Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz said Wednesday that President Trump did nothing wrong if he gave Michael Cohen money out of his pocket to pay women to keep them quiet about claims they had sexual relationships with him more than a decade ago.
"If the president had paid $280,000 to these two women, even if he had done so in order to help his campaign, that would be no problem," Dershowitz told Fox News' "Special Report." "The candidate is entitled to contribute a million dollars to his own campaign, as long as he reports it."
Cohen pleaded guilty tuesday to two counts of violating federal campaign-finance law and claimed that he arranged the payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal "at the direction" of then-candidate Trump.
In an interview set to air on "Fox & Friends" Thursday morning, Trump told Fox News' Ainsley Earhardt he did not know that Cohen had made the payments to Daniels and McDougal until "later on" and claimed the funds "didn't come out of the campaign, they came from me."
On Wednesday, Dershowitz told Fox News' Bret Baier that he believed Trump to be "more correct than his critics are" and claimed that federal prosecutors were "in a little bit of a Catch-22."
"If [the prosecution] believes Cohen, that the president directed him to do it, then it’s not a crime at all," Dershowitz said. "If he doesn’t believe Cohen, then Cohen has committed a crime, but not the president."
Dershowitz also took issue with the idea that Trump was an unindicted co-conspirator with Cohen, saying, "You don’t become an unindicted co-conspirator if your action is lawful, even though the action of the other person is unlawful."
Dershowitz also expressed skepticism that Cohen's plea opened the door to an impeachment case against Trump.
"It might be a misdemeanor for the campaign to fail to report that payment, but it would be on the campaign, not on the candidate," he said. "So, that's not even a close question and to talk about it as a high crime and misdemeanor is absurd. That’s not the kind of thing the Framers had in mind."