Justice Department Tells Court That Trump’s Own Admissions Undermine Claims Of Attorney-Client Privilege Over Cohen Material

160px-Official_Portrait_of_President_Donald_Trump_(cropped) I (and many others) have cautioned the President for over a year that his tweets and public comments are underlying his case (and litigation like the immigration challenges) in federal court.  Now the Justice Department has used the President’s latest comments in a call-in to “Fox and Friends” as eviscerating efforts to claim privilege over documents on his behalf in the review of the material seized from his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.  While opposing counsel like Democratic state attorneys general have used Trump’s comments against his Administration and the Justice Department has struggled to defend against such use, this is the first time that his own Justice Department is using the President’s comments effectively against his interests.  In the meantime, it was revealed yesterday that the FBI seized 16 different cellphones from Michael Cohen.

I have repeatedly written on the failure of the President to sever ties to Cohen who has a reputation of a reckless and flawed attorney.  I have also written that Cohen seemed to do everything possible to negate privilege protections for his client.   Instead, the President doubled down on Cohen, not just calling him a good lawyer but his lawyer. Most recently on Air Force One (after having a very public dinner with Cohen), Trump declared “You’ll have to ask Michael Cohen. Michael is my attorney. You’ll have to ask Michael.”
The statement left many of us agape, but now the President seems to be changing direction and distancing himself from Cohen.  In the call-in, the President insisted that Cohen only dealt with a “tiny, tiny little fraction” of Trump’s legal work.  He also played directly into the narrative of prosecutors and Stormy Daniels’ attorney that Cohen is not really an attorney in most of his dealings:  “Michael is a businessman. He also practices law, but I would say the big thing is his business and they’re [the feds] looking at something that has to do with his business. I have nothing to do with his business.”

Trump added that he “has many attorneys … sadly, I have so many attorneys, you wouldn’t even believe it . . . From what I understand, [the feds are] looking at his businesses, and I hope he’s in great shape. I’m not involved, and I’ve been told I’m not involved.”

The Justice Department pounced on the admissions to challenge the claims of attorney-client privilege raised on Trump’s behalf but Cohen and Trump’s counsel.  Citing the statements of Sean Hannity as well, the Justice Department told the court. In a letter to U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood, Robert Khuzami, the deputy U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York wrote: “These statements by two of Cohen’s three identified clients suggest that the seized materials are unlikely to contain voluminous privileged documents, further supporting the importance of efficiency here.”

Having a client saying on television that “This has nothing to do with me”  and “I’ve been told I’m not involved” is obviously devastating to arguments of privilege just as Trump’s counsel was trying to assert his protections.

153 thoughts on “Justice Department Tells Court That Trump’s Own Admissions Undermine Claims Of Attorney-Client Privilege Over Cohen Material”

  1. Paul, HA is a total sell out opportunist. He figured he would get more hits being pro Trump and so he has. No one takes him seriously after 2+ years of “HRC is gonna be indicted”

      1. ya ya Paul =) Hey, I am finally getting around to reading about the USS LIberty. wow oh wow. BDS all the way my friend

  2. whatever JS. I am a proud Progessive Independent. And I don’t think our ideas are dangerous – in fact we sedge with some Libertarian ideas as in no intervention in sovereign nations, no corporate welfare and free speech. As far as our other platforms – why can’t we have healthcare for all and free education given that the MIC has “lost” over 12 trillion. Sad. You are a partisan

    1. “whatever JS. I am a proud Progessive Independent. And I don’t think our ideas are dangerous”

      I am going to distinguish between your “ideas” which I do not know and those of actual progressives.
      The historical and theoretical case against progressivism is DAMNING.

      ALL Forms of statism fail – fascism, socialism, nazism, communism – and fail violently/
      Progressivism is not a coherent ideology and historically has been a current within one of those noted above.

      “in fact we sedge with some Libertarian ideas as in no intervention in sovereign nations, no corporate welfare and free speech.”

      Progressives have NEVER had serious principled commitments to those or the myriads of other “ideas” that they “share” with libertarians.

      Fundimentally progressives have no principles, only a collection of values, that they juggle.
      The distinction is important.

      While the liberal left of the 60’s was a major force in the free speach movement.
      The modern progressive left is litterally burning down free speach.

