Dershowitz: New Cohen Guilty Plea Another Example of Mueller Probe 'Creating' Crimes
Ex-Trump lawyer admits false statements to Congress.
Harvard Law Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz said Thursday that Michael Cohen's new guilty plea is another example of crimes being created as a result of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.
Cohen, President Donald Trump's former lawyer, made a second plea agreement with federal prosecutors in New York, reportedly admitting to lying to Congress in 2017 about a Trump real estate deal in Russia.
The appearance by Cohen in a downtown Manhattan courthouse was unexpected and is the first charge against Cohen related to the Mueller probe.
Reacting on "America's Newsroom," Dershowitz emphasized that crimes by Cohen and others were committed as a result of Mueller's appointment, not before he began the investigation.
Dershowitz said this shows Mueller "didn't start with very much" and is now charging former Trump associates with making false statements to his investigators.
"The very fact that he's conducting an investigation has created these crimes. ... In the end, I don't think Mueller is going to come up with very much terms of criminal conduct that existed before he was appointed and that's quite shocking," he said, adding that it calls into question the role of a special counsel in "creating" crimes.
Cohen previously pleaded guilty in New York to violating federal campaign finance laws by arranging hush-money payments to women in 2016 “at the direction” of then-candidate Trump.
Dershowitz, a lifelong Democrat, explained that Cohen's admissions to lying will hurt his credibility as a potential witness. Dershowitz said President Trump submitting written answers to Mueller could have played a role in the new charge against Cohen.
"Practically, the entire series of indictments grows out of false statements, rather than any substantive charges," he said, adding that Cohen is relying on federal prosecutors and Mueller to weigh his testimony and hoping for a much lighter prison sentence.