Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz said Wednesday that President Donald Trump "exercised his constitutional authority" in asking former FBI Director James Comey to drop the investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
"You cannot have obstruction of justice when the president exercises his constitutional authority to pardon," Dershowitz told Anderson Cooper on CNN, "his constitutional authority to fire the director of the FBI, or his constitutional authority to tell the director of the FBI who to prosecute, who not to prosecute.
"Even if he did want to impede it – and even if he did impede it, that is his constitutional power," he said of Trump. "He has the right to say, 'You will not investigate Flynn.'"
Dershowitz's comments came after the Senate Intelligence Committee posted Comey's prepared remarks online ahead of his public testimony before the panel Thursday.
He said in the seven-page statement Trump had sought a loyalty pledge over dinner in January and had pressured him to drop the Flynn probe the next month in a private Oval Office meeting the day after the president fired Flynn for concerns about his Russia disclosures.
Comey also said he told Trump three times he personally was not under investigation about any possible Russian ties.
Dershowitz told Cooper the statement revealed one reason why President Trump fired Comey.
"The president told him over and over again, 'I want you to make public the fact that I am not under investigation.'
"He told it to him repeatedly. Comey didn't do that.
"I suspect that may be one of the reasons he was fired."
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