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Tags: paul manafort | michael cohen | conviction | plea deal

Dershowitz to Newsmax TV: 'Bad Day,' But Trump's Not Out

(Newsmax TV's "Newsmax Now")

By    |   Tuesday, 21 August 2018 08:19 PM EDT

Alan Dershowitz told Newsmax TV on Tuesday that the Paul Manafort verdict and Michael Cohen's guilty plea marked "a bad day for the White House" but that suggestions that President Donald Trump's term was finished "seem a little bit over the top and exaggerated."

"It's a serious problem for the president," the Harvard Law School professor emeritus told "Newsmax Now" host John Bachman in an interview. "But some of the networks have been playing taps, basically saying this is the end of the presidency.

"That seems a little bit over the top and exaggerated."

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Manafort, 69, Trump's former campaign manager, was convicted on eight felony charges for financial crimes in U.S. District Court in Northern Virginia.

However, Judge T.S. Ellis III declared a mistrial on 10 other counts after jurors failed to reach a unanimous verdict after four days of deliberations.

In a federal court in New York City, Cohen, 51, Trump's former personal attorney, pleaded guilty to eight charges of campaign-finance violations and other offenses under a plea deal.

He implied Trump directed him to arrange payments to porn star Stormy Daniels and a former Playboy model to influence the 2016 election.

Manafort faces as many as 80 years in prison, whereas Cohen could receive up to five years at his Dec. 12 sentencing.

Dershowitz discounted Manafort's convictions as "really yesterday's news, already," later noting the president hinted Manafort may be pardoned, but Dershowitz said Cohen's plea on the campaign-finance charges "was a serious matter" for Trump.

"When somebody is looking to make a deal with the government to make sure he does not die in jail, he's not only willing to sing but he's willing to compose — that is, to elaborate a little bit," he told Bachman.

"It would be easy for Cohen to elaborate a bit as to the role of Trump in whatever he did do."

But Cohen's "credibility will be very much at issue," Dershowitz said. "He's already an admitted liar.

"He's basically pleaded guilty to lying.

"The government is going have a hard time basing a case purely on the credibility of Cohen himself, unless they have corroboration."

Dershowitz also questioned the payments Cohen pleaded guilty to arranging.

"Is it a campaign violation if the president, in fact, paid for the hush money?" he posed. "It isn't. He would have had to report it.

"That could be a violation for the campaign."

But the retired professor also highlighted Cohen's implication of Trump was not mentioned outside the courthouse later in the statement from Robert Khuzami, the deputy U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York who oversaw Cohen's case.

"I wonder if the U.S. Attorney's Office is going to stand behind that part of the plea, or whether the fact that they didn't mention it — and they mentioned everything else — may suggest that they're going to watch to make sure that's true," he explained to Bachman.

"That they don't want to put the credibility of the office behind that particular statement in the guilty plea," he added. "I read something into that."

Regarding Manafort, Dershowitz predicted his jail time will be based on his cooperation with Russia special counsel Robert Mueller.

"Does he have anything to cooperate about? Or, will he be pardoned?

"The president made a statement [Tuesday] again saying how good a man he was," he said.

"It seems like we're hearing inclinations that he may be subject to a pardon.

"He can't pardon Cohen," Dershowitz told Bachman. "He's already turned against him.

"So, I think the Manafort issue is not a really significant one.

"The Cohen thing is significant," he concluded, "but not as significant as some of the media would like to see it be."

© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

The Paul Manafort verdict and Michael Cohen's guilty plea marked "a bad day for the White House" but suggestions President Donald Trump's term was finished "seem a little bit over the top and exaggerated," Alan Dershowitz told Newsmax TV on Tuesday.
paul manafort, michael cohen, conviction, plea deal
Tuesday, 21 August 2018 08:19 PM
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