Harvard Law professor and high-profile lawyer Alan Dershowitz spent time at the White House on Tuesday in the wake of the FBI raid on the home and office of Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.
“It was a pre-arranged, pre-scheduled meeting with White house staffers regarding the ongoing peace process in the Middle East,” Dershowitz told Fox News’ Sean Hannity Tuesday night. “I have advised every president since Bill Clinton on Israel,” Dershowitz explained, saying that Israel has long been a passion of his.
“It was very nice that I was invited to have dinner with the president and a few other people,” he added. “We discussed the Middle East and a range of subjects.”
Dershowitz told Hannity that he believes the FBI raid on Cohen was a violation of his constitutional rights.
“You can’t just go and sweep up all lawyer-client privileged information and then give it over to some FBI agent or a low-ranking U.S. attorney and say, ‘well, go through it.'” he said. “The 4th and 6th Amendments don’t just protect against use of evidence in a criminal trial. They protect privacy. Imagine if instead of going into lawyer-client privilege, they tape recorded a person’s confession to his priest or rabbi, or went into somebody’s home and recorded conversations with his wife, or conversations between a doctor and a patient? The lawyer-client privilege is as sacrosanct as that. There has to be a very, very good reason before any prosecutor should have a right to look at any such material,” the professor explained.
Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, has reportedly recused himself from the investigation. Berman was appointed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in January after meeting with Trump in late 2017.
According to the Washington Examiner, the FBI raid was signed off on by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
Hannity argued that he thinks Mueller and Co. are trying to goad Trump into firing him, but Dershowitz said that he doesn’t believe Trump will fire anyone connected to the probe.
“What we’re seeing is a bifurcation of the investigation,” Dershowitz said, explaining that because Mueller knows he doesn’t have the authority to look into all of Trump’s pre-presidential activities, he gave that authority to the Southern District of New York. “Because apparently they couldn’t find anything substantial when it comes to the president’s exercise of his Article 2 authority,” Dersh said.
“That seems like a subterfuge by which Mueller doesn’t have the authority so he gives it to somebody else,” he added. “It’s like laundering information to another prosecutorial authority.”
Dershowitz said Mueller is “trying to have it both ways” in that the special prosecutor can not formally investigate Cohen’s relationship with Trump, but the Southern District of New York can. Of course, the Southern District of New York would not have received any information had it not been for Mueller.
“It’s a dangerous thing to start intruding into lawyers’ offices,” Dersh said. “That’s not a good day for democracy.”