Dershowitz: Trump Did Not Commit a Crime If He Paid Women Out of His Own Pocket
Challenges Lanny Davis to on-air debate.
Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz said Thursday on "America's Newsroom" that it was "absolutely not" a crime if President Trump paid two women out of his own pocket.
Cohen, who was Trump’s longtime attorney, pleaded guilty Tuesday to violating campaign finance laws in 2016 by arranging hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, both of whom claimed to have had affairs with Trump.
Cohen said he acted “at the direction” of then-candidate Trump. In a "Fox & Friends" interview Thursday, Trump said no crime was committed and that the money did not come out of his campaign.
"If candidate Trump paid the money himself, there'd be no violation of law for Cohen or for Trump," Dershowitz said, noting the source of the payments is unclear.
Dershowitz said if Cohen paid the money himself as a campaign contribution, it'd be a violation for Cohen but not for Trump.
Sandra Smith asked about Cohen's attorney, Lanny Davis, stating in an interview a day ago that Trump is committed a federal crime and would face indictment if he were not in the Oval Office.
Dershowitz disputed Davis' assertion, saying there are "deep questions" about the law and whether Trump committed a crime with regard to the hush money payments.
"We ought to acknowledge there are serious questions about that," he said, adding that campaign finance laws are "murky" and late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia once lamented their confusing nature.
"Thomas Jefferson once said that criminal law should be so clear that you can understand it while running. I couldn't even understand these laws while sitting."
He offered to come on the show to debate Davis on the subject any time.
Watch the full interview above.