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FBI Reportedly Seized Attorney-Client Privileged Docs During Mar-a-Lago Raid

FBI Reportedly Seized Attorney-Client Privileged Docs During Mar-a-Lago Raid

Contrary to normal procedure, also reportedly is objecting to appointment of a special magistrate to oversee its review.

https://twitter.com/tomselliott/status/1366790307447267328

The FBI in its ongoing war on Trump repeatedly has seized attorney-client protected materials, including from Michael Cohen and Rudy Guiliani. James O’Keefe also was subject to such a seizure over obtaining Joe Biden’s daughter’s diary. The argument is that attorney-client materials use in or to assist a crime are not protected.

In that narrow sense the feds are right, but the issue is that until such a determination is made by a court, the feds have access to materials that they might otherwise not be entitled to see. In such circumstance, the normal procedure should be for the court to appoint a special master to oversee the review of the material before the feds get to see it. Such seizures, regardless of outcome, have a chilling effect on attorneys and clients.

The Mar-a-Lago raid was so broad that it was inevitable that the feds would seize material having nothing to do with any alleged crime or alleged unlawful possession of classified material. As noted, FBI Broadly Rummaged Through Trump’s Files, Supporting Theory This Is Not Just About “Classified” Documents.

Fox News is reporting, presumably from a leak from team Trump, that FBI seizes privileged Trump records during raid; DOJ opposes request for independent review: sources:

The FBI seized boxes containing records covered by attorney-client privilege and potentially executive privilege during its raid of former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, sources familiar with the investigation told Fox News, adding that the Justice Department opposed Trump lawyers’ request for the appointment of an independent, special master to review the records.

Sources familiar with the investigation told Fox News Saturday that the former president’s team was informed that boxes labeled A-14, A-26, A-43, A-13, A-33, and a set of documents—all seen on the final page of the FBI’s property receipt —contained information covered by attorney-client privilege.

The FBI seized classified records from Trump’s Palm Beach home during its unprecedented Monday morning raid, including some marked as top secret. But the former president is disputing the classification, saying the records have been declassified….

Sources told Fox News that, due to attorney-client privilege, Trump’s team asked the Justice Department for their position on whether they would support a third party, independent special master to review those records, but sources told Fox News that the DOJ notified Trump’s team that they would oppose that request.

Trump posted on Truth Social (btw, we recently activated our account there, give us a follow)

Oh great! It has just been learned that the FBI, in its now famous raid of Mar-a-Lago, took boxes of privileged “attorney-client” material, and also “executive” privileged material, which they knowingly should not have taken. By copy of this TRUTH, I respectfully request that these documents be immediately returned to the location from which they were taken. Thank you!

Jonathan Turley notes:

The request for a special master would seem reasonable, particularly given the sweeping language used in the warrant. It is hard to see what material could not be gathered under this warrant….

Given that sweeping language (and the various lawsuits and investigations facing Trump), it would seem reasonable to request a special magistrate. That is why the reported refusal is so concerning. What is the harm from such a review? The material is now under lock and key. There is no approaching deadline in court or referenced grand jury.

This is a developing story, MORE TO FOLLOW

The government leak war and media frenzy continue:

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Comments

If anyone could explain to me why we aren’t discussing replacing the FBI and blacklisting all people who have ever served the FBI from any form of contact with any personnel in whatever federal law enforcement agency we replace it with I would be grateful.

    taurus the judge in reply to Danny. | August 14, 2022 at 12:30 pm

    First- to go to the length you describe is impossible

    Second- tactically, never fire a warning shot or telegraph intention

    Third- At this moment in time, its simply not realistically possible

      Impossible yet it’s that or we as a country die

      We do a lot of arguing but thank you that was concise, to the point and makes sense.

        taurus the judge in reply to Danny. | August 15, 2022 at 5:50 am

        Actually Danny, I don’t disagree with the concept or sentiment- just the execution strategy and realistic ability to do so.

