Connect with us

Politics

For Trump and Cohen, attorney-client privilege goes only so far

Published

on

Federal prosecutors may have executed this search warrant for the premises of an attorney because Cohen may be a subject of an investigation. But, as an attorney, he is also engaged in the practice of law on behalf of clients — clients whose privileged materials are now in the possession of federal agents. Among those clients is the sitting president of the United States.

According to Department of Justice policy, an application for a search warrant of a lawyer’s office such as this is so serious that it usually requires approval of either the U.S. attorney for the district, or the assistant attorney general.

Because of the potential damage to legitimate attorney-client relationships caused by these mass seizures of records, U.S. attorneys are trained to explore alternatives to these warrants when evidence is sought from a practicing attorney. One alternative would be a subpoena, which allows the attorney to search for and produce the documents. The fact that the FBI opted for a raid without notice suggests prosecutors believed less-intrusive measures might result in the destruction of evidence.

Now that the documents are in the FBI’s possession, the U.S. attorney’s manual mandates the use of procedures that ensure privileged materials are not improperly viewed, seized or retained. We know that as an attorney, Cohen had at least one active client: Trump called Cohen his lawyer on Air Force One just days ago.

Trump on Tuesday morning tweeted: “Attorney-client privilege is dead!”

The privilege is not dead. It’s just that that the privilege alone won’t prevent the issuance of a search warrant for documents in an attorney’s office.

Of course, the privilege between an attorney like Cohen and his clients may be lost if the “crime-fraud exception” applies. The purpose of this exception is to assure that the secrecy between lawyer and client does not extend to obtaining advice in furtherance of contemplated or ongoing criminal or fraudulent conduct.

It is not enough for the government to just show that these privileged communications between Cohen and a client might provide evidence of a crime. Rather, the communication itself must have been in furtherance of, and intended to facilitate the crime, in order to strip these communications of the protections of privilege.

Source link

Politics

Brexit LIVE: 'World class bulls***!' Frost leaves Adonis reeling with new EU masterstroke

Published

on

BREXIT minister David Frost left arch-Remainer Andrew Adonis reeling with anger following his speech today.

Source link

Continue Reading

Politics

Corbyn sides with CHINA as he launches attack on Boris's alliance with US and Australia

Published

on

JEREMY CORBYN sparked uproar after siding with China in a row over Britain’s new defence pact with the United States and Australia.

Source link

Continue Reading

Politics

Angry French ambassador shows true colours by reminding Biden about naval victory over UK

Published

on

BREXIT Britain’s newly forged defence deal with Australia and the US infuriated French Ambassador to America, Philippe Etienne, who took a bitter swipe at his transatlantic allies.

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending