Dershowitz: Trump Should Assume His Best Friends Will Flip, He Should Not Be Talking To Cohen


Alan Dershowitz told Wolf Blitzer on Thursday that Michael Cohen is "in a lot of trouble." He said the prosecution would be "embarrassed" if they searched his office and took material and didn't end up finding evidence to charge him for a crime.

From CNN:

WOLF BLITZER, CNN: Joining us now, the famed Harvard emeritus professor Alan Dershowitz. He is also the author of the book "Trumped up." There you see the book cover there.

Alan, thanks so much for joining us.


BLITZER: So do you think that Michael Cohen under enormous pressure is being investigated as part of this criminal investigation will flip and cooperate with federal prosecutors?

DERSHOWITZ: I have told every client I have represented over the last 53 years, assume your best friend will flip. The prosecution has enormous leverage. They can charge you with a dozen crimes, even if they are relatively technical crimes, that accumulate with the guidelines and tell you, you are never see freedom again. You are going to serve the rest spend your life in prison.

That kind of pressure brings about, not only singing, but sometimes composing. And that is witnesses realize the better the story, the better the deal they get. So the risk is they will exaggerate or elaborate or even sometimes make up stories.

So I think the President has to assume that his closest friends, his greatest associates, the people he trusts the most, if exposed to the pressure, the risk of life imprisonment, will flip. That has to be his working assumption.

BLITZER: I just want to be precise. Michael Cohen has not been charged with anything, at least not yet, though he is under criminal investigation. Do you agree with the President's former lawyer, jay Goldberg, that the President should simply stop talking to him and assume he's going to flip and cooperate with federal prosecutors against him?

DERSHOWITZ: Yes. Jay Goldberg is one of the great criminal lawyers of my generation. And his advice should always be taken very seriously. He should not be talking to him. And if he is talking to him, somebody should be a witness. And he should just be saying, hi, I wish you well. But people get into a lot of trouble talking to potential witnesses because then the witness can say credibly, well, he talked to me and there will be phone record that he talked to me but he can elaborate on what he said.

BLITZER: What do you think of the President's decision that phones Michael Cohen on the same day that the FBI raided his home, hotel room, his office, his safe deposit box, took his computers, all the electronic equipment? Was that a wise move on the part of the President to call his attorney and speak to him on that day?

DERSHOWITZ: It was an understandable move. This is a man who he has known for years and years and years, and he wanted to show that, you know, he still supports him. But no, it was not a wise move. It's far, far better not to speak to people who might be potential witnesses against you or even in your favor. If you speak to them and they are a witness in your favor, they can be cross-examined about the conversation they had with you.

So no, it was not a wise move. The President makes a lot of decisions about talking when he shouldn't talk, and they end up hurting him. My advice to him on television, I'm not his lawyer, I would never give him advice, was you know, would be don't tweet, don't pardon, don't fire and don't testify unless you have to.


BLITZER: One final question. Michael Cohen, how much legal trouble is he?

DERSHOWITZ: I think he's in a lot of trouble. I think the prosecution would be embarrassed if they searched the lawyer's office and took a treasure trove of material and try to turn it over to a taint team to go through if they in the end didn't find evidence of crime against him. So I think he is in very serious legal jeopardy.

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