April 10, 2018

"Civil libertarians should be concerned whenever the government interferes with the lawyer-client relationship."

"Clients should be able to rely on confidentiality when they disclose their most intimate secrets in an effort to secure their legal rights. A highly publicized raid on the president’s lawyer will surely shake the confidence of many clients in promises of confidentiality by their lawyers. They will not necessarily understand the nuances of the confidentiality rules and their exceptions. They will see a lawyer’s office being raided and all his files seized. I believe we would have been hearing more from civil libertarians — the American Civil Liberties Union, attorney groups and privacy advocates — if the raid had been on Hillary Clinton’s lawyer. Many civil libertarians have remained silent about potential violations of President Trump’s rights because they strongly disapprove of him and his policies. That is a serious mistake, because these violations establish precedents that lie around like loaded guns capable of being aimed at other targets."

Writes Alan Dershowitz in "Targeting Trump's lawyer should worry us all."

216 comments:

1 – 200 of 216   Newer›   Newest»
Robert Cook said...

I'm not a big fan of Dershowitz, necessarily, but I agree with him here.

mockturtle said...

Dershowitz always has me scratching my head. How can someone so LEFT be so RIGHT? We really need legal scholars like Alan D. and Ted Cruz to sound off on these issues since our Justice Department seems to have fallen asleep for the past year and a half [that is, except for the continuing saga of 'investigation' of the Trump campaign]. You couldn't write a believable novel with this kind of plot.

mccullough said...

Civil libertarians are mostly wealthy white progressives with cushy jobs who live far from the problems of society. Most American Jews hate Trump so Dershowitz is on his own here. I give him credit for sticking to principles here. He’s an old guy so he’s got nothing to lose. But he still stands up to those in his social caste.

The civil libertarians are too busy ensuring the free flow of Mexican nannies and lawn boys.

Chest Rockwell said...

Yeah, Dershowitz is correct. He's one of the few principled, true liberals left.

But ... and I'm someone who is very skeptical of attacks on Donald Trump ... , if he paid off a porn star and broke campaign finance laws in the process, he's an idiot. And as I understand it, there's a very high bar to clear in order to seize these communications.

OTOH, given the amount of apparent corruption that infects the FBI, maybe the bar was lowered dramatically.

Hagar said...

The reports say the FBI "vacuumed" Cohen's office, residence, and hotel room. That will leave a suspicion that whatever they may claim, they were really looking for something to charge Trump with and just used whatever they claim against Cohen as an excuse to carry out a "bag job."
These guys have not figured out yet that, by this time, it is they who are on trial.

Patrick Henry was right! said...

I guess Ken Starr should have raided Lanny Davis' or Webb Hubbell's offices.

Man, this is a whole new tool for use later on.

Reason number zillion why I hate lefists.
No respect for rule of law.

Bay Area Guy said...

Raiding an attorney's office to try and nail his client is totally unkosher.

Except, in this case, the supposed target is Trump. So, according to the Left, all is fair game.

They did the same thing to Manafort.

The FBI ignored the Parkland crazy shooter (who killed 17 kids).

Chicago had 650 murders in 2017. Nobody cares. No political juice there.

And, yet, they focus on these trivial paper crimes, where nobody is hurt, and nothing is stolen. Did Trump has sex with Stormy 10 years ago? He denies it, but my guess is yes. Did Trump's men pay her $130,000 to shut up? Probably. But so what? A deal's a deal. She didn't have to take the money. She coulda blogged about it all day long, if she wanted to.

A gentle reminder is in order. Payback can be a bitch. If this is the "new" normal, don't be surprised when it comes back to bite.....

EDH said...

It is doubtful that Cohen would cooperate, even if he has anything on his client. But prosecutors often try to get lawyers to “sing” against their clients — to become “canaries” — in order to save their own feathers.

But how does this strategy for "flipping one's attorney" with threat of criminal charges work against a target who possesses the pardon power?

Inga said...

But that doesn't mean that attorney-client privilege is a magical blanket that covers any and all scrutiny. It doesn't. There are, in fact, a number of exceptions.

“Generally speaking, the relationship between an attorney and client is protected," says Harry Sandick, a former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. "As a society, we value legal advice and the right to get it without someone looking over your shoulder."

Perhaps the most frequently cited is known as the "crime-fraud exception." Boiled down to the basics, this says that discussions between a lawyer and client about a future crime or fraud are not privileged. Conversations about past crimes, however, are.

So a mafia boss can't send an email to his attorney that says, "I want you to arrange the murder of my enemy" and then keep that email out of evidence in court by citing attorney-client privilege.

Sandick points to a few other notable exceptions. If a lawyer is communicating with a third party, for example, those conversations are not privileged. Or if a lawyer is giving business advice, that is not protected either.

FBI special agents and Justice Department officials could be looking for those kinds of elements in the electronic devices, papers or other materials they seized from Cohen.

"There are lots of things a lawyer might retain that aren't covered by privilege," Sandick says.”

eddie willers said...

Gestapo tactics expanding.

Headline at the Telegraph: European Commission raids Murdoch's Fox offices in London

Michael K said...

The civil libertarians are too busy ensuring the free flow of Mexican nannies and lawn boys.

Yes, they hate us deplorables and prefer the population replacement strategy of the Labour Party in UK.

That is working out to so well for them.

Jim at said...

But that doesn't mean that attorney-client privilege is a magical blanket that covers any and all scrutiny.

Well, then it's a good thing nobody's saying that, isn't it?

Quaestor said...

I'm not a big fan of Dershowitz, necessarily, but I agree with him here.

Let us hereby highly resolve not to color our opinions about our constitutional rights through the rose-colored glasses of fandom.

mccullough said...

These morons couldn’t convict Edwards or Menendez with their theory crimes. The FBI lives in a DC bubble. When’s the last time the DOJ made a major case? They’ve had so many high profile losses it’s embarrasing. They get caught cheating again and again as well. Everyone knows they don’t record their interviews and interrogations so they can lie on the stand. That stupid tactic backfired big time as the jury in the Bride of the Pulse Jihadi said they couldn’t trust the FBI.

The FBI totally botched the anthrax investigation under Mueller. They whiff on these trrror investigations. They got O arrests out of Wall Street. Fucking pathetic. An agency where douchebags like Strozk and McCabe rose to high positions.

AJ Lynch said...

What McCullough said at 4:29PM.

Quaestor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bay Area Guy said...

I am a big fan of Dershowitz, even though he voted for Hillary.

He's a classical liberal, a dying breed. And he has principles and guts, unlike most of the folks on the Left.

Craig said...

If only there were bunches and bunches of people calmly and carefully addressing Dershowitz-like concerns. But why not just link to Dershowitz to give the Amazon-Affiliate clicking gang here some chum to chomp on for a bit?

Gospace said...

How could a lawyer giving business advice not be covered?

"Is it legal to sell this product?" is business advice.

The Godfather said...

This seems to me to be a high-risk venture for Mueller and the DOJ (Mueller is trying to distance himself from responsibility for the raid, but he's made himself the most prominent figure in the DOJ, so I don't think the distancing will work). Unless the raid turns up evidence of something really serious -- either Trump-Putin collusion or something equally nefarious -- if it turns out to be just about Stormy Daniels, then all but the most-partisan enemies of Trump are going to regard it as misconduct. Of course, the "most-partisan enemies of Trump" include the major news networks, the NYT, the WaPo, etc., so it may be hard for awareness of the misconduct to seep into the public consciousness.

It it becomes clear to the public that Mueller acted improperly, Trump may have an opportunity to fire Mueller and his team without Nixonian consequences, but I fear that he may act too soon, before the public has been able to realize the enormity of Mueller's misconduct.

At the very least, Mueller has now given Trump a good reason to refuse to be "interviwed" by Mueller.

Blank Blank said...

We know undoubtedly that attorney-client privilege was violated. Whether SOME of the materials seized fall under the crime fraud exception, not ALL of it is. So now Trump's personal attorney-client privileged information is in the hands of the FBI "taint team." The nonpartisan, politically neutral, leak-proof confidential FBI. Why is Trump freaking out about that? I would feel so safe.

Inga said...

“But how does this strategy for "flipping one's attorney" with threat of criminal charges work against a target who possesses the pardon power?”

It’s the southern district of New York that is investigating Cohen. Isn’t it only federal crimes that a President can pardon?

Balfegor said...

Re: Chest Rockwell:

But ... and I'm someone who is very skeptical of attacks on Donald Trump ... , if he paid off a porn star and broke campaign finance laws in the process, he's an idiot.

If he paid off the porn star, he may be an idiot, but that's not a campaign contribution. He's allowed to spend his own money beyond the contribution limits (although maybe he would have been required to disclose the campaign expenditure). It's a problem for Michael Cohen if he paid rather than Trump, because that could be viewed as a campaign contribution.

