An investigation reportedly launched to determine if President Donald Trump is guilty of obstruction of justice in the FBI's Russia probe might be moot regardless of its conclusions, according to renowned civil-rights lawyer Alan Dershowitz.
The Washington Post cited unnamed officials as confirming that special counsel Robert Mueller is "interviewing senior intelligence officials as part of a widening probe that now includes an examination of whether Trump attempted to obstruct justice."
But Dershowitz, a long-time Harvard Law professor, told Newsmax TV on Thursday:
"The fact that Mueller is opening an investigation on obstruction doesn't answer the two basic questions. One — can a president be indicted while sitting? And two — can a president be indicted for obstruction — which is simply doing his job, being the head of the executive branch?"
"I think the answer to both of these questions is still going to be no and no," Dershowitz told Newsmax.
Trump on Thursday morning called the report a "phony story" and "the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history."
"They made up a phony collusion with the Russians story, found zero proof, so now they go for obstruction of justice on the phony story," he wrote in a post to his personal Twitter account. "Nice."
Dershowitz also told Newsmax he doubts the Democrats and Congress will be able to successfully pursue an obstruction of justice narrative.
"I don't think there's enough there. And I think the objective of the investigation is to uncover, to see if they can uncover enough," Dershowitz said. "There's neither fire nor smoke coming from a constitutional point of view."
He said Mueller, who has reportedly hired experts to weigh in, "is looking to see if there is anything that would justify a prosecution of anybody on the president's [team]."
"I think Trump benefits from the fact that he's hiring experts on a president's power, because I think they'll tell him that the president's power [is legitimate] ending the investigation," Dershowitz said.
He added that the fact Mueller is looking into obstruction of justice is not surprising and has to be viewed in context.
"I think people should not overstate the significance of a special counsel's investigation. That's his job. That's what he's supposed to do. Anything else would've been surprising. I don't think there's anything surprising," Dershowitz said.
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