      Hate speach is Free speach. Your “safe space” is your private space. In public forums you are entitled to be free from violence – not offensive ideas.

      Even the other values you cite – are not things progessives have been consistent about.

      The libertarian opposition to “corporate Welfare” is principled. Libertarians oppose ALL government handouts to anyone. It is not the role of government to redistribute wealth – not to the rich, not to the poor.

      As with free speech Libertarains draw our lines at violence.

      Government is force. Its purpose is to act where force is necescary and ONLY where force is necescary.

      We do not intervene BY FORCE in the affairs of other countries – but we are free to “intervene” in any force free (AKA non-governmental) means possible, protest, boycott, speak out.
      Force is only legitimate as a response to violence – or much more carefully the threat of violence against one’s own citizens.

      Progressives are absent ANY principles with regard to these values that you assert that we share.

      For libertarians these Values are rooted in principle and not fungible.

      The ends do not justify the means EVER.

      I want to see christian bakers back cakes for gay weddings.
      But the use of force to accomplish that is immoral – no matter how desireable the outcome.
      You do not overcome misogyny, racism, homophobia by using force against those holding those views.
      Government is obligated to protect the RIGHTS of everyone from violence – including women, racial minorities, and homosexuals. It is prohibited from using force absent violence.

      Principles matter.

      Because progressives do not have principles, they end up with messy conflicts between values and end up using the blunt instrument of force to resolve them.

      Instead of limiting government to supressing the privatge use of force, and allowing the resolution of other issues through private negotiation which allows competition for our attention as well as the distribution of our attention proportionate to our values, Progressives drag government into everything.
      The result being that the competition of interests to rent the blunt force of govenrment – whether it is the corporatism we both oppose of any other interest seeking to acheive its will through leveraging government power.
      You do not understand that ALL uses of force must pass difficult to meet requirements of justification.
      We can justify the use of force in self defence.
      We can not justify the use of force to reward some interest – even one we think is deserving.

      Regardless the consequence of the use of government/force is competition of interests within government for priority.

      Absent government if two churches wish to expand and there is only sufficient lumber for one, they compete with suppliers on price. Myriads of things flow from this – the supliers note higher demand and temporarily increase prices to match demand to supply, but also work to increase supply in the long run because of higher than anticipated demand. The churches have to respond to the price change by determining what of their own needs are most important, and either scaling back or delaying their expansion.

      Push the problem to government – and bureaucrats must arbitrate which interest is more important.
      The churches are incentivized to fight each other nearly directly in the public turf and government ends up picking winners and losers. Rather than matching values to costs and adjusting ones desires, we end up with only winners and losers and conflict.

      You can see this all the time in government.
      Progressives, conservatives and assorted interests battle often brutally for government funding – whether it is solar cells or Planned Parent hood, or Haliburton.

      You complain about the divisivity of our politics – but the bigger government is the more it does the inherently more divisive it is.

      It is not an accident that ALL forms of statism ultimately lead to bloodshed.

      The more you want government to do, the more fighting you will have over what govenrment does,
      the more of our lives govenrment controls the more likely that fight is to become violent.

    2. “As far as our other platforms – why can’t we have healthcare for all and free education given that the MIC has “lost” over 12 trillion.”

      Non-sequitur.

      Your argument is essentially – because we have behaved stupidly elsewhere, why can’t we behave stupidly where I would prefer.

      While the military is actually a legitimate role of government – The defence of the nation against the force of others is a legitimate use of force.

      Healthcare is not. It is not even a right. Absent government and absent violence, do you have healthcare ? If not, then it is not a right.

      Nothing that imposes a positive duty on others is or can be a right.
      Both philosophically and practically. All positive duties have a cost – they can not be delivered absent produced wealth. You can not have healthcare – absent the nation – individuals acting independently without formal coordination to a common goal, producing more.
      You can wish to make something that others must produce for you a right, but you can not accomplish it in practice. Trying disincentivises the creation of wealth and leaves you worse rather than better off.

      And philosophically/Morally – you have no legitimate claim on anothers property, body, or labor.

      I will be happy to work with you to dramatically reduce the cost of our military.
      It has grown far beyond what is necesscary.
      I will not work with you at all to steal from others for whatever your favorite pet priority.
      Nor will I work with others for their pet priority.

