Ethics Observations On The Michael Cohen Raid

The FBI raided the Rockefeller Center office and Park Avenue hotel room of Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, seizing business records, emails and documents related to several matters, including  payments to porn star Stormy Daniels.

What’s going on here?

Your guess is as good as mine. The options are endless. Today, for example, the New York Times is reporting that the raid was in part to find records related to the infamous, Billy Bush “Access Hollywood” tape  where Trump made his pussy-grabbing comments, according to the typical New York Times anonymous sources. What could that possibly have to do with Russia and its efforts to interfere with U.S. elections? Why would that material justify a raid on the President’s lawyer? The FBI also sought documents related to payments Cohen facilitated made to two women who claim they had affairs with Trump, Karen McDougal and Stephanie Clifford, as well as information on the role of the publisher of The National Enquirer in silencing the women. The raid could be a desperation fishing expedition. It could be part of an effort to intimidate Trump’s lawyers. It could be a sign that there is evidence of actual criminal activity that Cohen was covering up on behalf of his client. It could be the last-ditch effort by a corrupt FBI and Justice Department to bring down a President before he can bring them down.. Anyone who claims to understand this unusual tactic by Special Prosecutor Mueller is engaging in confirmation bias, and risking looking like a biased fool.

Observations:

  • The raid better have been justified, or heads will roll. It is very rare for the Justice Department to seek a lawyer’s documents relating to a client. The United States attorneys’ manual  tells investigators to exhaust all other ways of obtaining evidence first “to avoid impinging on valid attorney-client relationships.” It encourages using e a subpoena if possible, resorting to a search warrant only if unusual factors are present, such as if there is reason to believe the lawyer would destroy the evidence rather than turn it over.

We were told that Cohen was cooperating with authorities, so this is confusing.

  • The danger that such a raid may expose privileged materials to breached confidentiality is significant.  A defense lawyer could use such government over-reach  get a case dismissed.  Thus the Justice Department is supposed to create a separate “taint team” of officials who will vet the materials first. The taint team can’t tell their agents working on the case what they saw in any files that are deemed protected by the attorney-client privilege.

When the search is contested, a judge will be asked to review the materials the taint team decides are relevant to provide an objective ruling.

  • Alan Dershowitz, who has emerged, with Jonathan Turley, as an unlikely critic of the Mueller investigation and the “Get Trump!” machinations generally, has written a brief arguing that the raid and its handling is unconstitutional. Indeed, he argues that even the use of a taint team is unconstitutional, and concludes,

An equally important harm is to important relationships that are protected by the law: between lawyer and client, priest and penitent, doctor and patient, husband and wife, etc. If an ordinary citizen, seeing that even the president’s confidential communications with his lawyer can be seized and perused, he or she will be far less willing to engage in such communications. As a society, we value such communications; that is why our laws protect them and that is why it should be extremely difficult for the government to intrude upon them, except as a last recourse in extremely important cases.

From what we know, this case does not meet those stringent standards. Much of the material sought by the warrant could probably be obtained through other sources, such as bank, tax and other records that are subject to subpoena. Moreover, the alleged crimes at issue – highly technical violations of banking and election laws – would not seem to warrant the extreme measure of a highly publicized search and seizure of records that may well include some that are subject to the lawyer/client privilege.

Someday soon, the government is going to have to justify its decision to conduct this raid. I challenge any reader who is not concerned about this raid to honestly answer the following question: If the raid had been conducted on Hillary Clinton’s lawyer’s office and home, would you be as unconcerned? The truth now!

“For anyone who for some bizarre reason isn’t already convinced that Donald Trump is as qualified to be President as the average tolltaker in the Lincoln Tunnel, this is good test. Donald says that he is a tough boss who demands competence and a high level of performance from all employees. If Michael Cohen still has his job by this time next week, you’ll know how seriously to take that claim.”

Almost three years later, Cohen still is employed. Whatever trouble Cohen gets the President into now, nobody should have any sympathy for Trump.

  • However, the gloating, projections and assumptions from the resistance, celebrities, the news media (“The Law is Coming, Mr. President!” is the title of a Times editorial) and other Trump haters is ridiculous, un-American, and vile except to other Trump haters. We read and heard the same thing when Manafort’s offices were raided. Now they have him! Now he’ll be impeached! Yippee! Yahoo!

How disgusting. I presume the innocence of and wish success to all Americans, especially our leaders, as all fair and equitable people do. I will root for President Trump for many reasons, one being that elected Presidents should be unimpeded while they try to do the hardest job in the world, another being that the resistance is playing dice with the Constitution and the stability of the nation, but also because the anti-Trump fanatics deserve to be disappointed, humiliated, and defeated.

