Famed Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz has real concerns about the FBI’s raid last week of the office and hotel room of President Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen
Dershowitz, who had dinner with the president last week, appeared on Fox News to say he does not believe Trump will fire special counsel Robert Mueller, but compared raiding Cohen’s office to the bureau raiding a doctor’s office. He cited lawyer/client privilege and said the tactic should only be used as a last resort.
“There’s something very wrong with that,” Dershowitz declared, after explaining what likely took place during the raid.
He noted that Cohen doesn’t appear to be up against serious charges, although the Justice Department did announce Friday that the attorney has been “under criminal investigation” for months because of his business dealings.
Nonetheless, the embattled lawyer does not appear to be sweating bullets over his legal troubles.
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In the wake of the raid, the law professor said in an op-ed that a new law is needed to protect lawyer-client communications in an op-ed.
“The raid on President Trump’s lawyer dramatically demonstrates the need for new legislation to assure that no FBI agents or U.S. attorneys ever get to read privileged communications between a lawyer and a client, a doctor and patient, a priest and penitent, or a husband and wife,” he wrote.
Dershowitz, explained that a “taint team,” which consists of a number of FBI agents and prosecutors, reads all material obtained during such a raid, approving material that is not privileged, but those who make up the team also see confidential material and “must be trusted not to leak it or misuse it in any way.”
And we already know how that tends to work out.
“A law should be enacted under which anytime the government is seeking to search an office or home that may contain confidential and privileged information, the search team must be accompanied by a judicial officer – a judge, a magistrate or someone appointed to fulfill that function,” Dershowitz said.
He added that the judicial officer, who “can be trusted not to leak far better than FBI agents or prosecutors,” should be the only one ever to read material may eventually be deemed confidential.
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