‘Everyone breaks election laws, it’s like jaywalking’ – Harvard law professor on Cohen plea deal
Harvard Law School Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz has sought to dampen excitement over a plea deal taken by former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, saying that “every candidate” violates election laws when they run for president.
Speaking on Tucker Carlson's Fox News show on Tuesday, Dershowitz said that breaking campaign finance laws – which Cohen recently admitted to doing “at the direction” of Trump – is regarded as being similar to “jaywalking” in the world of political campaigns.
Dershowitz said that “every candidate violates the election laws when they run for president” and usually the violations end up with the candidate paying a fine before it all goes away.
.@AlanDersh: "Every candidate violates the election laws when they run for president...here they're trying to elevate this into an impeachable offense or a felony against the president." #Tuckerpic.twitter.com/PT87wHBn9f— Fox News (@FoxNews) August 22, 2018
In the case of Cohen and Trump, Dershowitz said too much of a drama was being made out of the revelation that Cohen paid hush money to two women in an attempt to keep them quiet before the November 2016 election.
“Here they're trying to elevate this into an impeachable offense or a felony against the president,” Dershowitz said, adding that Cohen’s plea deal is "not nearly as deadly lethal" to Trump as “some have portrayed it as being”.
Not everyone was convinced by Dershowitz’s take that breaking election laws is not a big deal – and some took to Twitter to express confusion at the sentiment, with some accusing the Harvard professor and Fox News of “endorsing criminal behavior”.
Ya kidding me, right, office?.. So, I was, like going 120 mph in a 30 mph zone, while drinking. In the car. So? Speeding?.. Everyone is speeding these days! You can't get anywhere without speeding. https://t.co/IUnNCfdvNF— Constantin Gurdgiev (@GTCost) August 22, 2018
Fox News is endorsing criminal behavior.— Dave Matt (@davematt88) August 22, 2018
Alan Dershowitz gave me an A+ in his 1L Criminal Law course 20 years ago just so that I could come to you now and confirm that you can safely ignore everything he's saying todayIt's wrong, all of it— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) August 22, 2018
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