Re: the concern Dershowitz articulates, I mean, I guess? This is just a particularly high profile instance of the government seizing attorney-client privileged communications. It's not something new. They've been seizing privileged communications and using taint teams for many, many years, even if the laity didn't know about it.

And when you get to the average person, honestly, I don't know that they actually trust their counsel all that much. People lie to their lawyers. And omit critical, material information when talking to their lawyers. When you get right down to it, people don't trust lawyers as much as lawyers wish they would (not least because it is credibility-destroying if we say X, and then the other side says, aha, but what about Y and whips out a document.)

And on the gripping hand, I think the problem here is that Trump doesn't have faith in the professionalism of DOJ with respect to the taint team. And given how unprofessionally DOJ behaved during his first months in office, I can kind of see why, although it's certainly unfair to impute the behaviour of DOJ leadership to the taint team, who are probably just line prosecutors and staff attorneys.

YoungHegelian said...

Last night as I was falling asleep & this morning, I was listening to the usual suspects on right-wing radio. They were madder than a flock of wet hens over this raid.

They think it's all a fishing expedition by the FBI to get dirt on Trump before he goes after them. They think that there's no way that privileged information won't be leaked between teams & into the press.

I really hope that the FBI just had to, I mean, just had to do this. Because, no matter what is found or not, no matter what happens to Trump, a whole segment of the population that considers themselves law & order patriots is now deciding that the FBI is an enemy of the Republic.

The optics on this are horrible. "First, they came for our 1st A. rights, then our 2nd, & now they're coming for our 5th". The FBI seems to have become the epitome of the Robert Conquest's dictum "the best way to understand an organization's actions is to imagine that it's been taken over by a cabal of its enemies".

Inga said...

“...Trump may have an opportunity to fire Mueller and his team without Nixonian consequences, but I fear that he may act too soon, before the public has been able to realize the enormity of Mueller's misconduct.”


“It would be suicide for the president to want to talk about firing Mueller.”
Senator Chuck Grassley



Rigelsen said...

“I give him credit for sticking to principles here. He’s an old guy so he’s got nothing to lose.”

Well, even old guys need friends. I should say old guys especially needs friends, and he’s already on the record of having “old friends” who’ll no longer hang out with him.

Like Dershowitz, I’m a classical liberal, though he’s a bit more leftish than I am. I find this absolutely scary. This is banana republic territory, where the rule of law doesn’t matter, instead the law is simply whatever the people in charge say it is. It’s as if these prosecutors starting with Rosenstein, Mueller, and the FBI have lost all their limiters. Nothing matters as long as they get their guy, the president of the US who they all report to.

The thing is, even with the plausible felony that was the Clinton email scandal, with non-Clintons having gone to jail for less, and the supposed felony of the DNC hack, the FBI refused to even request a warrant for any evidence, allowing evidence to be destroyed willy billy. But this, with no clear crime, they are willing and able to use gestapo-like tactics against the president’s lawyer?

This is Wisconsin all over again. The law as a bludgeon to ensure political compliance and to get your political man.

I never liked Sessions, always too enraptured with police and prosecutorial power. And he’s looking worse and worse as the weeks wear on.

Balfegor said...

Re: Bay Area Guy:

Except, in this case, the supposed target is Trump. So, according to the Left, all is fair game.

I seriously doubt the target could be Trump, unless Rosenstein is playing games here or Mueller deliberately misled Rosenstein, neither of which I think likely.

You appoint a special counsel to investigate alleged misconduct by the President because US Attorneys and Assistant Attorneys General and Deputy Attorneys General and the Attorney General and all of DOJ ultimately report to the President, which creates a conflict of interest.

If the President were a subject or a target of the Cohen investigation, the most sensible thing would be for Rosenstein to authorise a scope expansion for Mueller, not direct Mueller to refer it back into the normal DOJ hierarchy. From this, I infer that it is unlikely that Mueller saw much chance of the Cohen investigation looping in the President as a subject or target.

Now, I know a lot of people (e.g. the President) probably think it's nonsense to assume that Mueller and Rosenstein are behaving by the book. But in general, I do.

Tank said...

It's who whom all the way down.

Rigelsen said...

And on the gripping hand, I think the problem here is that Trump doesn't have faith in the professionalism of DOJ with respect to the taint team. And given how unprofessionally DOJ behaved during his first months in office, I can kind of see why, although it's certainly unfair to impute the behaviour of DOJ leadership to the taint team, who are probably just line prosecutors and staff attorneys.

Why would you assume so called line prosecutors and staff attorneys would be less tainted, especially given the evidence so far? The only thing you can say about them is that their biases are less visible, especially given how the DOJ goes so far to hide them, even from Congress.

Inga said...

Trump better hurry up and fire Mueller...

“Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) is pressing for the Senate Judiciary Committee to take up his legislation aimed at insulating Mueller from any attempted firing. Tillis is in discussions with Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) about merging two separate Mueller protection bills and then persuading Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to pass them.

“It’s a good bill that’s going to have enduring value beyond this presidency. I think the president’s frustrated, I may be if I were in the same position,” Tillis said. “But I do think it’s a bill that’s worthy of a mark-up in Judiciary and sending it to the floor.”

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/04/10/republicans-trump-fire-mueller-512329

YoungHegelian said...

@Balfegor,

Now, I know a lot of people (e.g. the President) probably think it's nonsense to assume that Mueller and Rosenstein are behaving by the book. But in general, I do.

I understand why you do. You are a lawyer, with a lawyer's understanding of these matters. But, at least on the right wing, you are soooo in the minority.

Whatever happens legally is one thing. Culturally, the Right sees this as yet another shot across its bow. This will not be forgiven nor forgotten. It is, like Steven's op-ed on the 2nd A, an in-kind donation to the Re-Elect Trump 2020 Campaign.

Mike Sylwester said...

The precedent that Democrats are merrily making is to subject every new President to a Special Counsel who will have a license to use the Intelligence Community's full resources to investigate, attack and undermine the new President and all his associates forever.

This is the democracy and the civility that the Democrats are developing for the USA.

The Democrats are fools for imagining that this precedent of theirs will apply only to Republican Presidents in the future.

Gusty Winds said...

Lifetime bureaucrats like Rosenstein and Mueller, in coordination with Democrats and the media, aren't very interested in deferring to the 63 million voters who elected President Trump. Russia collusion is a hoax. The Mueller investigation is a farce. Sessions is a disappointment.

Why let a little thing like the fourth amendment stand in their way.

It all goes back to "drain the swamp", and the swamp doesn't want to be drained.

But we'll see. Their strategy failed on election night 2016. The voters were smarter, and that's not so long ago. The games they are playing are serious, but I'm not sure they win in the end. Unless they remove Trump from office, they lose.

Balfegor said...

RE: Rigelsen:

Why would you assume so called line prosecutors and staff attorneys would be less tainted, especially given the evidence so far?

Because I interact with line prosecutors and staff attorneys at DOJ from time to time, and I don't think they would do that. What we see with Comey (FBI Director), McCabe (FBI Deputy Director), and Strzok (FBI Section Chief) is, frankly, that some senior people feel the kind of impunity that would let them leak confidential information to the press directly or through cutouts like friends who happen to be law professors, and maybe lie to OIG about it while they're at it. I honestly just don't think the ordinary prosecutors (or FBI agents) feel they have that kind of freedom.

And look at those three! Sure Comey has got off scott free so far, despite his cavalier mishandling of government records. But McCabe just got fired, and Strzok got demoted to HR. I don't see that sending a clear signal to the working level DOJ staff that they'll be protected if they engage in machinations against the President. It's not as strong a signal as I might like, but the average DOJ employee knows he doesn't have the kind of pull a Director, Deputy Director, or Section Chief has. They know they're going right under the bus if it's convenient.

Browndog said...

It's not just a lawyer, and a client.

It's the personal, long time lawyer of the President of the United States. A President that has barely been in office for a year, and a lawyer that was raided pursuant to an investigation of a non-crime with no evidence of said non-crime.

Chuck said...

What Dershowitz barely acknowledged:

The warrant application in this case was, presumably, pursued under the guidelines set forth in the U.S. Attorneys' Manual. Which is filled with the sorts of protections for the concerns that Dershowitz is articulating. Special procedures, with multiple layers of authority, for searches of attorney residences and offices, for examinations of privileged materials, and for grand jury subpoenas to attorneys.

https://www.justice.gov/usam/usam-9-13000-obtaining-evidence#9-13.410

YoungHegelian said...

@GW,

Unless they remove Trump from office, they lose.

How do they win even then? Then, they've got Pence, & 63 million voters who think that their democratic will was subverted by a cabal.