        With any existing USG agency- there is no magic “off” switch and we certainly cannot leave a vacuum.. ( the economic and operational issues would be a disaster)

        It would be better for basically a “decapitation strike” going 6-8 levels down the org chart- THEN a parallel reorg at the same time.

        This is essentially what trump had in mind with the schedule f employee.

        I also would not stop with the DOJ

    irv in reply to Danny. | August 14, 2022 at 12:45 pm

    Some of us are talking about it. But even if the Republicans take a wide margin in both houses, there will be too many rinos to follow through with it. The best we can hope for is to cut the budget by some percentage. I want 90%. I think we’ll be lucky to get 9. I have no faith in the stupid party’s will to fight back.

      Look at the all the Republican senators who voted for AG Garland nomination and are now voicing their outrage and threatening to do something about after the elections. Grassley is front and center on this. Then there are the usual scumbags like Graham. How about introducing a bill to censure the FBI and DoJ? Sorry. Forgot. It’s never EVER the right time to do the right thing.

      BTW. Tim Scott. Couldn’t bring himself to join the chorus of outrage four days ago. But come the weekend, there he is on (who else?) Hannity doing it solo on Sunday to maximize his personal political standing. What a phony that guy is turning out to be. We sure are learning plenty about the GOP and our “friends” with this raid.

        Repubs who voted to confirm Garland as AG

        Blunt (R-MO)
        Burr (R-NC)
        Capito (R-WV)
        Cassidy (R-LA)
        Collins (R-ME)
        Cornyn (R-TX)
        Ernst (R-IA)
        Graham (R-SC)
        Grassley (R-IA)
        Inhofe (R-OK)
        Johnson (R-WI)
        Lankford (R-OK)
        McConnell (R-KY)
        Moran (R-KS)
        Murkowski (R-AK)
        Portman (R-OH)
        Romney (R-UT)
        Rounds (R-SD)
        Thune (R-SD)
        Tillis (R-NC)

        Everyone one of those repubs that voted to confirm need to explain exactly why they voted the way they did and defend their vote. I am looking at all of them especially Grassley, Graham, Cassidy, Cornyn and rat McConnell..
        I want Grassley to go on the record and admit he made a mistake in judgement and it is a vote I regret casting until the day I die.

          UserP in reply to buck61. | August 14, 2022 at 2:39 pm

          “Everyone one of those repubs that voted to confirm need to explain exactly why they voted the way they did and defend their vote.”

          We all know why. They are RINOs.

          Democrats call them “red dogs.”

          smalltownoklahoman in reply to buck61. | August 14, 2022 at 4:55 pm

          Well as for the two from my state (OK) Inhofe is retiring so it could just be a didn’t care vote, Lankford I don’t know why he did it but it’s certainly a stain on his record.

          Joe-dallas in reply to buck61. | August 14, 2022 at 5:13 pm

          In hindsight – McConnell did the US a world of good by keeping garland off the SC.

          In hindsight – Garland has turned into one of the most far left evil progressives ever to hold the office as Attorney General. I was expecting Garland to be slightly left of center, certainly not as bad as and/worse eric holder.

          Elzorro in reply to buck61. | August 14, 2022 at 5:51 pm

          The democracy.

        scooterjay in reply to Pasadena Phil. | August 14, 2022 at 3:34 pm

        Regarding Sen Scott…
        I have strong reservations about him.
        He sure seems to keep a finger in the wind.

          taurus the judge in reply to scooterjay. | August 14, 2022 at 3:59 pm

          I have been on the road but people tell me Scott has been pummeled this week and right now he is squarely on my Sh!t List. I expect this out of Graham but Scott has really been and talked highly conservative till recently.

          He has a short time to adjust his attitude.

