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Alan Dershowitz: The Constitution protects a sitting president from being indicted, tried or prosecuted

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Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz had some direct advice for President Trump: stay out of the weeds.

With reports that Special Counsel Robert Mueller may or may not be investigating Trump for obstruction of justice in firing former FBI Director James Comey, Dershowitz pointed out that the president cannot be tried or prosecuted while he is in office.

“The Justice Department has twice ruled, in a long, extensive memo,” he said on Fox News’ “America’s News HQ” Tuesday, “stating clearly that the president cannot be indicted, prosecuted, and tried while serving in office.”

“A sitting president, according to the Justice Department, cannot be tried,” he repeated, explaining that the Constitution only allows for the president to first be impeached and removed from office before being charged with a crime.

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“The president would be making a terrible mistake by getting into the weeds or arguing the facts rather than sticking with the conceptual Constitutional issues,” Dershowitz said.

“The president always gets into the weeds because he’s always tweeting,” he added. “If I were the president’s lawyer the first thing I would do is bring some masking tape and a pair of mittens.”

But Dershowitz admitted that Trump “got elected by tweeting so no lawyer is going to tell him to stop tweeting.”

He also remarked on the conflicting and often contradictory reports on the investigation of alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

“The answer is ‘ish.’ He’s under investigation ‘ish.'” Dershowitz said.

The Harvard professor doubled down on his belief that the Constitution does not allow Trump to be prosecuted for doing what he is “constitutionally entitled to do” in firing his FBI director, during an appearance on Fox News’ “The Story with Martha McCallum.”

“As for the Russian collusion, the worst-case scenario is still not a crime,” he said. “It maybe should be a crime, but there’s nothing in the statute books that would make it a crime,” he told Martha MacCallum. “Even if Trump called Russian President Vladimir Putin and promised him he would do good things for Russia if he helped him get elected, it might be ‘terrible,’ but not a crime.”

Trump is “entitled to make judgments” about what’s best for America because he was elected to do so, Dershowitz pointed out.

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“Imagine if a single prosecutor could end the presidency of somebody by simply indicting them,” he said. “That’s dumb. A sitting president has a job to do.”

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Frieda Powers

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