Famed civil liberties lawyer Alan Dershowitz said that President Trump would have a tough time arguing executive privilege for some of the leaked questions from Mueller's probe, and outlined what he thought Mueller's strategy was for questioning the president.
Here's what he said:
"What do you make of the fact that this has leaked out so quickly," CNN's Anderson Cooper asked, "and what does it tell you about what Mueller is looking at and needs from the president?"
"Well everything leaks, we should assume that everything is going to leak," Dershowitz responded.
"I think there were only one series of questions that caught me by surprise," he continued. "Everything else was entirely predictable."
"The questions about some of his financial dealings before the campaign and before he became president," he said.
On executive privilege
"Here's the president's problem," Dershowitz explained. "He can refuse to answer questions based on executive privilege that focus on reasons why he engaged in activities that are covered by Article 2 of the Constitution. The problem is that those are the easy questions. And he can answer those, whereas the hardest questions, the one about his financial dealings, he has no executive privilege."
"So, he can posture and take the case to the Supreme Court," he continued, "he might very well win on some of the questions, but those are not the most difficult questions, cuz that's the area of obstruction of justice for engaging in constitutionally-protected activities."
"So he has a little bit of a conundrum and a dilemma, but there are very few surprises here," he explained. "The surprises come mostly in the form of questions about financial dealings, real estate dealings, before he became president."
"President Trump's weakness."
"Professor," Cooper asked, "do you agree with the rest of the panel that these are really frameworks for sort of topic, these are topic sentences for underneath each one, there would be a series of questions based on each of these, that this is not the sum total of what the questions would be?"
"I would expect so," Dershowitz answered, "the questions are very in-artfully drawn, they are written as open-ended questions, they are not cross-examination questions, they're not sharp questions designed to confront and test."
"They're really designed to let him ramble and talk," he explained, "and I suspect that's the strategy of the special counsel because they know that may be President Trump's weakness."
"If they were to ask him direct tough questions, to which he could answer yes or no," he concluded, "that might not give them the advantage they're seeking."
Here's the video of Dershowitz's comments on CNN:
Alan Dershowitz says Mueller's list of questions for President Trump are "designed to let him ramble and talk and I suspect that's the strategy of the special counsel, because they know that may be President Trump's weakness" https://t.co/w1P7AxHAOSpic.twitter.com/f3qZLltwDj— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) May 1, 2018
Dozens of questions were leaked to the New York Times and published on Monday, reportedly representing the inquiries that special counsel Robert Mueller expected to make of President Trump if the president were to fulfill his request for questioning.