          CommoChief in reply to scooterjay. | August 14, 2022 at 8:28 pm

          Taurus,

          IMO Sen Scott has blown any future National aspirations. Within two weeks he:
          1. Endorsed Murkowski for re-election.
          2. Instead of simply saying ‘raid looks bad given recent history of non raids on d/prog in similar situations and in light of a 6 year effort to ‘get’ DJT’ he said let’s wait and see.

          Those are rino establishment positions that have alienated folks. If he knew that and did it anyway it means he is telling the base to pound sand. If he claims he didn’t know it means he isn’t reading the room. Either way, IMO, it makes him look weak and presents as him having a higher loyalty to McConnell and casts him as an establishment henchmen.

          taurus the judge in reply to scooterjay. | August 15, 2022 at 5:55 am

          @ Chief

          I’m pretty much in total agreement for the reasons you list and am pretty livid with him. ( he aint far above Graham with me right now)

          That said, I’m willing to forgive a single incident (prior to this, he was consistently acting conservative) provides he “repents” and turns about in a very short order.

          Thats just me and I fully understand those who are fed up with him now- he has earned this scorn by deed and there is no denying that.

    stevewhitemd in reply to Danny. | August 14, 2022 at 1:49 pm

    More narrowly, a Republican Congress could cut the funding to the Washington, Boston and Detroit FBI offices (the latter two since that’s where many of the bad actors came from). That would be a warning shot that yessir, this time we’re serious.

    They won’t, of course.

    CountMontyC in reply to Danny. | August 14, 2022 at 5:04 pm

    Personally I believe that what we need is a a Federal Department of Internal Affairs. There are a lot of federal agencies just as bad as the FBI ( the IRS comes to mind) and we need a federal agency that has the power to investigate and prosecute misbehavior by federal agencies and agents.
    And before anyone mentions the inspector generals I would point out that the inspector generals are little more than toothless bureaucrats who are limited in compelling testimony ( they can’t compel/subpoena anyone not currently working at their agency so if retired, transferred to another agency, quit or fired from their agency. Think Lois Lerner who simply retired and avoided any investigation) nor can they demand prosecution. They can only file a report at best recommending prosecution. Think Hilary Clinton’s emails and server where Comey decided not to prosecute. We need someone with real power to act.

      The Gentle Grizzly in reply to CountMontyC. | August 14, 2022 at 5:14 pm

      Your idea is good on its face, but such an agency would become just as corrupt as the ones they are alleged to be investigating. “Internal Affairs” usually means “whitewash”.

        Watching the watchers is a good idea, implementation is the issue. How about a format of rotating through the 435 CD with a draft of 50 citizens to perform the function? Each event gets it’s panel and each CD selection is random so it can’t be gamed out to pre select the CD.

E Howard Hunt | August 14, 2022 at 12:22 pm

Privilege? We don’t heed no stinking privilege!

Are we surprised

taurus the judge | August 14, 2022 at 12:35 pm

I saw this coming in some form (even before this “new” revelation)

Expect that if anything comes to official action, the fruits of this warrant are all but certain to be quashed.

Not to mention, if these documents actually were there and confiscated, they were probably “put there’ because they would be too enticing to not take which would almost guarantee poisoning the fruit of the warrant. ( and make a great pro Trump PR point sure to get the people motivated)

    Conservative Beaner in reply to taurus the judge. | August 14, 2022 at 3:10 pm

    “Expect that if anything comes to official action, the fruits of this warrant are all but certain to be quashed.”

    I wouldn’t be sure of that with the judges they have in DC who are out to get Trump.

They want to look at all the material because politics is so important to many people in DC. Laws not so much.

From very early on in this story my gut told me this is likely related to the Trump v Clinton ongoing lawsuit set for trial next year. Get the widest warrant possible, a judge with direct knowledge of the case to sign off on the warrant application who is a partisan supporter of the dems and a bias against Trump.

    taurus the judge in reply to buck61. | August 14, 2022 at 1:12 pm

    Possible but extremely unlikely

    Thats probably personally gratifying for Hillary but at the end of the day such a reason is not only tactically insignificant but a waste of resources.