      Government is NOT where our interests and values compete. As noted before the more you move under the umbrella of govenrment the more divise and eventually violent you make us.

      So yes, progressivism is inherently evil.
      It has conflict and violence designed in.

      Further the shared ground between libertarians and progressives an illusion. Libertarianism is ultimately about means – when the use of force is justified and when it is not, not about ends.
      Ends are the business of individuals – we do not homogenously share the same desired ends.

      My want of healthcare is not the same as yours. My want of entertainment is not the same as yours.

      The use of force to convert your want into a right always comes at the expense of other wants.

    3. “Sad. You are a partisan”

      I am libertarian – to the core. If you wish to call that “partisan” fine.

      Frankly using partisan as an insult is idiocy. It inherently presumes all ideas and values are equal – otherwise how would being partisan be an insult ? If one side is right on some issue – shouldn’t they prevail ? Is being right some crime ?

      I would suggest thinking about what you write.

      I am highly “partisan” in the sense that I am highly libertarian and both the evidence, data, real world experince as well as theory, philosophy, morality logic and reason lead me to the conclusion that is the only “correct” government.

      All the other distinctions between “ideologies”, between left and right or whatever can and should be resolved OUTSIDE of government.

      If you are communist, socialist, or want whatever is on your “progressive” platform.
      Accomplish whatever you wish in voluntary free association with others.

      Use persuasion to inspire people to voluntarily act as you wish, rather than force to compel them.

      What is sad, is that you think the broad use of force is acceptable.

  3. Why can’t Americans know the truth?

    What are Obama and Hillary hiding?

    Why hasn’t WikLeaks Founder Julian Assange been granted immunity and subpoenaed?

    Americans found out that Putin assassinated Alexander Litvenenko with Polonium 210 in London and attempted to assassinate Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Britain using a nerve agent.

    Americans were informed that Kim Jong Un assassinated his half brother in Kuala Lumpur using VX nerve agent.

    Who is preventing Americans from knowing who assassinated Seth Rich immediately after he passed DNC data to Wiki Leaks?

    Who is preventing Americans from knowing who assassinated Joseph Rago immediately before he was to meet with Russians associated with the “Veropharm” deal approved by Hillary Clinton?

    “Car 54, Where Are You?”

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions, “…a dupe which will live in infamy…”, where are you?

    1. Obama and Hillary are old news, and irrelevant to Trump and his criminal issues. This is just a Kellyanne Pivot.

      1. “Obama and Hillary are old news, and irrelevant to Trump and his criminal issues. This is just a Kellyanne Pivot.”

        Hardly a day passes without expanding our knowledge of the malfeasance, misconduct or criminality of the Obama Administration or Clinton.

        If they were “old news” – than so would all this Trump crap – as it all ties back to Clinton.

        Can you name an actual Crime that Trump has comitted ?

        I can probably name 20 commited in the left’s efforts to “get Trump”

        You have things Backwards – your effort to “get Trump” is an effort to obscure and protect your henchmen from the consequences of their own misconduct.

        Have you listened to any of the Comey interviews ?

        This is someone you think has integrity ? Do you even know what that means ?

        Do you understand that as time passes what we learn is more and more about the decades long history of misconduct of those hunting Trump.

    2. Tinfoil sale down to the Piggly-Wiggly this weekend.

      this is to “I saw a black helicopter replace my neighbor’s dog with a cyborg” georgie

  4. Ian Bremmer tweeted out today:

    I’ve been critical of Trump foreign policy missteps in past year: TPP, Paris, too many unnecessary missteps with allies to count.

    But today’s historic North/South Korea breakthrough does not happen without priority & pressure from US President.

    Trump deserves full credit.

    ————–

    Trump, Xi, Moon and Kim together get my vote for the Nobel Peace Prize.

    ————–

    Obviously, still a lot of work to do before there’s sustainable Peace.

    But it’s not like the Nobel Committee doesn’t give Prizes in advance of accomplishment…

    @ianbremmer

    ian bremmer

    Verified account

    27 Apr 2018

    1. You say: “Trump deserves full credit”? For what? Do you think his insulting “Little Rocket Man” comments brought about a meeting between the two leaders? Do you think Pence and his fugly wife sitting down and refusing to applaud the combined North-South Korea Womens’ hockey team, after Kim Jon Un’s sister applauded the U.S. Womens’ Team, did anything good?

