Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard law professor and frequent defender of President Donald Trump, has a grim prediction for the president regarding the outcome of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
“I think the report is going to be devastating to the president,” Dershowitz told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. “And I know that the president’s team is already working on a response to the report. ... When I say devastating, I mean it’s going to paint a picture that’s going to be politically very devastating.”
Dershowitz expressed doubt that Mueller’s findings would result in criminal charges against the president, stating that “collusion is not criminal.” He also dismissed host George Stephanopoulos’ suggestion that the special counsel could accuse Trump of conspiring “to cooperate with an attempt to defraud the U.S. government.”
“It’s too much of a stretch,” Dershowitz told Stephanopoulos. “What I think Mueller is going to do if he’s smart ― he’s not going to take the chance on being rebutted ... he’s going to lay out the facts, leave it to Congress to decide whether that rises to the level of an impeachable offense.”
Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether Trump obstructed justice is reportedly expected to come to a close within the next few weeks. Trump reportedly submitted written answers to Mueller’s questions last week, after months of back-and-forth between the president’s legal team and the special counsel’s office.
The investigation has been the subject of Trump’s persistent ire since it began roughly 18 months ago. He has repeatedly railed against the probe, calling it a “witch hunt” and attempting to undermine Mueller’s credibility.
Trump announced earlier this month that he was replacing Jeff Sessions as attorney general. He named Matt Whitaker, a former federal prosecutor who previously served as Sessions’ chief of staff in the Justice Department, as acting attorney general ― an appointment that drew backlash from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who worried Whitaker, a sharp critic of the Russia probe, would shut down or significantly limit the investigation.
Dershowitz said Sunday that Whitaker’s appointment made it “very hard” to predict when and under what circumstances Mueller’s report would be released to the public.
“It will be made public probably with a response alongside,” he told ABC. “The president will say, ‘Ah look, it’s political. There’s their account and there’s our account.’ And the American public will have to judge the credibility.”