This morning, President Trump unleashed another Twitter barrage over the FBI (acting on a tip from Robert Mueller) raiding three locations of his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, and seizing records that reportedly include confidential communications covered by attorney-client privilege. The FBI claims they will be given to agents to sort out what investigators are allowed to see. Well, that should set everyone’s minds at ease! The same notoriously biased and leaky government agency that can seize your confidential documents will read them to see which ones the same government agency is allowed to see. What could go wrong?
I won’t comment on whether there is any justification for the FBI to treat the President’s attorney (who was said to be cooperating fully with investigators in turning over documents voluntarily) with the kind of heavy-handed tactics normally reserved for Mafia dons and terrorist suspects. I won’t comment yet on whether this is justified, because we don’t know what the alleged violation might be – although if, as rumored, it has to do with a possible campaign finance violation for paying a porn star $130,000 to go away, that seems like awfully small potatoes for such tactics, compared to the free ride on a magic flying carpet to exoneration that was given to Hillary Clinton and her cronies.
Trump blasted the raids as an assault on America and a “witch hunt,” and tweeted “Attorney-client privilege is dead.” His critics, of course, are mocking his anger and dancing with glee. They shouldn’t be. If rationality and perspective could penetrate their thick shell of bias, they’d realize that the dangerous precedent this sets rings an alarm bell that may someday toll for thee. They’d do well to recall that under Obama, intelligence agencies didn’t limit their snooping on the media’s phones to Fox News, they also did it to the AP. Or recall how the Oscar telecast unreservedly endorsed the MeToo movement; but when the head of the Academy was accused of sexual misconduct, suddenly, he wanted his due process rights to defend himself.
Destruction of basic legal rights isn’t so funny when it happens to you, is it?
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