    The left is on the verge of several major defeats possibly leading to their destruction- nobody is concerned with protecting Hillary

The FBI/DOJ have had plenty of time to review and copy every document they got… so empowering a special magistrate is moot. It isn’t about following the “law”. The FBI has already done the same before. Nothing is stopping them now… nothing. Taurus is right… the video of the FBI rummaging through MAL will make for great ads…. watch for the Feds to try and suppress as it showed “special” techniques of invertigation.

    This is EXACTLY right. I have no doubt that the FBI proceeded to digitize every page they could before any talk of ‘special masters’ came up, because just in case the judge decided that this ‘presumed innocent’ thing that all the cool kids talk about might just apply to Trump. They’ve done it before, and somehow when the special master gets appointed, the FBI knows *exactly* what documents to press for release from the ‘sealed’ records.

    So far we have:
    –An overly broad search warrant that covers effectively anything the FBI wanted to grab up to and including clothes right out of the closet.
    –A magistrate judge ‘assigned’ to the case who happened to represent Epstein clients, a collection of people who might just resent his prosecution attempts.
    –Attempts by the FBI to hide their efforts ranging from demanding the internal security cameras be turned off (foiled, thankfully) to keeping the lawyers out of the area and standing in the 90 degree weather out on the driveway, to only turning the warrant over at the *end* of their search, and turning over an inventory list that predominates with “varied” and “Misc.”
    –Admission that they have in their possession documents which they are *not permitted* to have, and claiming they can review them *without* a judge ruling that the lawyer-client privilege can be breached due to a crime.

    They wonder why we don’t trust them, and then they turn around and do this kind of (censored) on the FORMER PRESIDENT. If they get away with doing this to him, we’re next.

      taurus the judge in reply to georgfelis. | August 14, 2022 at 3:50 pm

      No, we have to learn the difference between what’s actually legal as opposed to what seems ‘wrong” in our personal opinion and act accordingly.

      And it’s not that I don’t agree with you in principle (in fact I do) but we don’t gain ground by getting upset over false beliefs/desires over what is realistic.

      ALL SW’s are written as broad as possible- that’s SOP

      Judge shopping is hardly new either

      Desiring secrecy (and total dominion) over the scene is not new either- under special circumstances, banning counsel is legal as well (that challenge has yet to be made- time isn’t ripe yet)

      All of that is both normal and routine

      Privilege product- taking this is PERFECTLY LEGAL if such a thing is covered in the SW- there are conditions however.

      Product should be clearly marked ( the attorneys I work with almost always put something like “Attorney/Client Work product” in the header or subject line) because if not clearly identified create a judgement call in the field.

      The procedure is a special master/lawyer review shortly after or during the execution.

      The NEXT STEP is for team Trump to FILE for privilege exclusion and do it JUDICIALLY and QUICKLY or the law allows for the PRESUMPTION that the person WAIVES privilege.

Close The Fed | August 14, 2022 at 1:40 pm

Unsurprised. What did they do to Michael Cohen et al?

    You mean other than forcing Cohen to plead guilty to something that wasn’t a crime in exchange for being given a pass for real go-to-jail-for-years crimes, just so they could smear the sitting President?

Close The Fed | August 14, 2022 at 1:40 pm

Face it: their totalitarian desires have taken complete control of them.

In today’s weekly email newsletter from Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) :

Joe Biden is purposely dragging this country through hell. There is no justification whatsoever for sending 30 brownshirt FBI agents for a pre-dawn raid of President Trump’s home.