To all the people out there who support this stuff, I've got a sincere question: what are you going to do when the shooting starts? "Cause, you keep this shit up & it will. I don't care much for the politics of Lefties like Redneck Revolt, who are arming themselves, but at least I see their reasoning. The guys you're pissing off own the lion share of 300 million guns. What are you going to do when that dam breaks? You really think that the National Guard, the Armed Forces, & police are going to die on the barricades defending the likes of you, who could barely choke out a kind word for the lot of them?

traditionalguy said...

The FBI Statzpolzei has just threatened any lawyer in the USA that dares to speak for the accused. A Few Good Men presumed honorable courts in the military. The Corrupt Soros/Obama/Bush owned Federal system has no honorable personnel they have not gotten blackmailed already. Hint: honey traps and pedophile traps are what is used on them. The money is extra.

khematite said...

Inga said...
“But how does this strategy for "flipping one's attorney" with threat of criminal charges work against a target who possesses the pardon power?”

It’s the southern district of New York that is investigating Cohen. Isn’t it only federal crimes that a President can pardon?


The Southern District of New York is a federal jurisdiction comprising the counties of Bronx, Dutchess, New York, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, and Westchester. Federal judicial and investigative authority in the rest of New York State is exercised within its Eastern, Northern, and Western districts.

http://www.nysd.uscourts.gov/

Balfegor said...

Re: khematite --

Ah -- I was confused by Inga's question. Yes, to be even more explicit, the US Attorney for SDNY is a federal prosecutor. Not a state prosecutor.

Snark said...

I knew it was going to be Dershowitz when I read the headline. What is the alternative in cases like Cohen's? I think an action like this is just as likely to be read as the exception that proves the rule to the average person. It's shocking precisely because it seems rare (whether it actually is or not). Privileges always comes with responsibilities. I think he underestimates people if he thinks they can't grasp that.

Etienne said...

If Trump doesn't fire someone at the FBI or DOJ, then the high prices lawyers charge for the benefit of a private relationship is gone.

AZ Bob said...

Why couldn't the FBI just give Cohen immunity like they did for Hillary's lawyers?

Left Bank of the Charles said...

If they can’t make a case, the feds will have a lot of explaining to do.

madAsHell said...

Who signed the fucking search warrant??

Is collusion a probable cause?

Lyle Smith said...

Democrats want the United States to be a one party authoritarian state like China. Rise up folks.

Birkel said...

Preserved for my amusement:

Inga said...
“But how does this strategy for "flipping one's attorney" with threat of criminal charges work against a target who possesses the pardon power?”

It’s the southern district of New York that is investigating Cohen. Isn’t it only federal crimes that a President can pardon?

4/10/18, 4:35 PM

Sebastian said...

McCarthy: "If the only matter under investigation were a potential campaign-finance violation that would normally not be grist for criminal prosecution, it would be outrageous to raid a lawyer’s office — especially, the president’s lawyer. Not only must high-level Justice Department approval be obtained before seeking a search warrant for an attorney’s premises; the prosecutors and their superiors must explore whether less intrusive investigative alternatives — such as seeking the desired materials by grand-jury subpoena — would be viable. That the government must have decided they were not viable is remarkable. A prosecutor gets a search warrant when the subject cannot be trusted to cooperate and hand over materials voluntarily."

But, Andy, you remember how the Mueller witch hunt got started illegally? Are you sure now that all those things that "must" be done were done? Are you sure that there is any credence to any argument that the alternatives were not "viable"? Are you sure the witch hunters wanted to avoid the "outrageous" raid, rather than the stage it for maximum effect?

The Godfather said...

Up above, @Inga quoted Sen. Grassley as saying that Trump would be crazy to talk about firing Mueller. Grassley explained: “I think that maybe Mueller [is] coming to a dead end as far as collusion of Trump with Russia in this election — and it looks like a dead end — maybe Mueller would appreciate being fired so he would have an excuse for getting out of it, and the Democrats would have a good issue in this upcoming election.”

If Trump believes that Mueller's going to give him a clean bill of health on Russian collusion and close out his investigation, then he shouldn't think about firing Mueller. I'd like to see a show of hands from everyone on this comment thread who thinks that's what Mueller's going to do.

Show of hands? Anybody?

n.n said...

Surely, a progressive slope.

Jess said...

According to reports, the only evidence to be collected is that concerning the payment to Stormy Daniels. If any court actions require anything but this evidence, it won't be admissible.

Muellor is far beyond the task he was assigned. His lack of character becomes more evident daily. A more honorable man would have quit months ago.

khematite said...

nga said...
Trump better hurry up and fire Mueller...

“Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) is pressing for the Senate Judiciary Committee to take up his legislation aimed at insulating Mueller from any attempted firing. Tillis is in discussions with Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) about merging two separate Mueller protection bills and then persuading Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to pass them.

But don't forget that even if the Senate were to pass such a bill, it would still need approval by the House and that even if that happened, Trump could still veto the bill, requiring a two-thirds vote in both houses of Congress to override. And if that still didn't kill the bill, it would create a case that would ultimately wind up in the Supreme Court, where a Mueller-protection act would stand an excellent chance (given the current make-up of the Court) of being declared unconstitutional. All this is not going to happen within the two and a half years still remaining in Trump's term.

Browndog said...

madAsHell said...

Who signed the fucking search warrant??

Is collusion a probable cause?


I have a better question-

Who, in Trump's inner circle, recommended he appoint Rod Rosenstein?

Etienne said...

I'd like to see a show of hands from everyone on this comment thread who thinks that's what Mueller's going to do.

Mueller is getting filthy rich, and has the whole Treasury as his operating budget. Only a fool would give up that job.

gadfly said...

Plagiarist Alan Dershowitz, occupant of the Felix Frankfurter Chair at Harvard Law School, boldly criticizes the actions of well-qualified lawyers to secure evidence likely destined for burning by an unethical, low-life, self-admitted criminal, who represents only one client, Donald Trump.

Now Donald Trump will likely have to pardon his "fixer" when the Grand Jury and the New York Federal Court gets done with his personal attorney who took over for Roy Cohn in the Trump organization.

The Trump saga is taking on the plot of the "Godfather" and when Donald figures that out, he will be pleased.

Throughout The Godfather, the audience must consider the differences and the merits to both the legal justice system and the moral justice system. It is an uncomfortable position for most Americans who are taught to idolize the legal justice system. The police are depicted as corrupt while the courts fail to deliver appropriate sentences. Thus, despite the Corleone family acting wholly outside the law, many rationalize the discrepancy between what is moral and what is legal by viewing the Corleone family as providing the “correct” justice, or rather, the moral justice. Because in the end, we want the “bad guys” to receive their just desserts.

Kathryn51 said...

Apparently Dersh is at the White House today - having dinner with Trump.

He has always been a favorite of mine even if I don't agree with him on social issues - he has a very healthy skepticism when it comes to government, power and the corruption that invariably follows.

Francisco D said...

I think Mueller has nothing on Trump in regards to "Russian Collusion," but he is trying to protect his corrupt FBI and DOJ friends.

He will try to find anything on Trump in order to bargain for the FBI and DOJ criminals.

I would fire Rosenstein for negligence of duty (Sessions first if he refuses to act) and appoint someone who will actually supervise the Mueller Gang.

If the Dems and Reps refuse to replace Sessions and Rosenstein, the investigation is shut down until proper supervision is in place.

YoungHegelian said...

@khematite,

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) is pressing for the Senate Judiciary Committee to take up his legislation aimed at insulating Mueller from any attempted firing.

Even after all the obstacles that you have accurately listed, the question remains, would such a law pass SCOTUS review? It sure seems like such a law would violate the separation of powers. Enforcement of the laws the legislature enacts is the function of the executive branch, & to set up an enforcement officer beyond the control of the executive seems dubious at best.

If only we had a scholar of constitutional law among us who could speak to this question! "But, where? And who?" he asked.

gadfly said...

Blogger Etienne said...

Mueller is getting filthy rich, and has the whole Treasury as his operating budget. Only a fool would give up that job.

Extending that out-of-sight logic, Donald Trump has $700 Billion with which to use for his own personal enrichment.

Kirk Parker said...

Balfegor, meet Tank.

Yes, they are going by the book. Unfortunately the title of that book is Yes, they are going by the book. Unfortunately the title of that book is "кто кого".

Etienne said...

Donald Trump has $700 Billion with which to use for his own personal enrichment.

He may need more if he's going to go golfing every weekend and the Air Corps has to fly dawn patrol.

Birkel said...

gadfly:
The plagiarism charge was bull shit. Dershowitz cited the original sources.

I know you are Never-Trump but do try not to be an ass.

James Smith said...

A question for the lawyers; If the payment to Daniels is ruled to be an illegal campaign contribution, does that void the NDA?

buwaya said...

