President Donald Trump's legal team should shift its focus away from the Russia investigation and instead concentrate on the Southern District of New York after the raids conducted on his attorney, Michael Cohen, Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz said Friday.
He also also told Fox News' "America's Newsroom" co-host Bill Hemmer that he questions, because of the items seized from Cohen's offices, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's reported comments to the president that he is not a target of the Russia or Cohen investigations.
"If I were on his legal team, which I am most assuredly not, I would be focusing my attention on the Southern District of New York and the state attorney general of New York rather than on (special counsel Robert) Mueller," said Dershowitz. "I think the Mueller case is on the way to winding down."
As for the reported Rosenstein comments to the president, "of course he is not a target because they haven't even gone through the files," Dershowitz said.
However, Trump could still become a target if Cohen flips, or if there are materials discovered in his files that are incriminating to the president.
"If they flip Cohen and they get him not only to sing, but to compose, to make up stories to elaborate," Trump could be implicated, said Dershowitz. "When you are facing 20 years, you'll do anything to stop the process of landing you in federal prison."
Dershowitz pointed out that he has seen no indication that Trump did anything wrong before or after he became president, and Trump is "assumed innocent and seems likely to me he is innocent."
He added that he believes the decision to bring former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani in for Trump's personal legal team is a good one, particularly if the investigation shifts to the Southern District of New York.
Dershowitz also discussed the memos released Thursday by former FBI Director James Comey, saying that in his opinion, they are not incriminating.
"They are somewhat ambiguous and self-serving but in the end I think he will help, not hurt, the president if he were to face any kind of legal charges," said Dershowitz. "You would expect the head of the FBI to be a lot firmer about alleged criminal conduct if he was a direct witness to it.
"Comey has provided the Trump defense with the greatest possible weapon if he ever takes the stand against the president, the book and draft and memos. I think this is probably a benefit to the president rather than a detriment," Dershowitz said.
Dershowitz said he also didn't see anything in the 15 pages of memos that suggests a reason why Mueller should have been appointed, and he doesn't think he should have been.
"The more we learn, the more we see was necessary was an objective nonpartisan commission of experts looking into the role of Russia and trying to influence American elections in the past, present and future. without pointing fingers of recrimination at people other than the Russians based on the appointment of a special counsel," said Dershowitz.
"It was a mistake to do that and a mistake not to appoint a bipartisan commission to do something that benefits all Americans and that is to get the Russians out of our electoral system."
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