Friday, June 8, 2018

[U] Reaffirming Bedrock Constitutional Principles, In The Face Of An Onslaught, By A Despot...

In Manhattan, the able USDC Judge Kimba Wood just ruled that Trump and his bagman/lawyer Cohen cannot preemptively seal (and file solely ex parte), all their respective objections to the contents of the lawyer's office, previously seized by validly issued search warrants.

That is plain bedrock black letter law, for over 100 years, and the letter from lawyers for press agencies, is exactly why. Read it all here -- but a bit is quoted below:

. . . .The public’s right of access here cannot be overstated. As Your Honor is aware, the President of the United States’ personal lawyer was the subject of a no-knock search warrant by the Federal Bureau of Investigation that led to the seizure of numerous documents. The issues in this case are of intense public interest and importance to our nation and have been the subject of headline news. Now that President Trump and Mr. Cohen are challenging whether certain of these documents may be turned over to government investigators, the public has a right to know what they assert are the bounds of the attorney-client privilege. The public has a right to understand the nature of the objections that Cohen and Trump assert to disclosure and why. The public has a right to know the legal arguments being advanced by the parties. And ultimately, the public has a right to know what categories of documents this Court determines should remain privileged and why. Stated simply, maintaining public confidence in the administration of justice in this case is paramount.

While the News Organizations do not dispute at this time that preserving the confidentiality of attorney-client communications may amount to a compelling interest that overcomes the public right of access, the Court must still find a narrowly tailored means to serve that interest. Press Enterprise, 464 U.S. at 510. The government’s position as articulated in its June 7, 2018 letter strikes the correct balance between Cohen’s and Trump’s interest in upholding the attorney-client privilege and in the public’s interest in upholding the right of access.

By contrast, Cohen’s and Trump’s request is extraordinary. They claim that the wholesale sealing and ex parte treatment of all objections to the Special Master’s Recommendations or other submissions made pursuant to the Court’s May 31, 2018 Amended Order is necessary to prevent disclosure of allegedly privileged material. They take the needlessly overbroad position that anything revealing “matters pertaining to privilege” – which includes their legal arguments as to why particular documents or categories of documents are entitled to the privilege – must be cloaked in a veil of secrecy. Such a broad sealing order would go far beyond what is necessary to preserve any privilege, and plainly is not consistent with the law. See, e.g., E.E.O.C. v. Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, 2012 WL 691545, at *4 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 2, 2012) (recognizing that “any request for sealing must be narrowly tailored to achieve its aim of preserving the higher value at issue,” and finding “wholesale sealing of the Judicial Documents is unnecessary”). . . .

Oh -- and this afternoon, Mr. Mueller has upped his Trump-related indicted people count to. . . 20. Prodigious!

Onward, then to a glorious weekend -- with Dennis Rodman set to attend/chair(?) the North Korea/45 meetings, I have renewed hope -- hope that all of 45's life will be seen for the farce that it is. Be excellent to one another. Time to go pick up those Carolina Blue on White Nike Rodman Shakes (re-issued under the name “Ndestrukt“). Smile. . . .


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