by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
President Trump’s opponents in the press say he believes he’s “above the law” but constitutional lawyer Alan Dershowitz says those critics are simply “weaponizing a cliche.”
In an interview Tuesday with the Washington Examiner, Dershowitz said Trump’s detractors are mischaracterizing the president’s legal team and its stated argument about executive authority in the context of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
It was suggested by reporters and commentators repeatedly on Monday that Trump and his legal team believe he is “above the law” after his lawyers argued in letters and TV appearances that Trump could not be prosecuted by his own Justice Department, especially without having been impeached by Congress first. Trump seemed to argue that even if this did happen, it was within his authority to pardon himself. …
… Dershowitz, who has been in personal contact with the White House, said Trump’s legal team is merely arguing its interpretation of Trump’s constitutional authority and his oversight of the Justice Department, not making a sweeping argument that he is “above the law.”
“The claim that President Tump is above the law has become a cliche,” Dershowitz said. “What he and his legal team are asserting is that the law provides them certain protections and immunities. That should surprise no one who is familiar with the Constitution. The Constitution also provides immunities for members of Congress. … That doesn’t place them above the law. That is the law.”
“I think it’s fair to say that those people who are arguing that he is above the law are weaponizing a cliche,” Dershowitz said.