      You are delusional, just like Trump. Anything good that happens in the world, he takes credit for. What “breakthrough” are you talking about? The two men met, on their own. Trump wasn’t involved. Representatives of the two countries met before the Olympics, to combine the womens’ hockey team. Trump had nothing to do with this, either. To my knowledge, there are still a North and South Korea. The countries haven’t united, signed any treaties, or done anything other than meet. Trump had nothing to do with it.

        1. Natacha is clone, a machine part. Not a human. The Progammer came up with the endless loop quality with the static in the background as it grinds to a half for lack of propery maintenance?

        2. Haha. Nice. And you assume anyone here gives two sh*ts whether you’re “sympathetic?”

          this is to “she’s a GILF fo sho” sufferin

      1. Boring as usual Comrade or did The Collective change your programmer. My my my how green s’not drippy your pinocchio has become. Not to mention predictable. Are you really just a nom de plume for Alec Baldwin?

      2. Natacha – I think the “I have a red button and it is bigger than yours and it works” caused a major bowel movement by the Rocket Man. 😉

        1. You have two loose cannons here, one of which can be brought under control, the other of which cannot. If you think that Kim Jong Un is afraid of The Donald, you are mistaken. He probably knows that one or several people would tackle Trump if he tried to go for the “football” and put in the nuclear code. There are no such constraints on Kim Jong Un. Trump’s infantile threats are just that, and they are beneath the dignity of this country.

          You can live in the fantasy world of Fox News that Trump isn’t a braggadocious blowhard rodeo clown with a yuge ego that cheated to “win the victory”, and who is feared by North Korea, but it’s still just a fantasy.

          1. He probably knows that one or several people would tackle Trump if he tried to go for the “football”

            I doubt Kim Jong Un shares your fantasy life.

            1. Do you really think that the level-headed generals would let him nuke North Korea? Do you think that the 2 Koreas haven’t been looking for a way to at least partially start some overtures of cooperation? Don’t you realize that the Olympics was the perfect segue for there to be at least some form of camaraderie? Trump had nothing to do with the Olympics or the decision for the 2 countries to unite, at least for creating a joint Womens’ Hockey Team. It went well, so they’re trying some more meetings. Trump and his nuclear button are irrelevant.

              What was your reaction when Kim Jong Un’s sister stood and applauded the U.S. Womens’ Hockey team, but Pence and wife sat down with their hands folded? Who was the class act here?

              1. Your problem in understanding this is that you think your fantasies about Trump are real. They are not, except between your ears.

                1. That’s your opinion. Actually, about 68% of the population thinks that the day glo bozo is a buffoonish cretin, As I’ve said before however, the damage this clown is doing will continue after he’s long gone; because at some point in time, the walls will get so near closing in on him, that this idiot will issue a lawful order to nuke some country or another as a distraction, and the adult generals in the room will be forced to disobey that order. Now that’s a problem.

                  this is to the nutty sufferer

                  1. Marky Mark Mark – Rasmussen has him at 51% approval, higher than Obama at this point in office. Not sure where you are getting 68% from. You got a cite for that 68%?

                  2. “That’s your opinion. Actually, about 68% of the population thinks that the day glo bozo is a buffoonish cretin, ”

                    Current presidential approcal rating – April 26 – 47% – that BTW is EXACTLY Obama’s approval on April 26, 2010.
                    Did 68% of the population thing that Obama was a Buffoon ?

                    I do not personally care what adjectives you use to describe Trump.
                    But the rest of us spent 8 years being called hateful hating haters for the slightest disagreement with Obama.

                    I think it is pretty clear where on the political spectrum intolerance and vicious hatred emanates.
                    Call Trump whatever you want. But understand you have ceded any right to criticise others.
                    Frankly I think that the Neo Nazis are more tolerant than you.

                  3. “As I’ve said before however, the damage this clown is doing will continue after he’s long gone”

                    What damage ?
                    Jobs continue to expand,
                    We have 3% growth and it is looking sustainable.
                    Wages are starting to rise
                    Standard of living is starting to rise.
                    Public confidence is the highest it has been in decades.
                    No only is China being restrained, but in many things they are actually working with us.
                    There is more hope regarding NK than there has been in 65 years.

