Even with Michael Cohen's guilty plea, it's still "exaggerated" to claim that President Donald Trump is in any legal peril that could lead to his impeachment, Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz said Wednesday.
"There are many steps that have to be taken before the president is in legal jeopardy," Dershowitz told Fox News' "Fox & Friends."
"First of all, you have to show it is a crime. If Mr. Trump, the candidate contributed several hundred thousand dollars to his own campaign to pay hush money to women who were either truthfully or falsely alleging against him, that's not a crime. A candidate can contribute as much he wants."
Cohen, while pleading guilty to eight counts of fraud and campaign finance violations, told a Manhattan federal court Tuesday that he'd paid a total of $280,000 in hush money at the direction of "a candidate" to former Playboy model Karen McDougal and adult film actress Stormy Daniels.
His attorney, Lanny Davis, has said that the admission points to criminal conduct on the part of Trump, but Dershowitz argued Wednesday that there are many barriers between Cohen's comments and the president.
"There's been no indictment, no grand jury," said Dershowitz. "There's only been a statement by a man who has admitted to criminal conduct. We are far away from an impeachable offense or criminal offense by the president. You need a high crime and misdemeanor. Every campaign has violated some technical election law."
Further, Dershowitz rejected claims by Daniels' attorney, Michael Avenatti, that the Cohen case will allow him to depose Trump.
"The case of Stormy Daniels is a nothing case," said Dershowitz. "I don't even know why it's still in court. The money was paid. The president has been willing to let her say what she wants to say. It is a side show that's only there because the media is putting oil on the flames."
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