We must rip the corruption out of government and that starts with dismantling the FBI. I don’t say that lightly. Like you, I was raised at a time when the FBI was valued as an upright institution working for the good of the country. It has been apparent for years, many years, that is not true, and may never have been true. The FBI has turned into a domestic surveillance agency that attacks and monitors honest citizens and harasses people based on their politics. This cannot be allowed any longer. I will support any effort to disband and defund the FBI. State police forces have the resources and skill to address actual crime in their states and don’t engage in political persecution. The Founders envisioned a republic where the rule of law and equal justice were pillars of our nation. Today, those pillars have been demolished and we are witnessing a post-Constitution America where the tactics of the Deep State thuggery are repeatedly used to intimidate, silence and destroy their political opposition.

A gag tweet from “News That Matters” yesterday says simply,
“Elon Musk has reportedly made an offer to buy the FBI from the Clintons.”

    buck61 in reply to henrybowman. | August 14, 2022 at 2:03 pm

    The dems will start claiming that it now the repubs that want to defund the police

      clintack in reply to buck61. | August 14, 2022 at 3:19 pm

      The Democrats want to defund the police that protect citizens from criminals.

      The Republicans want to defund the police that protect criminals from citizens.

The feds are using their power to assist in their crimes. Yet they will use national security to hide behind. Such a cover up.

The same people that clamored for a Church committee to investigate abuses of power now clamor for even worse abuses of power at home. Such principles.

“Given that sweeping language (and the various lawsuits and investigations facing Trump), it would seem reasonable to request a special magistrate. That is why the reported refusal is so concerning.”

What’s the problem here? (Choose one)

1. Trump
2. Garland

This Lawfare Scheme is aging like dead fish in the sun.

At every opportunity to demonstrate through actions that this isn’t a political effort v Trump the DoJ falls short. No move to request a special counsel and now they oppose a special master.

Even when the investing team of US Atty and FBI agents is reported as under Durham’s review for Russia gate conduct, Garland has animus v Trump, Biden has animus v Trump. The WH and the DoJ and FBI as institutions have a demonstrated bias in preventing Trump return to WH. That’s a lot of rope and the public is paying attention.

The whole ‘trust us, we are the good guys’ routine ain’t cutting it anymore.

“FBI Reportedly Seized Attorney-Client Privileged Docs During Mar-a-Lago Raid”

But America is already at the point where if they HAD NOT done so, the entire country would have been flabbergasted into immobility for at least 24 hours.

Subotai Bahadur | August 14, 2022 at 5:43 pm

1) Since January 2021 we have NOT HAD one rule of law for everybody, or perhaps more accurately it has not been so blatantly exposed.

2) The Coercive Organs of State Power by their actions and statements epitomize the belief that they are not restricted by Law or Constitution in anything.

3) The conflict between them and the Law and the Constitution will certainly be resolved in favor of one side or another, with longer delay making it more expensive and possibly fatal to our nation and society.

Subotai Bahadur

This is a threat to the democracy. So what is the democracy?

The demcrat democracy is going ‘up in smoke’.

Watching Wray testify, reminds me of another criminal’s (John Gotti) arrogance testifying at trial, knowing the jury fix was in:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLPjxxw-mGU

The Democrats are eventually going to get smacked down nuclear style after this goes through the DC courts which will give them whatever they want.

Getting rid of the FBI requires a Trump re-election, and Trump deciding it needs to be done. I’m not sure he will. My best guess is he will want reform, which will not work.

No one else will even try.

SeiteiSouther | August 15, 2022 at 2:23 pm

The raid can be summarized by what Ken White (Popehat, before he lost his mind) said about agents and search warrants:

Oh. So federal agents only seize what the warrant tells them to seize?

Ha, no.

Even the best-trained and most responsible federal agents — and I mean this with the utmost respect — tend to act like coked-up raccoons when you turn them loose with a search warrant. They seize stuff haphazardly, based on very odd internal definitions of what “evidence” is. This used to drive me absolutely bonkers as a prosecutor, because I would hector them in advance and review the items to be seized with them, and they’d come back with a box of randomly assembled documents as if I’d said “look, just grab everything with a ‘q’ on it.”