Dershowitz and so many of the rest of you are lawyers, so this does not appear as limited a point of view as I see it.
The law really is not relevant to this story, other than as backdrops and mcguffins.
These events pose as legal matters, but they aren't.

Its not about laws but about power, in other words it is war without shooting.

Silent enim leges inter arma

The quote is Cicero's, and note that it is a comment on a period of civil strife when there was no open civil war - yet.

iowan2 said...

Mueller handed this off to the SDNY because it veered too far away from his stated charge of service? Russian involvement before the inauguration? But Manaforts supposed money laundering 12 years ago was his jurisdiction? INAL, but that is seriously inconsistant, for the best legal minds in DC, as my betters always remind me.

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Etienne said...

I think Trump should do a #6 on the DOJ and the FBI.

Virgil Hilts said...

Similar to Wisconsin, in Arizona we lived through attempts to weaponize criminal proceedings for political means. In our case, it was Republicans who tried to do it and both parties put a quick stop to it. In early 2010, Sheriff Joe and Andrew Thomas (the County Attorney and, sign, an HLS grad) sought to have a grand jury indict a number of Maricopa County judges, Maricopa County supervisors, and employees of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. Was the beginning of the end for Sheriff Joe. Thomas was disbarred.
I keep waiting for a bipartisan correction to happen at the federal level, but not optimistic.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

So Ann continues her self-beclowning in the name of all things Trump by quoting Trump's other new diehard freelance legal defender at all costs in the court of public opinion and punditry. No surprise.

And yet, neither is privy to the info divulged on exactly how much evidence there was to show of criminal involvement on the part of this Trump business-associate-to-the-point-of-lawyer-in-name-only.

Just stop the beclowning already. It's downright embarrassing.

Scott said...

The federal crime that Michael Cohen is likely to be indicted for is using a home equity loan on his house to pay hush money to Daniels, according to the Daily Mail site.

Say what???

readering said...

Perhaps Prof. Dershowitz could use his megaphone to explain to the public how the attorney-client privilege works, including when it does not apply and when there are exceptions.

Vance said...

Imagine the shrieking from TTR if Trump orders Hillary's lawyer's office raided and everything seized. Or Inga.

But unlike this current debacle (no one can name a crime Cohen's supposed to have done that would fit under the "crime exception), Trump has ever reason to know that Hillary's lawyer is a criminal: he admits it.

He has openly admitted to having Top Secret and higher level intelligence in his office, for which he does not have security clearances for. Just sitting there, courtesy of Hillary Clinton. Stuff they throw the common, every day military person in jail for life if they so much as sneeze the wrong way while in possession of it.

But Hillary's lawyer? No big deal, national security laws don't apply to him or to Hillary Clinton. If the FBI or more likely the Pentagon raided Hillary's lawyer.... you can bet anything Inga and TTR and the ACLU would be literally convulsing in the street.

Hypocrisy, thy name is leftist.

Big Mike said...

I believe we would have been hearing more from civil libertarians — the American Civil Liberties Union, attorney groups and privacy advocates — if the raid had been on Hillary Clinton’s lawyer.

Strangely enough, I believe that too.

khematite said...

Young Hegelian said:
@khematite,
Even after all the obstacles that you have accurately listed, the question remains, would such a law pass SCOTUS review? It sure seems like such a law would violate the separation of powers. Enforcement of the laws the legislature enacts is the function of the executive branch, & to set up an enforcement officer beyond the control of the executive seems dubious at best.

I think I actually addressed that issue in the last sentence of my earlier comment. Just to provide a bit more context, here are the views of Akhil Reed Amar, a generally liberal Yale Law School professor, testifying before the Senate last year:

"At the start of the hearing, Amar counted up to six Supreme Court justices who he believed would find both of the Mueller proposals unconstitutional on the grounds that they would violate the separation-of-powers doctrine.

"Amar also cited the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissent in the 1988 decision Morrison v. Olson, which disagreed with the majority’s holding that an independent counsel law did not violate the separation of powers. He noted that Justices Clarence Thomas ’74 and John Roberts have favorably cited Scalia’s dissent and that even Justice Elena Kagan had praised it in a speech.

"Amar also told lawmakers that before either bill could take effect, Trump would have the legal justification to veto both pieces of legislation and that Congress would have difficulty getting around that. It could ultimately serve to increase executive power over special counsels, Amar warned."

https://law.yale.edu/yls-today/news/professor-amar-testifies-senate-special-counsel-legislation

Francisco D said...

The Brainless Revolutionary said: ... "Just stop the beclowning already. It's downright embarrassing."

I am lost for words.

Matthew Sablan said...

Why should we believe the FBI is on the up and up with this search when the FISA tap if Carter Page was a clear back door to get Trump? I just assume this is the same tactic.

glenn said...

Mueller handed the case off to the state court because Trump can’t pardon Cohen in state court.
And what’s operative here is the timing. The IG report is about to drop and nobody knows where it’s going. It’s about keepin Muellers “investigation” in the spotlight.

mccullough said...

It is the same stupid FBI tactic. They are really dumb. That’s why they call them Special Agents. Like Special Education. They are self righteous and stupid. A terrible combination. And they aren’t expected to get results. The just get to keep their paychecks.

Jay Elink said...

Toothless said:

"And yet, neither is privy to the info divulged on exactly how much evidence there was to show of criminal involvement on the part of this Trump business-associate-to-the-point-of-lawyer-in-name-only. "

******************

Oh, for fuck's sake ---- YOU'RE not privy to it either!!! But NOTHING stops you from pontificating and acting as if though you're an insider, on everything.

Pah!

Matthew Sablan said...

Did Clinton talk to her lawyer about using her secret server? If so, that should pierce the privilege just as nearly as this nonsense.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Imagine the shrieking from TTR if Trump orders Hillary's lawyer's office raided and everything seized. Or Inga.

These aren't "orders," dummy. They're decisions made by independent, autonomous, Republican, Trump-appointed attorneys to act on the evidence they have. What kind of a fascist country are you from?

You may now return to your regularly scheduled obsessive Hillary hate.

Dumbass.

Balfegor said...

Re: glenn:

Mueller handed the case off to the state court because Trump can’t pardon Cohen in state court.

No. SDNY is not state court. I know it has "New York" in the name, but the US Attorney for SDNY is a federal prosecutor (also, he's apparently recused himself for some reason, but it's federal prosecutors who report to him who would be handling it). It's not the Manhattan DA (or Bronx DA or wherever Cohen's offices are).

Birkel said...

glenn:
Don't be stupid. SDNY is a federal court.

Seriously people, a search engine can stop this sort of nonsense.

3MartiniLunch said...

Maybe some of the lawyers can weigh in on this thought: The one exception to attorney client privelege seems to be if the two are conspiring together to do something illegal. With that in mind, Jim Comey and his law professor (then attorney) conspired to release to the media information from Comey that was arguably illegal for Comey to release. Should Comey's attorney be expecting a Cohen-style raid? (rhetorical)

Theory No. 1: this raid is not about developing charges against Cohen (or Trump). It is first about precluding Trump from being able to use Cohen as his attorney, thereby reducing the effectiveness of Trump's legal team; and second, scaring off other attorneys who Trump may look to for assistance in his fight against Muller et al. Trump may find himself with very little legal assistance to hand once the DOJ case is presented.

Theory No. 2: Muller has nothing of substance on Trump. However, sometime around the end of September or so, he will produce a report that - to borrow a phrase - no reasonable prosecutor would pursue. The intent is not (or at least no longer) indictment - but to influence the election to flip the House (and hopefully the Senate), at which point the Dems would use the report as their basis for impeachment.

The goal has always been removing Trump from office - ideally frogmarched on TV. At this point is looks like they'll settle for hobbling his administration via impeachment.

Balfegor said...

Re: Matthew Sablan:

Did Clinton talk to her lawyer about using her secret server? If so, that should pierce the privilege just as nearly as this nonsense.

As you well know, the answer is yes. And yeah, that was indeed weird, that she got to continue serving as Clinton's attorney in her FBI interview even though she was a percipient witness to the underlying conduct.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

It gets harder and harder to allege a political conspiracy when they all involve your own party and occasionally even appointees of the person you claim is being "persecuted."

Good grief. Donald Dotard could get cancer tomorrow and you'd allege that his malignant cells were involved in a Democrat conspiracy plot against him.

Just some more psycho nonsense on the part of President Bonespurs' fellow sociopath squad. How predictable.

Balfegor said...

RE: Birkel:

Seriously people, a search engine can stop this sort of nonsense.

I'm too lazy to go look -- did anyone ever get around to explaining the limitations of the crime-fraud exception to Inga?

Charlie Eklund said...

Now is the time for Sessions to unrecuse himself, fire Rosenstein and tell Mueller to present his report on Russian collusion in the 2016 election by Memorial Day.

