Alan M. Dershowitz, the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law Emeritus at Harvard Law School, wrote that the leak of a telephone conversation between then-candidate Donald Trump and attorney Michael Cohen should be a wake up call for all Americans because it may “discourage clients, patients, penitents and others from confiding in their lawyers, doctors, priests and the professionals who promise them confidentiality. Cohen promised confidentiality and yet the world heard what his client confided in him.”
The famed legal expert added that Cohen’s claims against Trump are in doubt because “people who are willing improperly to leak confidential material may also be willing to lie about it under oath…” He noted that while leaking is not a crime, but perjury is indeed.
Dershowitz wrote that the conversation between Trump and Cohen had been deemed by a judge to be privileged. Even so, someone leaked it and Trump's current lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, waived the privilege as to that tape. According to Dershowitz, Giuliani said “he never would have waived it had its existence and content not been improperly leaked.” While if someone in the Trump camp leaked the material, he wrote, there would be no violation of confidentiality. No one else, especially Trump’s lawyer, can properly waive the privilege, Dershowitz wrote. Giuliani has steadfastly denied that the tape was leaked by Trump or anyone on his behalf.
Dershowitz doubts that it was Cohen’s lawyer, Lanny Davis, who leaked the tape. But Cohen himself is suspect. The identity of the leaker is important, Dershowitz wrote.
“The reason this is important to all Americans, beyond the immediate parties to this taped conversation, is that it may well discourage clients, patients, penitents and others from confiding in their lawyers, doctors, priests and the professionals who promise them confidentiality. Cohen promised confidentiality and yet the world heard what his client confided in him.” The fact that the conversation was recorded is bad, wrote Dershowitz, while leaking is an ethical violation that merits disbarment. “We must find out who is the source of this damaging leak — damaging to all Americans who place their faith in the promise of confidentiality from the professionals in whom they confide.
Dershowitz called for presiding Judge Kimba Wood to hold a hearing of any suspects and asked under oath whether they leaked the tape or whether they know who did. So far, he notes, there has been little expressed interest in identifying the leaker and no call for investigation. He believes that Americans were hurt when the leak exposed a privileged conversation, thus harming the principle of confidentiality.
Arrived back in Washington last night from a very emotional reopening of a major U.S. Steel plant in Granite City, Illinois, only to be greeted with the ridiculous news that the highly conflicted Robert Mueller and his gang of 13 Angry Democrats obviously cannot find Collusion...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 27, 2018
....,the only Collusion with Russia was with the Democrats, so now they are looking at my Tweets (along with 53 million other people) - the rigged Witch Hunt continues! How stupid and unfair to our Country....And so the Fake News doesn’t waste my time with dumb questions, NO,....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 27, 2018
.....I did NOT know of the meeting with my son, Don jr. Sounds to me like someone is trying to make up stories in order to get himself out of an unrelated jam (Taxi cabs maybe?). He even retained Bill and Crooked Hillary’s lawyer. Gee, I wonder if they helped him make the choice!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 27, 2018
In a series of tweets, President Trump expressed repeated his contention that he had not engaged in any collusion with Russians in the run-up to his election in 2016. Moreover, he said that he did not know about the meeting his son, Donald Trump Jr., had with a Russian lawyer linked to the Kremlin in 2016. He also suggested the Cohen has turned on him in the hopes of getting himself “out of an unrelated jam (Taxi cabs, maybe?).” Cohen is represented by Lanny Davis, a close associate of both Hillary and Bill Clinton.