FBI’s grab of Trump’s legal files sends a dangerous message

By Stuart J. Moskovitz, Esq.

Stuart J Moskovitz

Even if you don’t like Trump….

I’ve posted this in Monmouth County News because similar actions have happened not just in Washington, but right out of Red Bank and concerns everyone in this County who believes that a free society should remain so.

We are a divided country. We are a polarized country. That polarization is posing one of the most serious internal dangers to our nation and our notions of democracy.

Like every other attorney, I have told my clients that whatever they tell me is absolutely privileged under the doctrine of attorney-client privilege. That doctrine exists in every state. It exists in the federal system. It is close to sacrosanct. There are extremely few exceptions and they require overcoming the highest burdens imaginable to breach.

When the FBI grabbed all of Michael Cohen’s files, they sent a dangerous message that every LIBERAL, not just Conservative, should fear. You see, you might be overjoyed at the fact that Trump’s lawyer had his Trump files confiscated. After all, anything that can bring down Trump is worth it, regardless of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments, the First Amendment, or any of the other liberties we have taken for granted.

But think about this when you’ve stopped popping the champagne corks.

The FBI didn’t just take Cohen’s Trump files, they took each and every file that Cohen had not only for Trump but for every one of his other clients.

So, let’s say you hired a lawyer any time in the last five or ten years and told him or her some private matters of which you normally would not have spoken if it weren’t for attorney-client privilege. You told him or her those things because you believed they would be as confidential as a confessional.

Then you find out that your lawyer was representing someone else being investigated by the FBI. You find out the FBI thinks your lawyer was cooperating in a criminal endeavor, or at least made that case to a federal judge in order to obtain your lawyer’s files. How do you feel about the FBI having a file with all of your personal confidential admissions? How do you think Michael Cohen’s OTHER innocent clients feel?

Still popping those champagne bottles?

Have you said anything in confidence to any lawyer who may at one time or another have represented Jared Kushner, whether or not it involved his properties in Long Branch? Still popping champagne corks?

At some point, we as a nation must put the welfare of the nation, the importance of our liberties ahead of partisan zealousness. At some point we as a nation must recognize that we have standards, principles, that we cannot sacrifice just because we believe someone else has done so.

At some point, we need to protect ourselves not only from those politicians and bureaucrats we hate, but those we think are on our side. Enemy of my enemy does not apply, should not apply, when we are considering the erosion of the fundamental rights we as Americans have come to take for granted. At some point, we must come together as a nation and recognize our mutual priorities.

Posted: April 10th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County News, Opinion, U.S. Constitution | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

3 Comments on “FBI’s grab of Trump’s legal files sends a dangerous message”

  1. the crime-fraud exception said at 4:51 am on April 11th, 2018:

    “But, there is a limitation to the attorney-client privilege — exceptions that Trump doesn’t seem to understand. And the specific limit here is something called the crime-fraud exception.

    That exception does what its name suggests. If communications typically covered by attorney-client privilege are deemed to be “in furtherance of a current or a planned crime or fraud” then the privilege does not apply.” CNN

  2. A Better Lawyer said at 6:05 pm on April 13th, 2018:

    Taking documents is nothing, in and of itself. Somehow you neglected to mention that the ability of prosecutors to USE WHAT’S IN THE DOCUMENTS is in the hands of a distinguished federal judge, Kimba Wood. As usual, your partisanship leads you to material omissions, and it’s the omissions that undermine your credibility. Trump has The Dersh covering for him these days. He doesn’t need you and you Class D baloney.

  3. to a self-proclaimed "better lawyer" said at 6:58 pm on April 14th, 2018:

    You are obviously not. Your comments show a remarkable lack of knowledge of the U.S. Constitution. You have all the knowledge of the Bill of Rights of a hedge fund hack attorney. The right to privacy isn’t just about the use of the documents. That may be a remedy fashioned by the Courts, but in this country, there is an expectation that NO ONE gets to see your private matters, particularly the government. As for Kimba Wood, since you don’t know what was in the affidavit submitted to her, you have no idea whether or not she acted properly or reacted to a fictionalized affidavit. You are the last person who should be criticizing credibility. Go have a beer with Bernie Sanders. He’s on your level.