Birkel said...

3MartiniLunch:
Both theories hold water.

MountainMan said...

khematite said: "But don't forget that even if the Senate were to pass such a bill, it would still need approval by the House and that even if that happened, Trump could still veto the bill, requiring a two-thirds vote in both houses of Congress to override. And if that still didn't kill the bill, it would create a case that would ultimately wind up in the Supreme Court, where a Mueller-protection act would stand an excellent chance (given the current make-up of the Court) of being declared unconstitutional. All this is not going to happen within the two and a half years still remaining in Trump's term."

I wonder if these Senators ever studied any history. This is almost an exact repeat of the Tenure of Office Act which lead to Andrew Johnson's impeachment and trial. The Act was later repealed in 1887, and in subsequent cases the Supreme Court affirmed that the President may terminate executive branch appointees without the approval of Congress.

From Wikipedia: "The Supreme Court's ruling on a similar piece of later legislation in the 1926 Myers v. United States affirmed the ability of the president to remove a postmaster without Congressional approval, and stated in its majority opinion 'that the Tenure of Office Act of 1867...was invalid.'"

Attorney Robert Barnes Twitter feed has had a lot of commentary on this issue. He put it most succinctly in saying the other day "If the President doesn't have the power to fire Mueller then Mueller's position is unconstitutional."

Birkel said...

Balfegor:
No. But the same exception exists with Dr-Patient, Priest-Penitent, and all the others. Pearls. Swine. Assembly required.

Matthew Sablan said...

See. I want the FBI going at people hammer and tongs. But not selectively.

MountainMan said...

And it has been reported this afternoon that the attorney who signed the paperwork was not the DA for the SDNY, as he was recused, but a subordinate who was an official in the Obama administration. Chew on that for a while.

Earnest Prole said...

I believe we would have been hearing more from civil libertarians — the American Civil Liberties Union, attorney groups and privacy advocates — if the raid had been on Hillary Clinton’s lawyer.

No shit, Sherlock. If a frog had wings, he wouldn't bump his ass when he hopped.

Inga said...

The crime-fraud exception is a common rule accepted by the courts. The crime-fraud exception applies to work product privilege as well as the attorney client privilege. The crime-fraud exception states that the attorney-client and the attorney-work-product privilege may be disregarded when the client’s communication to his attorney is in furtherance of a current or a planned crime or fraud.

The crime-fraud doctrine does not apply where the services of an attorney was sought or obtained to enable or aid anyone to commit or plan to commit what the client knew or reasonably should have known to be a fraud. Milroy v. Hanson, 902 F. Supp. 1029, 1032 (D. Neb. 1995)

“Crime-fraud exception only applies when the legal advice "gives direction for the commission of future fraud or crime.” Pallon v. Roggio, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59881 (D.N.J. Aug. 23, 2006)

Bob Boyd said...

MountainMan said...
"And it has been reported this afternoon that the attorney who signed the paperwork was not the DA for the SDNY, as he was recused, but a subordinate who was an official in the Obama administration. Chew on that for a while."

Link?

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

MountainMan said...
And it has been reported this afternoon that the attorney who signed the paperwork was not the DA for the SDNY, as he was recused, but a subordinate who was an official in the Obama administration. Chew on that for a while.


If Berman had a problem with how his office was being used he always had an option. Chew on that for a while.

mccullough said...

I want people going after the FBI with hammer and tongs.

Tommy Duncan said...

In world filled with the machinations of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton no one should be surprised by these events. But I'll confess that I am surprised by the brazen, overt and hostile appearance of the raid on Cohen's office. It looks like a declaration of war.

wildswan said...

Tomorrow's News Today

The raids in Wisconsin were totally illegal. But they happened. And It will turn out that this raid is just the Wisconsin raids gone national.

It will turn out that there was nothing in those offices and houses (or in Manfort's offices and house) that required this kind of raid.
It will turn out that there was no crime, there was no needed evidence.
It will turn out that this was just a raid, like a sort of protection racket raid in which the perps demand the victims be silent. The perps will claim that silence is required as the raid was about a grand jury matter. And what will the grand jury matter be?
It turn out that the GRAND JURY wanted to know: What did a porn star do ten years ago?
It will turn out that Lefties want to know what a porn star alleges she did. Lefties will abolish the Constitution, the election of 2016 and tradition to find out what a porn star did. And it won't be possible to "find out" because no wants to know. No one cares.
In the end it turn out that there has not been a crime except the crime has been done by the law enforcement raiders.
And then
who will these raiders turn out to be? All the weird things done by "The FBI" and "the CIA" and "the DOJ" turn out to be done by little groups of highly placed people who assumed they were protected. So this is going to be a crime committed by a few highly highly placed people in the NYC court system.

So now you know what the newspapers will tell you at great tedious length and huge expense for years. And here it all is, from me, a free gift.

No can we talk about Midwest manfacturing?

buwaya said...

"you'd allege that his malignant cells were involved in a Democrat conspiracy plot against him."

Wasn't it Putin and his lot that had some truly strange chemicals to use on their enemies? Quite a track record in all that. Dioxin poisoning for instance, as in the case of Viktor Yushchenko. Who does not, yet (or that we know), have cancer as a result.

Who is on what side in all this?

In any case, it seems that Trump has been very careful about who cooks his meals.
As he should be.

mccullough said...

It looks like desperation. That’s what these institutions have become. They are run by incompetent toadies and staffed by careerists who can’t be fired. McCabe is a fucking crybaby and Comey is a lunatic. I can’t believe how fucking insulated from reality these guys are. They are total fuckuos who think they are men of integrity. They aren’t. The FBI is a fucking joke. Has been for a long time.

Birkel said...

Chuck Schumer paraphrased: The intelligence agencies can get you six ways to Sunday.

TTR: There is no Deep State conspiracy.

Square. Not. Circled.

Molly said...

Eaglebeak

Forgive me if someone has said this earlier and I missed it.

Yes, Inga, the President can pardon only Federal crimes. However, the "southern district of New York" is Federal--it's the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York--a Federal position, a Federal investigation.

That's why the FBI (Federal BI) did the raid.

Leland said...

Inga, you can link to whatever and pretend it means something; but I know you spent all last night telling us that Berman signed off on the raid. You were wrong. We don't suffer from Gell/Mann Amnesia. You're still wrong.

Inga said...

It may well be that President Trump sought Cohen’s legal advice regarding the Daniels affair for an illegal purpose (e.g. to avoid federal campaign-finance laws or to conceal the true source of the funds with which she was paid or to threaten her). In that circumstance, it seems clear that the crime-fraud exception might apply—and it appears highly likely that the FBI and the lawyers in New York have made that showing to a federal magistrate. Or, as one observer put it: “Michael Cohen is in serious legal jeopardy.” President Trump may be as well.

ADDENDUM: A few helpful amplifications and additional points culled from some of the response to this original post:

The privilege is not just subject matter specific, it is also person-specific. So, for example, if Cohen had privileged information provided by Jared Kushner, only Kushner would be able to assert the privilege to protect it, not President Trump. This may not make that much difference, since Cohen is obliged to defend the privilege for Kusher to the same effect as if Trump had asked him to. But if, hypothetically, Kushner waived the privilege in an effort to cooperate with the New York investigators, Trump could not complain.
Information shared with a third party is not privileged ever. So anything that Cohen might have said to Daniels or her attorney, for example, is outside the scope of the privilege.

In order to be privileged, the information conveyed to the attorney must be for the purpose of seeking legal advice. So non-legal communications (e.g. instructions on how to secure funds or where to transfer money) are not generally protected.”

Kansas Scout said...

I am particularly interested in the opinion of a retired Wisc. Law Prof.

Inga said...

Leland, last night, multiple news outlets were reporting that Berman signed off on the warrant. It was only reported today, this afternoon, that he was recused. I don’t have precognition, neither do you.

MountainMan said...

Link?

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/us-attorney-trump-appointee-recused-michael-cohen-investigation/story?id=54365546

Sorry, I don't have time to embed the link. Another story reported that the paperwork may have been signed by Robert Khuzami, who led the enforcement division of the SEC during the Obama administration.

Birkel said...

Inga cannot be blamed for repeating the lies "sources" told "reporters" that Inga credulously parroted.

I think calling her a liar when she is a true believing, credulous fool is unfair.

Unknown said...

> The reports say the FBI "vacuumed" Cohen's office, residence, and hotel room. That will leave a suspicion that whatever they may claim, they were really looking for something to charge Trump with and just used whatever they claim against Cohen as an excuse to carry out a "bag job."

Wrong framing.

Trump is to be tried in the court of public opinion.

They grabbed all they could from his fixer. Anything these bozos get their hands on can be leaked. This sets up a chain of "good things" - Dems take Congress, impeachment.

