President Donald Trump's "bluff" over tapes of himself and James Comey was a purposely legal move to let the former FBI director know he had to be "very, very careful" about how he would testify, Alan Dershowitz said Friday.
The Harvard Law School professor emeritus said it's a maneuver he's pulled himself.
"I had a policeman on the witness stand lying about what he told my client," Dershowitz told Fox News' "America's Newsroom" program. "I led him to believe I had a tape recording of it by reading from a transcript that seemed to be of a tape, that was actually a transcript of what my client told me he remembered. He changed his testimony, told the truth, we won the case."
Show anchor Bill Hemmer called Dershowitz's act "entrapment," but the professor replied that it was "entrapment to the interest of justice," just as Trump's bluff was.
However, Dershowitz said he's not really sure Trump's bluff worked, or even helped.
"In the end, a special counsel was appointed, partly because Comey, who didn't have the courage of his convictions, leaked information through a laundered source, a Columbia Law professor, in order to get a special counsel appointed."
Comey was "calculating, designing to try and get a special counsel because he didn't have the courage to stand in front of the TV cameras and say, 'I want a special counsel appointed,' said Dershowitz. "He did it surreptitiously, through leaks."
Former FBI Director Robert Mueller was eventually appointed as the special counsel, and Trump said Thursday he's bothered by the fact that the two ex-FBI heads are friends.
"If part of the investigation is how the president treated Comey by firing him the way he did, Mueller has a potential conflict of interest," said Dershowitz. "I knew them both when they were U.S. Attorneys in Boston. They are close colleagues, they come from very similar backgrounds."
Dershowitz said he hopes all parties will remain fair, but as it is a "criminal prosecution that's political" that will be difficult to make happen.
"You can't give the other side any opportunity to accuse you of political partisanship," said Dershowitz, and he thinks it was a mistake for Mueller to hire people who have been supporters of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
"Remember, that was one of the reasons that Senator Joe Lieberman did not get the job," said Dershowitz. "People didn't want anybody who had a political background to be had at the FBI."
The other problem Dershowitz said that concerns him is that he doesn't see there was a crime.
"Let's assume that the Russians collaborated with the Trump administration," said Dershowitz. "That would be horrible. Not only is there no evidence of it, it wouldn't be a crime, it shouldn't be a crime. There is no federal statute today prohibiting that."
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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