Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz slammed special counsel Robert Mueller for “exceeding” his role and actually helping Democrats.
Reacting to Mueller’s public statement on Wednesday, Dershowitz suggested the former FBI director had a “motive” and effectively put his thumb “on the scale” as he spoke on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity.”
(Video: Fox News)
“What I saw today was him putting his thumb, his elbow on the scale,” Dershowitz said, referring to remarks made by Mueller in a rare public statement on Wednesday in which he reiterated findings in his report that there was not enough evidence to indict President Donald Trump.
“If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so,” Mueller said referring to the obstruction of justice probe of the president. “We did not determine whether the president did commit a crime.”
Mueller’s explosive statement: A sitting president can’t be charged, but doesn’t mean Trump is not guilty https://t.co/EYFNHWjFJM
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) May 29, 2019
“When he said, ‘If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.’ That was absolutely inappropriate for him to say,” Dershowitz told Hannity.
“It was worse than anything that Comey said when he exonerated Hillary Clinton and then said, but she engaged in extremely careless conduct. Everybody condemned that. This is much, much worse,” he added, noting the significance of the special counsel’s choice of words.
“It does show that he had a motive to help the Democrats here,” Dershowitz suggested.
“There is no other possible motive why he would have gone out of his way to say that. He could have easily said the opposite. If we had confidence that the president didn’t commit a crime, we would have said it,” he elaborated. “But, no, we emphasized only the possibility that the president might have committed a crime.”
President Trump cited due process and the presumption of innocence in a tweet immediately following Mueller’s statement on Wednesday.
Nothing changes from the Mueller Report. There was insufficient evidence and therefore, in our Country, a person is innocent. The case is closed! Thank you.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2019
But Mueller stopped short of actually declaring the president innocent, adding fresh gasoline to the fire Democrats have been stoking in an effort to impeach Trump. Mueller made it clear he wasn’t just throwing out an impromptu statement but that his words were “carefully” chosen.
“We chose those words carefully and the work speaks for itself. And the report is my testimony,” he said.
Dershowitz slammed the special counsel for basically declaring that although his investigation could not prove Trump committed a crime, it also could not prove that he did NOT, thereby rendering the presumption of innocence useless.
“That went well beyond his authority as special counsel,” Dershowitz declared.
“It also showed we should have never had a special counsel. We should have had an objective, neutral, nonpartisan investigative commission looking into the entire effort of Russia to intrude itself into the ’16 election and continuing to the ’20 election and proposing efforts to ameliorate that in the future,” he added.
“A special counsel was a terrible, terrible mistake,” the law professor concluded, “and I think Mueller’s statement today proves that beyond any doubt.”
His remarks echoed what he said in an opinion piece published earlier for The Hill.
“He went beyond the conclusion of his report and gave a political gift to Democrats in Congress who are seeking to institute impeachment proceedings against President Trump. By implying that President Trump might have committed obstruction of justice, Mueller effectively invited Democrats to institute impeachment proceedings.,” Dershowitz wrote.
He argued that Mueller not only “revealed his partisan bias,” he also “distorted the critical role of a prosecutor in our justice system.”
“I cannot imagine a plausible reason why Mueller went beyond his report and gratuitously suggested that President Trump might be guilty, except to help Democrats in Congress and to encourage impeachment talk and action,” Dershowitz added. “Shame on Mueller for abusing his position of trust and for allowing himself to be used for such partisan advantage.”
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