If there is anything they can cast into some legal violation, they can "prove it another way" or spin it off to another investigation.

It's the worst kind of fishing expedition, and it can happen to Trump, it can happen you deplorables.

bolivar di griz said...

Khuzaimi who came from Deutsche bank, that guy?

Inga said...

“Inga cannot be blamed for repeating the lies "sources" told "reporters" that Inga credulously parroted.”

Sorry Birkel, I won’t link to the rightist shit you read. No matter how many times they may get some some reporting wrong, they are heads and shoulders above the rightist rags you read. Althouse links often to the news outlets I quote from, but not to yours, now why would that be?

bolivar di griz said...

Mueller firm btw was in partnership with Deutsche bank


https://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/29/business/dealbook/secs-kara-stein-takes-aim-at-deutsche-bank.html?mtrref=www.google.com&gwh=425C258F16A1E0D4D1C97A1703774EE1&gwt=pay

Bob Boyd said...

@ MountainMan

Thanks.

Mike Smyth said...

the US Attorney for SDNY recused himself because he was appointed by Trump and Trump had him to the White House for a talk. The US Attorney did not want to show a "bias" for Trump if the US Attorney turned down the search warrant.

Ken B said...

Actually Chuck, he did address that. He argues the DOJ having the information is a violation even if they don’t present it in court. This seems right doesn’t it? The violation doesn’t depend on being used in court surely. If the cops raid your home and find your sex tape with Inga, and post it online but never present it in court is that okay?

Birkel said...

Inga,
Some thanks I get for defending you.

Tommy Duncan said...

ARM said: "If Berman had a problem with how his office was being used he always had an option. Chew on that for a while."

Berman was recused.

Recuse - to remove (oneself) from participation to avoid a conflict of interest

bagoh20 said...

I've been listening and reading Dershowitz for years and have read at least one of his books. He does not belong to the modern left. I wish he could admit that. His vote for Hillary was just more of him not being able to admit he's not a liberal by today's standards which are based on winning politically at all costs including lying, cheating, corruption, and shedding the Constitution at will. I think he is one of many who share much of the modern conservative ideology, but are still stuck with an innate distaste for the brand. It's like my affection for fanny packs and the mullet, along side my gutless inability to wear either for fear being ostracized by my friends.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Captain Obvious said...
Berman was recused


But if he felt his office was being misused in any way he could have spoken up, he could have resigned or he could have gone on FOX and friends and spoken directly to the president. He had options, if he felt his office was being misused. Apparently he did not.

bagoh20 said...

If this ever led to a Trump impeachment, his popularity would soar. In fact, he might enjoy and exploit that as the next plot line in his epic life. It makes him a martyr and heroic in a way that even being a good President would never quite reach. The drama and attention of that would be biblical, and guess who gets crucified and still comes out alive in the end.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

bagoh20 said...
If this ever led to a Trump impeachment, his popularity would soar. In fact, he might enjoy and exploit that as the next plot line in his epic life. It makes him a martyr and heroic in a way that even being a good President would never quite reach.


I largely agree with this, including the part about him being more popular than if he had been a good president.

Rob McLean said...

Sorry, "civil liberties" are only for the people we agree with. NEXT!

madAsHell said...

Some thanks I get for defending you.

Like my father would say.......Why would you get in bed with someone that has more problems, and less money than yourself??

BUMBLE BEE said...

Nice catch bolivar...

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Lots of yokels on this thread confusing basic legal procedure with politics. SAD!

Knowing the distinction is what keeps us from becoming a tyrannical banana republic.

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BUMBLE BEE said...

bagoh20... Yep, the ULTIMATE win! For Mueller, well, the new "McCarthy".

Inga said...

“the US Attorney for SDNY recused himself because he was appointed by Trump and Trump had him to the White House for a talk. The US Attorney did not want to show a "bias" for Trump if the US Attorney turned down the search warrant.”

Then Trump getting rid of Preet Bharara and appointing Berman to that very district (the one on which he lived), actually backfired on Trump. Trump probably put him in there thinking he was going to be loyal to him and not prosecute him for anything. As it turned out Berman might have recused himself to save himself from appearing to be biased for Trump. Ironic.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Anyone on this thread railing against what happened I'm bestowing a new name:

Banana Republicans.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Mueller, Rosenstein and the NYAG have integrity.

The Banana Republicans in this comments section do not.

Francisco D said...

Inga,

You are embarrassingly ignorant and (I suspect) stupid.

I strongly suspect you live in a leftist fantasy world where only hope, puerile supposition and vibrators matter.

bolivar di griz said...

I recall taibbi had pointed him out, particular his lack of enforcement of subprime players at the sec, and he worked with fitz and Mccarthy on the blinf0d sheikh trial.

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Toothless Revolutionary said...

If anyone needed lessons on being boring, they could always ask Francisco D to answer the call.

He'd be happy to come in useful for once.

buwaya said...

"Lots of yokels on this thread confusing basic legal procedure with politics. SAD!"

There is no difference. Everything is really about power, except in the case of trivial things concerning only unimportant people where outcomes don't matter. Where it does matter the law amounts to mere ritualism to disguise the results of a genuine power struggle.

"Knowing the distinction is what keeps us from becoming a tyrannical banana republic."

You already are a banana republic, the greatest, richest one ever. All of these banana republics are at least unfair, but only some are tyrannical. It remains to be seen just how tyrannical this one is going to be.

bolivar di griz said...

All of these aha moments (it was trumps own moninee, and guiliani law partner) no it wasnt, is brandished to make it took legit but like the contreras ex part with strzok and page its nothing of the kind.

Inga said...

Francisco you are an embarrassment to your (purported) profession and likely brain damaged from overuse of psychotropics.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Francisco you are embarrassment to your (purported) profession and likely brain damaged from overuse of psychotropics.

He definitely is a nasty one.

The very antithesis of positive psychology.

Francisco is one of the originators the school of nihilistic psychology.

Some people are interested in promoted human flourishing. Fran's all about human diminishing.

Inga said...

“He'd be happy to come in useful for once.”

Based on his “contributions” to any given thread, he’s as useful as tits on a bull.

Brian said...

How could a lawyer giving business advice not be covered?

"Is it legal to sell this product?" is business advice.


IANAL, but my understanding:

"Is it legal to sell this product?" Business advicen not privileged. (But it is work product, right?!).

"I might have sold this product, did I do something illegal?" (i.e. what's my exposure) Attorney Client privilege.


Original Mike said...

Blogger Inga said...”I don’t have precognition...”

You’ve been telling us for months how the Trump collusion probe is going to turn out, and now you tell us this.

My faith in you has been shattered.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Fran D clearly does not believe in the importance of human potential. Why go into psychology then, unless he's a shyster?

I'd call him a disappointment but that would imply that anyone ever had any expectations of him.

Inga said...

“Fran D clearly does not believe in the importance of human potential. Why go into psychology then, unless he's a shyster?”

Bingo, shyster it is. I’ve thought so for quite sometime. A fraud, a fake, just like Trump who he identifies with, evidently. I know of no psychologist with his vileness. Such a person would never last in the field.

walter said...

I see Ed Hominem's getting his groove on.

Inga said...

“I see Ed Hominem's getting his groove on.”

Yes Francisco sure is groovin’.

BUMBLE BEE said...

bagoh20 ...With the presidential power to declassify, I'd wager his memoirs could revive the newspaper industry. Check and Mate.

themightypuck said...

The trick is to realize the world you are in and appoint a special prosecutor to tit-for-tat any overreach against your people. Balance of power. It is the very basis of the American system of government (as opposed to Lockean property rights the libertarians hang their dreams on).

Brian said...

The warrant application in this case was, presumably, pursued under the guidelines set forth in the U.S. Attorneys' Manual.

And if it's shown that the warrant applicant wasn't pursued under those guidelines? I would have agreed with you as a matter of course normally, but after the FISA warrant shenanigans I'm not so sure.

Hopefully they didn't quote CNN saying Cohen was a "fixer" as one of the reasons they needed a warrant in the application.

bolivar di griz said...

The whole point of this sham tribunal that was touched off with the dossier authorizing the taps on carter page, was to checkmate any response.

walter said...

Ah..you trickster, you Inga!

Birkel said...

Last night: Trump's appointee signed off and that makes this the best thing ever. Trump is done.

Today: Last night never happened. And besides a judge had to approve this and it's the best thing ever. Trump is done.

Confirmation bias in real time. Expressed so othe people can see. In less than 24 hours.

Brian said...

Assume the following facts:
1) Stormy and Trump had a physical encounter
2) Trump and other women had physical encounters
3) Cohen facilitated payment to Stormy with an NDA (not an assumption as both have stated it's fact)
4) Cohen had NDA's with other Trump women he had enounters with. Either with Trump's knoweldge or not.
5.) These encounters (and NDA's) go back years (before he ran for president).

