysis I think would favor having his legal team to it.”
Dershowitz said he never allows his clients to try to obtain evidence because of bad optics, even if “transparency” and “civil liberties” are “good for all Americans.”
“But the president shouldn’t be playing into the hands of Mueller by helping him stitch together even a phony obstruction case,” Dershowitz said.
Dershowitz, who wrote the book “The Case Against Impeaching Trump,” called for a “cease fire” of weaponizing the criminal justice system for political gain.
“The one thing they shouldn’t do is try to weaponize the criminal justice system — either against Hillary Clinton or against Donald Trump or against their campaigns,” he concluded. “Criminal law should always be a last resort, not a political tactic used by either side against the other.
“. . . I think both sides have to de-escalate. They have to have a cease fire and stop weaponizing the criminal law and criminal justice system.”
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