Special master in michael cohen case finds 162 privileged docs in first batch seized by feds os x data recovery software

So, who conducted fraud and what constituted that fraud? Do we know? I’ll help you out here. No, we do not know that any fraud was committed. And, if we do not know that a crime was committed, then we certainly do not know who committed it, do we?

Remember the bank vault example? Well, it is still approprioate. The investigators may know, though at this point the best that can be said from public knowledge in that they suspect, that evidence of Cohen’s involvement in a specific crime may have been on his electronic devices. If so, they could have filed for a search warrant which would have cited specific files that they wished to seize. But, they did not do that. They seized ALL of his records. Now, just as with the bank vault, a significant number of those records will have anything to do with any criminal action undertaken by Cohen.

In fact, there are confidential matters which people, totally unconnected to any investigation into any suspected wrongdoing by Cohen, which are now in the hands of a third party, without the permission of those to whom the communications belong.

This was a fishing expedition by the DOJ. They had no idea what information was contained in Cohen’s files. So, they got a judge to sign off on a hugely overbroad search warrant so that they could sift through the files to see if there was anything that they could use against Cohen, and probably Trump.

First of all, there are two types of search warrants; supportive and investigatory. A supportive search is done to recover property or secure evidence which is support of a case in which sufficient evidence for arrest already exist. An example of this is a search warrant for drugs following a controlled buy at a particular location. An investigative warrant is issued to search for potential evidence where probably cause exists that a specific criminal act is occurring or has occurred.

The Cohen search warrant was investigative in nature, not supportive. What has happened over the last 20 years, is that judges have become much more lenient in regard to what constitutes “probable cause” for an investigative search warrant. These warrants have also become much broader in scope. Instead of restricting document seizures, in the Cohen case, to specific types of documents, the FBI grabbed everything. This is akin to the FBI opening every safety deposit box in a bank and examining its contents, because it suspects that evidence of a particular crime is stored in one of them.

What has to be remembered here is that people are entitled to their privacy, especially where their dealings with their personal attorney are concerned. In the Cohen case, the privacy rights of several other parties were violated, by both the DOJ and by the court, needlessly. People, for which no evidence exists that they were involved in any criminal act or enterprise with Cohen, had their privileged association and communications removed from their attorney’s custody and exposed to the scrutiny of the government. All so that the government could build a case against Cohen, and probably Trump.