Isn't that'a a defense for campaign finance violations? Stormy's payment wasn't done because of the campaign. We've been doing this for a long time, see exhibits A, B and C.

Hell, I had a macro for these agreements. Business as Usual.

Hard to argue then that you only did it to contribute to the campaign.

bolivar di griz said...

First what evidence of the first fact, then the second, is dubious, the third seems probable because of that access Hollywood tape,(remember they kept weinstein under wraps)

FullMoon said...

Interesting. Inga's avatar similar to the one Toothless used in the past.

Imitation/flattery? Birds of a feather? Strange bedfellows...

Brian said...

I'm saying assume they are facts, not that they are. Hypothetically. I think Chuck would agree with all 5. Trump is a liar liar after all.

Birkel said...

Brian,
I made precisely the same argument to Chuck more than a week ago. He evaded pondering that possibility and SERIOUSLY DESTROYED a straw man.

traditionalguy said...

FTR: Bank loans must be classified as for business investment or for personal purposes the better to Regulate the Bank Portfolio's risk by the FDIC.

That is no more than a one sentence statement signed by the borrower. Other than that, There is no disclosure rule for what the loan will be used for. The loan purpose statemental rule is to keep the Bankers honest.

Mueller is just a fraud who demands respect for his power to abuse people.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Interesting. Inga's avatar similar to the one Toothless used in the past.

Imitation/flattery? Birds of a feather? Strange bedfellows...


You should try inspecting our anuses for extra special conspiratorial pleasure.

Yep - eyeballs. What an odd choice for an avatar. No one likes looking at eyes. And Banana Republicans are afraid of what the person they're looking at might see.

tcrosse said...

TTR loves to sock cucks.

FullMoon said...

You should try inspecting our anuses for extra special conspiratorial pleasure..

Kind of surprised Inga goes for that...learn something every day.

mandrewa said...

Rigelsen said,

I find this absolutely scary. This is banana republic territory, where the rule of law doesn’t matter, instead the law is simply whatever the people in charge say it is. It’s as if these prosecutors starting with Rosenstein, Mueller, and the FBI have lost all their limiters. Nothing matters as long as they get their guy...

I agree.

chickelit said...

@tcrosse: No, he just loves to cuck his own sock.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

I find this absolutely scary. This is banana republic territory, where the rule of law doesn’t matter, instead the law is simply whatever the people in charge say it is.

You mean, people like Trump?

It’s as if these prosecutors starting with Rosenstein, Mueller, and the FBI have lost all their limiters.

Oh for god sake. Apparently they never got your memo to lay off anyone affiliated with President Bonespurs no matter what the evidence shows. Sounds like that's the "limiter" you had in mind. That the president is extra special beyond the law territory. Or as Nixon said, "If the president does it, it's legal."

Banana Republicans indeed. It's like listening to members of a cult.

chickelit said...

I respect Robert Cook for his first comment,

Birkel said...

This whole thing is the 'Insurance Policy' cooked up in Andy's Office with Strozk, Page, and several other FBI/DOJ officials.

TTR thinks insurance policies that overturn elections are legit and anybody who disagrees is foolish.

The psychology is truly amazing.

Confirmation bias is an amazing thing to observe in real time.

PackerBronco said...

Mueller has a legal mandate to keep investigating until he finds something.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Where was the FBi raid of all things Clinton? She set up a Private Server in order to hide what she was doing then destroyed most of the evidence.

bolivar di griz said...

The beatings will continue till, say he has to pay 5.5 million for a mistake.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

The collective left still believe "hands up don't shoot " really happened and that the media who exploited that lie do not have blood on their hands after all the police executions around the nation.

PackerBronco said...

Blogger Chest Rockwell said...
I understand it, there's a very high bar to clear in order to seize these communications.


I'm so old I remember when there was a high bar to get FISA warrants.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

This whole thing is the 'Insurance Policy' cooked up in Andy's Office with Strozk, Page, and several other FBI/DOJ officials.

TTR thinks insurance policies that overturn elections are legit and anybody who disagrees is foolish.

The psychology is truly amazing.

Confirmation bias is an amazing thing to observe in real time.


Geez, Birkel. How many law schools did you flunk out of to come up with this pile of crap?

It's a nation of laws, not of men. There's no conspiracy broad enough to say one man taught all the lawyers to value law* over Trump and if not, then they're coup ringleaders ripe for your military standoff fantasies.

Cite the legal principle you're relying on to place Michael Cohen above the law. And why are you so dismissive of his business ties to Trump? Was he a business associate or a lawyer? And which of the prosecutors' evidence that was shown to that judge did you see?

*Unless you count Moses.

itzik basman said...

Analysis: The DOJ chain of command (including at least 2 Trump appointees) + a federal judge saw probable cause to green light coordinated FBI raids on the home, office & hotel room of POTUS' longtime personal lawyer & confidant. That's a big deal.

And from Andrew McCarthy:

...... Whenever a law office is searched, the Justice Department imposes safeguards to protect the attorney-client privilege. The search is conducted, and the materials seized are reviewed, by a “clean team” of prosecutors and agents who are knowledgeable about the investigation but are not working on it. The clean team determines what files are relevant to the matter under investigation, with any irrelevant files returned to the attorney. With respect to any files the clean team deems relevant, the attorney and any affected clients are given an opportunity to claim that the files contain privileged communications and should be returned. Where the parties cannot agree, such privilege claims are decided by a judge.

After this process has run its course, any documents that have been found relevant and unprivileged are provided to the prosecutors and agents handling the investigation. This way, the right to counsel is vindicated and the clean team ensures that the investigation team is not tainted by exposure to privileged communications. As I can attest, SDNY prosecutors and judges are adept at conducting this process with minimal intrusion on the attorney-client privilege.....

....

Birkel said...

TTR,
I got a D once in primary school.

FIDO said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Birkel said...

And my comment is precisely as responsive to your last as any of your posts ever are to mine.

So, you see, I am disciplined enough to mock you and never more. Chuck Schumer informed me the intelligence agencies had six ways from Sunday to get a man. I took his warning about extra-constitutional government action seriously.

Paired with FBI-DOJ text messages I believe the 'Insurance Policy' is operative.

I believe it because Chuck Schumer assured me that an unelected bureaucracy would attack a sitting president.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

So you admit that you don't know anything about how the law works. Always a great qualification in a conspiracy loon who rants about subverting the national leader.

Nice to know that in the state you'd prefer to live in, there is no such thing as a prosecuting attorney. Wonderful! Murderers, rapists, thieves and every other miscreant can rape and kill and steal at will.

You're about as anarchistic as the Sex Pistols - if the Sex Pistols were boring, idiotic nerds.

Birkel is the Cliff Clavin of anarchists.

Chuck said...

Brian said...
Assume the following facts:
1) Stormy and Trump had a physical encounter
2) Trump and other women had physical encounters
3) Cohen facilitated payment to Stormy with an NDA (not an assumption as both have stated it's fact)
4) Cohen had NDA's with other Trump women he had enounters with. Either with Trump's knoweldge or not.
5.) These encounters (and NDA's) go back years (before he ran for president).

Isn't that'a a defense for campaign finance violations? Stormy's payment wasn't done because of the campaign. We've been doing this for a long time, see exhibits A, B and C.

Hell, I had a macro for these agreements. Business as Usual.

Hard to argue then that you only did it to contribute to the campaign.

Okay we could assume those things but I believe that you wanted this to be a meaningful hypothetical. And by all accounts, while the sexual encounters go back many years to a time when Trump was still sexually active and before he had any notion of running for office, the payments and the NDA with Stormy Daniels (and the payoff by the Enquirer to Karen McDougal occurred during the later months of the campaign.

The timing of the sex doesn't matter. The timing and the nature of the payments matters. The timing was during the campaign; and the nature and methodology of the payment(s) seems to have been to avoid detection.

Balfegor said...

Re: Chuck:

The timing of the sex doesn't matter. The timing and the nature of the payments matters. The timing was during the campaign

That's why number 5 on his hypo included "(and NDA's)" -- to establish that Trump's lawyer didn't just start arranging NDAs during the campaign, but had a practice of doing it in the past as well. That was the whole point of the hypo. You may think that premise is false, but you can't just ignore the terms of the hypothetical.

Balfegor said...

Re: itzik basman:

Analysis: The DOJ chain of command (including at least 2 Trump appointees) + a federal judge saw probable cause to green light coordinated FBI raids on the home, office & hotel room of POTUS' longtime personal lawyer & confidant. That's a big deal.

It's a big deal, sure -- I don't think they even raided Marc Dreier's offices, and he was running a ponzi scheme from his law offices. But I think the constant invocation of Trump/POTUS here obscures and confuses more than it reveals. If this actually had some possible nexus with alleged misconduct by the President, I can't understand why Rosenstein would have decided that it should be referred out of the Mueller investigation, and back into a chain of command that reports to the President.

