Legal experts are questioning the conduct on the part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team, which raided the office of President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen. Commenting on the raid in an interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News was famed constitutional law expert and lifelong Democrat Alan Dershowitz,who denounced the ACLU and civil libertarians for their "deafening silence"  over what he called a potential "intrusion into lawyer-client confidentiality."

Also, President Trump tweeted on Tuesday: "Attorney-client privilege is dead!"

 

 

"If this were Hillary Clinton being investigated and they went into her lawyer's office, the ACLU would be on every television station in America jumping up and down," said Dershowitz on Sean Hannity's FOX News show. The former Harvard law professors said that the raid were a "very dangerous day" for the attorney-client privilege. "I deal with clients all the time," he explained. "I tell them on my word of honor that what you tell me is sacrosanct. And now they say just based on probable cause even though there was cooperation with Cohen, they can burst into the office, grab all the computers and then give it to another FBI agent and say you are 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."

Saying that Mueller, a former FBI director, and his team were "overzealous," Dershowitz said that they are determined to get at President Trump and those close to him. "He is just determined to get his target," Dershowitz said of Mueller. "And when you appoint somebody to be a special counsel, there is a target on the back of the president. The target on the back of people close to the president."

Partial transcript:

ALAN DERSHOWITZ: I think actually this does show us something significant about the investigation. I do think a decision has been made from the very top that the Mueller investigation is stick to Russia collusion, the campaign, obstruction of justice and anything else relating to Trump's business dealings, any alleged relationships or payments to women will be given over to the Southern District of New York (SDNY). Now, they'll work together. And this may be an attempt to squeeze [Michael] Cohen. He's the lawyer. He is the guy who knows all the facts about Donald Trump. And to get him to turn against his client. 

Look, this is a very dangerous day today for lawyer-client relations. I deal with clients all the time. I tell them on my word of honor that what you tell me is sacrosanct. And now they say just based on probable cause even though there was cooperation with Cohen, they can burst into the office, grab all the computers and then give it to another FBI agent and say you are 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. 

You know, if this were the shoe on the other foot. If this were Hillary Clinton being investigated and they went into her lawyer's office, the ACLU would be on every television station in America jumping up and down. The deafening silence of the ACLU and civil libertarians about the intrusion into the lawyer-client confidentiality is really appalling.

From now on, Dershowitz said, both sides will engage in what he called a “scorched earth policy.” Offering advice to the president, Dershowitz said that Trump should obtain any client-attorney material between himself and attorney Cohen and have it turned over to a court in order to determine what is covered by privilege. Otherwise, Mueller can gather information on Trump.

Partial transcript:

DERSHOWITZ: Well, they're zealous. Many people think they're overzealous. I don't think they're partisans. Here you and I might disagree. I don't think they care whether they hurt the Democrats or the Republicans. Some on the team may. I don't think that's Mueller's approach. He is just determined to get his target. And when you appoint somebody to be a special counsel, there is a target on the back of the president. The target on the back of people close to the president. 

SEAN HANNITY: Has he lost perspective? 

DERSHOWITZ: I think he has lost perspective. And I think that that happens when overzealous prosecutors are given a target. And the concern now is that there won't be cooperation. I think we will now see a scorched earth policy on both sides. Look, I don't give advice to the president except on television if he wants to listen, he can listen. But if I were the president, I would at least seriously consider going to court tomorrow, seeking to have a judge get ahold of all the lawyer-client material, take it away from the prosecutor, take it away from the FBI. Don't let an FBI agent look at any of them. Have the judge go through it and have the judge make a determination as to whether there is anything in there that is lawyer-client privilege.

On Monday, President Trump reacted to news of the FBI raid by saying that it is a "disgrace" and "It's an attack on our country in a true sense. It's an attack on what we all stand for." Moreover, he criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions and said he wished that he an nominated another. Trump lashed out at Sessions from recusing himself from the probe into supposed Russian meddling into the 2016 election.

On Lou Dobbs’ show on Fox, Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch called on Trump to “intervene and save the Justice Department and FBI from themselves." Fitton said, "The special counsel has been out of control from the moment he was appointed," Fitton declared. "He was appointed based on a crime, [former FBI Director] James Comey leaking records that weren't his to leak."

"He's been given run of the Justice Department," Fitton said, adding: "The problem is the Justice Department is out of control."

"Mueller seems to be running the show on many issues, including directing Justice Department resources to raid the lawyer of the United States over the seemingly minor issue of whether there was a campaign violation of a little over $100,000," he said referring to the money paid by Cohen to porn star Stormy Daniels to keep silent about an alleged fling with the president,” Fitton said. "Mr. Mueller needs to be shut down," he said, warning that pursuing that line of questioning is "going to destroy the reputation of the Justice Department . . ."  Fitton said, that the Department of Justice "has little credibility with many Americans that it can fairly administer justice."

Lou Dobbs and Fox News legal analyst Greg Jarrett were also critical of Special Counsel Mueller. "We're witnessing an orchestrated assault on the President of the United States," Dobbs said. Jarrett said, "The Attorney General is incompetent, the FBI is corrupt, and Robert Mueller and [Assistant Attorney General] Rod Rosenstein are unethical and abusive of the legal process. All of them deserve to be fired, not that I'm suggesting the president should do it," noting the unwanted political fallout that would result.

Denouncing what he called Mueller’s "thuggish tactics," Dobbs said, "He had a reputation for being a reckless and egregiously abusive investigator and prosecutor." Dobbs said, "But now he is taking it to a new level. Immediately we recall the pre-dawn raid of Manafort's home . . . This is now a man that has to be brought under control, it would seem to me. Frankly, I can't imagine, because each of us has to come to terms with our own heart and conscience –– I would fire the SOB in three seconds if it were me."

Former Secret Service agent Don Bongino called on President Trump to ignore media scrutiny and instead fire Mueller.

 

 

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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