Tuesday, April 10, 2018

What did Donald Trump do today?

He all but declared himself guilty of some sort of crime.

Still emotional about yesterday's FBI raid on his lawyer, Michael Cohen, Trump tweeted this today:

Attorney-client privilege has never shielded anything that was done in furtherance of actual crimes. (For that matter, it also doesn't shield non-lawyers from testifying about things other non-lawyers told them, although that hasn't stopped Trump's son Eric from invoking it to avoid telling Congress about his father's contacts with Russia.) This is known as the "crime-fraud exception."

Even if Cohen's files contained Trump's detailed confessions to crimes, they could never, ever be used in any kind of legal proceeding against him. The attorney-client privilege is pierced only in cases where the communication itself is in furtherance of a crime, and even then prosecutors are required to take extraordinary measures to avoid learning information that remains privileged.

In other words, Trump's claim only makes sense if Trump knows he and Cohen actively conspired to commit or conceal crimes.

Who cares?

  • In a democracy, nobody is above the law.
  • The most powerful person on the planet probably shouldn't play the victim.