The FBI gave Hillary a free pass for national security violations; now it conducted an outrageous raid against Trump’s attorney right before the IG report.
This morning, the DOJ, based on allegations passed on by Bob Mueller, executed a warrant on Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, sweeping up a host of material covered by attorney client privilege. Indications are that the information related to Stormy Daniels, something completely unrelated to a single thing about Trump-Russian collusion.
[Update 1: By all accounts, Cohen was fully cooperating with the FBI and DOJ. So why and how this warrant? The procedure for issuing this particular warrant would have had to pass a high bar and involved multiple people at DOJ. My suspicion, reinforced by the following from Liz Shields at PJM, is that it is the mother of all fishing expeditions:
One thing is curious: Mr. Cohen was cooperating with the authorities, so why were the jackboots brought in? A special team of agents will need to go through the material in order to identify communications that are protected under attorney-client relationship. If the New York agents just happen to find something relevant to Mueller’s investigation they can turn it over to the special counsel, The New York Times reports.
So just who made the decision to seek a warrant in this matter? We’re still waiting to find out. It is just being reported that the AG for the Southern District of New York, a Trump appointee, was recused from this matter and he, just like Jeff Sessions did with Rosenstein, turned the matter over to someone else in his office — all with the approval of Rosenstein. Rosenstein also approved the warrant at issue here.]
[Update: Andy McCarthy, writing at NRO, puts the investigation of Cohen in perspective:
Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign was caught hiding the sources of 1,300 large campaign donations, aggregating to nearly $2 million. The campaign also accepted more than $1.3 million in unlawful donations from contributors who had already given the legal maximum.
Under federal law, such campaign-finance violations, if they aggregate to just $25,000 in a calendar year, may be treated as felonies punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment . . .
The Obama campaign did not have a defense; it argued in mitigation that the unlawful donations constituted a negligible fraction of the monumental amount it had raised from millions of “grass-roots” donors. Compelling? Maybe not, but enough to convince the Obama Justice Department not to prosecute the Obama campaign — shocking, I know. During the Christmas holiday season right after the 2012 campaign, with Obama safely reelected and nobody paying much attention, the matter was quietly settled with the payment of a $375,000 fine.
Is the $130,000 in hush money Donald Trump’s personal lawyer paid to porn star Stormy Daniels on the eve of the 2016 election a campaign-finance violation? Probably, although it’s a point of contention. Even if we stipulate that it is, though, we’re talking comparative chump change.
Yet, as that lawyer, Michael Cohen, has discovered, what was not a crime in the Obama days is the crime of the century now. . . .
This is a mockery of equal justice, which makes the execution of this warrant look like an utter abuse of our legal system, all in an effort to overturn the results of the 2016 election.]
This warrant is from the same bastards who have yet – two years after the fact – to execute a warrant to verify that the single most basic fact of the collusion story, that the DNC server was hacked by the Russians. This from the same bastards that allowed Hillary to maintain her private server for months after it became known that she had run all State Dept. business through that server, all but certainly exposing thousands of confidential, secret and top secret documents and items of information in violation of our state secrets laws. During that time, Hillary and her attorney wiped that server clean. And now these bastards, seemingly having found nothing on which to charge Trump relating to Russian collusion, and having given Hillary and her team a pass on crystal clear felonies, go after Trump and/or his personal attorney on a technical violation of election law? These worthless bastards are out of control.
It is hard to express just how outrageous this is [Update: though Alan Dershowitz does a good job of it]:
The attorney–client privilege is one of the oldest recognized privileges for confidential communications. The United States Supreme Court has stated that by assuring confidentiality, the privilege encourages clients to make “full and frank” disclosures to their attorneys, who are then better able to provide candid advice and effective representation.
Indeed, the Attorney Client privilege is not merely judge made law well over a century old, it is part of the Federal Rules of Evidence passed into law by Congress. If a prosecutor is even thinking of violating it, he has a high bar to overcome. That is doubly so in this case where the warrant was issued ex parte, without any chance for Trump or his attorney to object and be heard. [Read more…]