                    I can go on and on.

                    While there are things I disagree with too.

                    Inarguably the country is better off during the year+ of Trump than in any similiar period under Obama.

                    This is the irreparable “damage” Trump has done ?

                    You have a very bizzarre idea of damage.

                  4. “because at some point in time, the walls will get so near closing in on him,”

                    Maybe – the left has been promising that for almost 2 years, yet we are FARTHER from that then when this started. Further, we are looking at a growing list of misconduct, investigation, charges, lying perjury by the factotums that have promissed that the “walls were going to close in”.

                  5. “that this idiot will issue a lawful order to nuke some country or another as a distraction, ”

                    Just because you say or beleive something does not make it true.
                    You constantly confuse beliefs with facts.

                    Worse the self contradiction in your views is troubling.

                    According to the left – we are supposed to risk nuclear confrontation with Russia – because someone must be blamed because clinton lost.
                    At the same time NK which is nearer to peace with the world than it has been in 65 years – that you think Trump is preparing to unilaterally nuke ?

                    Please some actual evidence that Trump is a dangerous warm monger ?

                    Has he started any new wars ? Obama started two!
                    Has he invaded any countries ?

                    Trump seems to be trying to get us OUT of conflicts Bush and Obama got us into, not start new ones.

                2. “Your problem in understanding this is that you think your fantasies about Trump are real. They are not, except between your ears.”

                  True but the problem is bigger, the problem is that the left does not understand that reality and what they want to be true are not exactly the same thing.

                  Whether the mueller probe is legitimate – it is increasingly obvious it is not,
                  it is near certain that a Special Counsel is going to bag someone. for something.

                  There was a very interesting examination of the Libby/Fitzgerald investigation recently – because it characterizes Comey and because it reflects the predetermined outcome of an SC.

                  Fitzgerald was appointed by then deputy AG Comey – because Ashcrofft was conflicted.
                  Fitzgerald and Comey are friends – just as Comey and Mueller are.

                  PRIOR to appointing Fitzgerald:
                  Armitage had come forward and revealed he was the inadvertant source of the leak.
                  The CIA had noted that Plame was already a public employee of the CIA and therefore the law could not have been violated.

                  Put simply Comey appointed Fitzgerald to investigate a crime that did not exist.

                  It is further noted that Fitzgerald Hounded Judith Miller until she reversed her testimony – which is what allowed Fitzgerald to prosecute Libby, and that subsequently Miller recanted – which the courts relied on the unanimously restore Libby’s bar license.

                  1. JS re: “True but the problem is bigger, the problem is that the left does not understand that reality and what they want to be true are not exactly the same thing.”

                    Don’t lump all the lefties together please. Progressives are not DNC cultists. More people are getting off the plantation and calling them out on their sh!t

                    1. “Progressives are not DNC cultists. ”

                      Absolutely !

                      The former are far more dangerous than the latter.

                      The DNC cultists are merely corrupt left leaning politicians more interested in power than ideology.
                      They have good rough equivalents on the right and are really indistinguishable.

                      Progressives are selling an ideology that has resulted in copious bloodshed everywhere it has been tried.

                    2. John Say – former Progressive and Bernite H.A. Goodman is now no longer a progressive and is voting for Trump in 2020.

                3. I saw the Pences sit down and fold their arms when the Korean team took the ice. Ms. Jong gave the American team a standing ovation. No fantasy here. It made the US look bad. That’s just one reason I have no respect for Karen Pence. The olympians were just kids, but the Pences decided to politicize the womens hockey event. They couldn’t even be good sports. They don’t represent my values or those of most Americans. Wht did they even go to the Olympics in the first place? Free publicity?

                  Trump consistently polls low. The only fantasy is the drivel spouted by Fox News.

                  1. Your entitled to your own perceptions regarding Pence – I am not a fan.

                    The olympics should not be a political battleground, but they inevitably are.

                    Trumps polling from the election to the present has nearly exactly matched Obama’s. It is rare that on a weekly basis they are more than 4 points different. At the moment Trump is 1 pt above where Obama was at the same time.

                    That is one factor out of many that suggest that democrats may do well in the 2018 election – as the GOP did in 2010.

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