Executive Intelligence Review


Alan Dershowitz Critical of FBI Raid on Trump’s Attorney

April 10, 2018 (EIRNS)—Leading U.S. Constitutional lawyer and Harvard University Professor Alan Dershowitz called the FBI’s raid of the offices, hotel room, and home of President Donald Trump’s longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen in New York “a shocking and disturbing development” in The Hill today.

Dershowitz told Newsmax yesterday that he considers that raid a “very serious escalation” of the special investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election, which “should shock everybody, no matter what part of the partisan divide you’re on.” And in a Fox News interview he said,

“This is a very dangerous day for lawyer-client relations.... The deafening silence from the ACLU and civil libertarians about the intrusion into lawyer-client confidentiality, is really appalling.”

President Trump himself, on his Twitter feed today, described the raid on his personal attorney’s home, office, phones and client files as “a disgraceful situation, a total witch hunt.” He called it “an attack on our country in a true sense. It’s an attack on what we all stand for.”

Dershowitz explains that a search warrant requires prosecutors to demonstrate to a judge that they have probable cause to believe that the premises they seek to search contain evidence of a crime, and must specify the area to be searched, the items to be seized, and, in searches of computers, the word searches to be used. That is the constitutional requirement in theory, especially where the Sixth Amendment right to counsel is involved, in addition to the Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches. In practice, says Dershowitz, judges often give the FBI considerable latitude, relying on the “firewalls” and “taint teams” (legal advisors on the search) which they set up to conform to the Constitution. But, he points out, these teams are made up of government agents who may not be entitled to read many of the items seized. “That’s why Justice Department officials must be careful to limit the searching of lawyers’ offices to compelling cases involving serious crimes.”