Amid reports Special Counsel Robert Mueller could issue a presidential subpoena, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin got into an intense exchange with his former law professor, Alan Dershowitz, over whether President Donald Trump invokes his Fifth Amendment rights.
The Harvard Law professor was emphatic that President Trump is under “no risk of being indicted or prosecuted, [but] he is at risk of being impeached.”
“I think the president has a way of short circuiting this entire process,” Toobin said of the possibility of a subpoena. “And I think that’s what he’s going to do ultimately, which is take the Fifth.”
Dershowitz vehemently dismissed that possibility, prompting his former student to say, “There’s nothing Mueller can do if the president takes the Fifth.”
“Of course there is!” Dershowitz fired back. “He gives him immunity.”
“He’s never going to give the president immunity. Oh my God,” Toobin astonishingly replied.
The possibility of Trump being subpoenaed came after his lawyers “insisted he had no obligation to talk with federal investigators probing Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential campaign,” the Washington Post reported.
This reportedly prompted Mueller to raise the possibility of issuing “a subpoena for the president to appear before a grand jury.”
New: In a tense meeting in March with Mueller, Trump’s lawyers insisted he had no obligation to talk with investigators. But Mueller responded that he had another option if Trump declined: He could issue a subpoena for Trump to appear before a grand jury. https://t.co/SkMeaFzfY1
— Yashar Ali ? (@yashar) May 2, 2018
Dershowitz explaining that immunity wouldn’t apply to impeachment proceedings, which he said is the real danger Trump faces, not criminal prosecution.
“If [Trump] foolishly takes the Fifth, he gets to be asked all of these same questions under immunity and all the answers can be used against him in an impeachment proceeding,” he said, giving Toobin a failing grade on his analysis.
“Watch it happen,” Toobin replied.
“No president has ever taken the Fifth,” Dershowiz pointed out. “I don’t believe any president will ever take the Fifth, although we know as constitutional students that the Fifth is not an admission of guilt, to the American public taking the Fifth makes you a Fifth Amendment criminal.”
And with no apparent evidence of “collusion” with Russia, this may the only victory the left has a shot at.
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