Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz thinks the FBI will leak any privileged information it obtained from the raid on President Donald Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen.
Dershowitz believes the government stepped over the line when they raided Cohen and said it would be naive to believe the FBI would keep the information confidential.
“Even if the lawyer engaged in fraud, that doesn’t justify seizing the client’s secret information, which may not have been involved in fraud,” Dershowitz said on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” Thursday.
“Let me take a hypothetical. So, the president is on tape talking about Access Hollywood. The tape itself may have been unlawfully obtained under California law,” Dershowitz continued. “I can imagine [Trump] calling his lawyer and saying by the way, Mr. Cohen, I was taped illegally. Do everything you can in your power legally to stop this thing from coming out. If that happened it would be a perfectly lawful lawyer/client communication. And yet the government would have access to it. They would put it through a taint team.”
“But a taint team is just other FBI agents and prosecutors listening to confidential material and then saying, oh we promise we won’t leak it,” he said. “Yeah I mean I really trust that. FBI agents and prosecutors hearing the president talk and not leaking it? Come on.”
Raiding a lawyer’s office should only be used as a last resort, Dershowitz said and then lamented the lack of oversight on the agents conducting the raid.
“This should be a process where you can bring a judge or an objective monitor and before anything is seized, somebody looks through it and says, ‘No, no, this is lawyer-client privilege. This is medical privilege. This is priest privilege.’ You don’t get that,” he said.
“But this way they seize everything and a government agent reads every one of the material that is also privileged,” Dershowitz continued. “There is something very wrong with that. I don’t think any American would really like that. And the ACLU has come out in support of this raid. The ACLU! They’re supposed to be the organization that stands up for civil liberties. Now they’re [special counsel Robert] Mueller fans. Now they’re FBI Fans.”
“They don’t know the facts and out there supporting it. Shame on the ACLU,” he concluded. “I used to be on its national board when it was actually a civil liberties organization. Not a political get Trump organization.”