Water Cooler 04/12/18 Open Thread; Stunningly Succinct Explanation Of Why The Cohen Raid Was Unconstitutional

Alan Dershowitz Delivers A Stunningly Direct Explanation Of Why Seizing Michael Cohen’s Records Was Unconstitutional

Been a strange and interesting administration so far. In the latest twist we now have “conservatives” explaining how rights and customs that we thought were part of the foundations of our society can be set aside if you hate the target enough. Because lets face it conservatism isn’t about personally doing what’s right it’s about making others pay for doing things you can convince a mob are wrong. / sarcasm


My own take on why the raid should be frightening is that we all have had our rights called into question even if we are not involved in the political arena. Unless President Trump was Mr. Cohen’s only client, every one of his clients is going to have their affairs exposed. Depending on how well the FBI is able to control it’s leaks, this could range from people who get a crack at insider commercial information , people having details of their personal lives show up in the Washington Post courtesy of an anonymous source, to having criminal prosecutions made because the feds suddenly magically have a hunch where to look all via an anonymous tip from a payphone in the Hoover building.

Mr. Dershowitz manages in a very elegant manner to destroy the constitutionality of the raid.

But for Dershowitz, who helped win a murder acquittal for O.J. Simpson and succeeded in overturning the attempted murder conviction of Claus von Bülow, the constitutional issues are more important than the DOJ’s trustworthiness – and bigger than the presidency
The concept of assembling a taint team, he said, revolves around the Fifth Amendment, which protects Americans from being forced to incriminate themselves.

So when the team sifts through Cohen’s documents, hard drives and memory sticks, it will be searching for protected material that should be kept private.

But the Fourth Amendment prohibits ‘unreasonable’ searches and seizures by the government – a description that could apply to scooping up communications between a lawyer and his client, except in extreme circumstances.

And the Sixth Amendment guarantees Americans the right to ‘the assistance of counsel’ for courtroom defense, meaning no government can interfere with that relationship.

Dershowitz told DailyMail.com that ‘if the government improperly seizes private or privileged material, the violation has already occurred, even if the government never uses them.’

–Daily Mail


It’s important to remember here, the bill of rights wasn’t meant to grant the American people new rights, but rather to acknowledge rights that were so basic they were assumed fundamental and natural.  This “raid” was exactly what they are meant to remind us of and protect us against.


Quote of the day

Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.

—William Pitt the Younger



Drink up That’s it for the Watercooler today. As always it’s an open thread.


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