It sounds like he's involved since this is about payments to pornstars on his behalf, but if they thought the President had engaged in criminal conduct, well, they already have a special counsel, so just expand his jurisdiction:

(b)Additional jurisdiction. If in the course of his or her investigation the Special Counsel concludes that additional jurisdiction beyond that specified in his or her original jurisdiction is necessary in order to fully investigate and resolve the matters assigned, or to investigate new matters that come to light in the course of his or her investigation, he or she shall consult with the Attorney General, who will determine whether to include the additional matters within the Special Counsel's jurisdiction or assign them elsewhere.

Rosenstein's decision to refer this matter elsewhere suggests it didn't present the same kinds of issues that justified a special counsel in the first place.

Balfegor said...

None of that addresses the theory that Mueller and Rosenstein are all in on a conspiracy to unseat the President by seizing his communications with his attorney and leaking it to hostile media. But, even if I'm sooo in the minority here, I don't actually believe that.

Donatello Nobody said...

Inga is just too stupid or ignorant (embrace the healing power of 'and'!) to realize that the Southern District of New York is a Federal office. This is obvious to anyone with a nodding familiarity with national news, and has been pointed out to her several times, and she just continues on her merry, asinine yet insufferably contentious way. Why the eff would anyone bother engaging with her?

walter said...

Fortunately recent experience assures us these investigations..I mean matters..will go forward in a dispassionate, objective by the book manner...just like here in good ole Wisconsin.

Michael K said...

Oh, if Ritmo has awakened, it is a dead thread

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Speaking of waking up, my first comment here was seven hours ago, and my last was already two hours ago.

So it seems that this all occurred during your very long nap, Old Timer.

Time to ask the nanny to change your nappies, Old Fart Kennedy!

Michael K said...

So it seems that this all occurred during your very long nap, Old Timer.

I was out to dinner with my daughters.

Too bad your sperm are not motile.

Amadeus 48 said...

This whole thing is a joke, right? Mueller is running around the landscape trying to dig up a federal crime, and he comes up with bank fraud because someone anted up to pay hush money to a porn star? Thinking back to the good old days of Clinton/Starr/Lewinsky/the Meaning of Is, that also seems pretty comedic, too.
US politics continues to amaze--such a rich country, such good people, such dumb politicians and bureaucrats. And, of course, Cluzot-like figures like Starr and Mueller dot the landscape. That Comey guy has a real talent for playing the clueless dupe...can't wait to read his book on leadership And the Justice Department, which let Cheryl Mills sit in on HRC's deposition and thought it was great that McCabe would supervise the Hillary investigation after his wife got more than half a million simoleons for her VA legislative race from Terry McAuliffe, is beneath contempt.

Aristophanes, thou shouldst be living at this hour/America hath need of thee.

Skookum John said...

if he paid off a porn star and broke campaign finance laws in the process, he's an idiot. And as I understand it, there's a very high bar to clear in order to seize these communications.

It's now apparent that either Trump is in fact a criminal idiot as the Left has been claiming, or he is the victim of a cabal of unelected civil "servants" who have decided to mount a coup against the Constitutional order. No third option. What a huge roll of the dice.

Two years ago, I was scathingly critical of Donald Trump and dead set on voting for Gary Johnson. Today, if it turns out that the Clintonistas have been engaged in a criminal conspiracy to use the fearsome powers of the 3-letter agencies to overturn the election, I'd be in favor of public execution by firing squad for all of them, and a third-term mulligan for Trump.

Bob Loblaw said...

It's now apparent that either Trump is in fact a criminal idiot as the Left has been claiming, or he is the victim of a cabal of unelected civil "servants" who have decided to mount a coup against the Constitutional order. No third option. What a huge roll of the dice.

Based on what we know about communications among the various higher ups at the FBI, the later is much, much more likely.

Bob Loblaw said...

Though I can't dismiss the possibility they're both true.

Michael McNeil said...

Althouse links often to the news outlets I quote from, but not to yours, now why would that be?

Good question! Maybe at some point Althouse can clarify how much her linking “to the news outlets” Inga “often… quotes from” vis-a-vis those she and Inga do not (to the extent those really are a common set), ought to be regarded as an authoritative endorsement of the former and deprecation of the latter?

Clyde said...

When did Iron Bob Mueller and the boys move DOJ and FBI headquarters to Dzerzhinsky Square? Man, this country morphed in the Soviet Union so quickly that I didn't even notice.

Kevin said...

I think he is one of many who share much of the modern conservative ideology, but are still stuck with an innate distaste for the brand.

He's Jewish. To vote against the Democrats is to repudiate large parts of his self-identity.

Given the fallout he's already received from his community for backing Hillary but slamming Mueller, imagine how things would change for him if he actually voted for Trump.

Kevin said...

Frankly, I think Dershowitz should take over Trump's legal team and I'm sure that's been discussed. He's great on TV and it would immediately create a perception in the left-leaning pubic that perhaps Mueller has crossed some lines.

I don't think he can do it from a personal perspective, however. He would be throwing away most of his friends and community that he's built over decades.

The shunning on the left knows no bounds.

Bruce Hayden said...

“Then Trump getting rid of Preet Bharara and appointing Berman to that very district (the one on which he lived), actually backfired on Trump. Trump probably put him in there thinking he was going to be loyal to him and not prosecute him for anything. As it turned out Berman might have recused himself to save himself from appearing to be biased for Trump. Ironic.”

Well, Bharara wouldn’t have recused himself, or allowed himself to be recused. Instead, he, no doubt, would have been the one in court filing for the warrant, leading the search of Cohen’s hotel room, with the press in attendance, and then personally leading the “taint” team. Remember, this was the same guy who put fellow Indian-American Dinesh D’Sousa in prison for making two small illegal contributions to the losing campaign bid of a good friend from college, after having had the effrontery of writing several books critical of Baharara’s boss, President Obama. And after that, and other partisan atrocities, this is the guy who thought that he had convinced Trump to keep him over from the Obama Administration as a US Attorney, and the only Obama/Lynch USA who ignored the request to resign and had to be fired.

Which gets me to the point I made last night. What do Loretta Lynch, James Comey, and Preet Bharara have in common? They were all the SDNY USA, and pretty much appointed each and every AUSA in the office there, under 3 Administrations. Yes, Lynch was the SDNY USA under both Clinton (no, not Crooked Hillary, but the one who actually got elected) and Obama. You ask why shouldn’t we trust the career prosecutors at the SDNY to do their job professionally, ethically, and legally? I repeat those three names: Lynch; Comey; and Bharara, who most likely oversaw their appointment. This was the office that one of the Clinton (yes, the Crooked One this time) investigations was sent by Lynch and Comey knowing that they could keep a close eye on it and make sure it didn’t accidentally actually lead to anything embarrassing to Clinton (the anointed one again).

Birkel said...

Me: No pearls to swine. (9:37PM paraphrase)
TTR: Ah ha! You admit you know nothing. (9:50PM paraphrase)

Me: Inga cannot be blamed for repeating the lies "sources" told "reporters" that Inga credulously parroted. (6:40PM quote)
Inga: I won’t link to the rightist shit you read. (6:52PM quote)

Demonstrating the poor faith of these two is always fun.

And the Leftist Collectivists I know in other situations convinces me that BAMN is a true acronym. Any means are acceptable to the committed Leftist Collectivists.

PB said...

The ends justify the means.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Andrew McCarthy is an extreme partisan but he also worked for the U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York so he understands how crazy the conspiratorial theories bandied about here sound to anyone with some knowledge of the real world. He walks a fine line in trying to keep his readers happy.

"The Trump camp suggests that there is a sinister tag-team arrangement between the special counsel’s office and the SDNY (whose public-corruption chief, Andrew Goldstein, is now working on Mueller’s staff). But that is hard to square with the fact that Mueller did not need a cat’s paw: If he wanted to control the campaign-finance investigation, he could have done so by simply asking Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to expand his jurisdiction — similar to what Clinton independent counsel Kenneth Starr did when the Lewinsky scandal emerged in the midst of his unrelated Whitewater investigation."

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Also from Andrew McCarthy:

"There’s one problem with a mitigation strategy, though. To carry it off requires a measure of genuine contrition — being sorry for what happened and for any technical violation of law that may have resulted. That would start with some self-awareness. This particular scandal was not caused by the Russia investigation, much as Trump seems determined to conflate the two. It is not the work of Bob Mueller, Jeff Sessions, or Rod Rosenstein. None of them had anything to do with the porn star going public. It was Trump’s conduct that caused this mess; it was the hare-brained scheme to cover up the mess that brings us to this pass."

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