Dershowitz on FBI raid of Trump attorney: ‘Dangerous day today for lawyer-client relations’

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Attorney Alan Dershowitz called an FBI raid on the office of Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, “a very dangerous day today for lawyer-client relations” in an interview on Fox News on Monday night. 

“This may be an attempt to squeeze Cohen,” Dershowitz, who is also an opinion contributor for The Hill, told host Sean Hannity. “He’s the lawyer, he’s the guy who knows all the facts about Donald Trump, and to get him to turn against his client.”

“This is a very dangerous day today for lawyer-client relations,” he added.

The FBI raided Cohen’s office on Monday, seizing emails, tax documents and records related to his $130,000 payment to adult-film star Stormy Daniels.

In order to conduct the raid, the FBI needed to get approval from a judge and, likely, higher-ups in the Justice Department. While attorney–client privilege generally protects communications between a lawyer and a client, law enforcement is allowed to pierce the privilege if the communications are used to further a crime.

“I tell [clients] on my word of honor that what you tell me is sacrosanct,” Dershowitz added later. “And now they say, just based on probable cause … they can burst into the office, grab all the computers, and then give it to another FBI agent and say, ‘You’re the firewall. We want you now to read all these confidential communications, tell us which ones we can get and which ones we can’t get.'”

“If this were Hillary Clinton being investigated and they went into her lawyer’s office, the [American Civil Liberties Union] would be on every television station in America, jumping up and down,” he said. 

According to a Monday New York Times report, the raid does not appear to be directly connected to special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of possible collusion between Trump campaign officials and the Russians during the 2016 election. 

The president took to Twitter on Tuesday to echo Dershowitz’s perspective. 

“Attorney–client privilege is dead!” he wrote to his 50.2 million followers. 

“It’s a real disgrace,” Trump said to reporters at the White House on Monday afternoon after news of the raid broke.  “It’s an attack on what we all stand for.”

“We’ll see what happens. … Many people have said, ‘You should fire him,’ ” the president added when asked if he was considering firing Mueller.

Tags Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Robert Mueller
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