___________________________

Source: NYT

175 Comments

Filed under Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement

175 responses to “Ethics Observations On The Michael Cohen Raid

  1. 77Zoomie

    As I have with the President, I have worked hard to give the FBI and federal prosecutors the benefit of the doubt in terms of what they are doing here. I have not presumed ill of Mr. Mueller and I have operated on the assumption that the agents and federal bureaucrats involved in the investigation have been working diligently to perform their obligations under the laws as they see them. But the longer this plays out, and the more details that come out with respect to the actual investigation and the fallout from it, the more difficult I find it to believe that there is not a significant element of political partisanship at work here. This is particularly true when I compare the way this investigation is being conducted with the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s activities regarding national security matters and the Clinton foundation relationship with her office when she was working as Secretary of State.
    In other words, I can only hold my nose for so long. There may well be a legitimate basis for this highly unusual search of an attorney’s office and files. But this, for now, looks like a straightforward raid, conducted under who knows what pretenses to get the warrant, in order to vacuum up privileged documents in hopes of finding something, anything, with which to tar the chief executive.
    I am studiously avoiding reaching any conclusions, as of yet. But my nose plug is noticeably less effective these days.

  2. The BIG issue is now “Pussy Grabbing” and Stormy Daniels? Mueller is on a “Ho Hunt?” What does this have to do with Russia? Isn’t that where this was supposed to be? Now it is about illegal campaign contributions? Now that is really a big yawn from me – candidates organizations taking a backdoor handout. I’m with 77Zoomie on this. Enough is enough.

    • Rich in CT

      That would be why Meuller referred the matter to the Justice Department.

    • This is my take too. Ken white pointed out on his blog:

      “”Finally, it’s significant that Mr. Mueller sent this matter to the federal attorney’s office in New York for it to pursue. Mr. Mueller is empowered to investigate both alleged coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign and any matters “that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.” Mr. Mueller’s referral of the Stormy Daniels matter to New York suggests he believes it is outside that scope of his investigation. Perhaps it arose from press coverage of Ms. Daniels’s incendiary claims and from the bumbling and inconsistent public responses of Mr. Cohen and President Trump. In other words, this could be an own goal by the president and Mr. Cohen.””

      I think this is a particularly bad take from Ken, it suggests that the FBI takes cues on their investigations from CNN. Never in the history of ever have raids been conducted solely on media coverage.

      Did Mueller do the right thing? Only if the information that led to these actions originated from actions directly related (And Watching CNN doesn’t reach the level of FBI investigation… I hope.) to the investigation. At the time this broke I thought there might be an outside chance that in investigating relationships between Cohen and Russian nationals, Mueller might have found something previously unknown and related to the $130,000 cheque that might reinforce the election fraud angle… It was tenuous, but at least not facially absurd. When I heard that the raid was in part for information regarding the Access Hollywood tape, this moved into absurdity. There is a zero percent chance that anything related to the AH tape was 1) found as a direct result of the legitimate investigation and 2) even approaches reaching the bar that allows for an office raid.

      This whole thing was bizarre. Someone is going to be fired.

      • Chris

        When I heard that the raid was in part for information regarding the Access Hollywood tape, this moved into absurdity. There is a zero percent chance that anything related to the AH tape was 1) found as a direct result of the legitimate investigation and 2) even approaches reaching the bar that allows for an office raid.

        I’m not sure that’s true.

        Remember, the first Podesta e-mails were leaked only a few hours after the Access Hollywood tape story broke. The theory I’m seeing floating around is that Cohen and/or Trump may have coordinated with Wikileaks (which we know coordinates with Russia) to leak those e-mails to distract from the
        whole pussygrabber thing.

        I’m not sure how likely that is, but if Mueller’s investigation had turned up evidence that was the case, it would certainly explain why records related to the Access Hollywood tape would be relevant.

  3. The raid has me in a Doc Brown mood (from “Back to the Future”): “If my calculations are correct…you’re gonna see some serious shit.”

  4. Rich in CT

    I read through one commentary as to how Cohen violated campaign finance laws – just the day before the raid was announced, actually. The case is extremely flimsy – Cohen used his Trump.com email (illegal use of corporate resources for campaign business! 😲), and that he was allegedly motivated to help the campaign’s reputation (as opposed to being motivated by protecting Trump’s personal reputation, which would be legal – also rendering his use of a Trump.com email moot.).

    It occurs to me that if this case can actually get past an initial indictment – and more so actually getting a conviction, Trump is the exactly wrong defendant/ally of a defendant to test these laws. A) He is a billionaire; B) he is the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

    Trump is going to appeal, and/or fiance an appeal, all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary. The court will readily hear the case, since the Constitutional separation of powers if closely at issue.

    If the court hears the case, and overturns it, all of our campaign finance laws may collapse with it. Citizens United on steroids.

    People rooting for this prosecution, be forewarned.

  5. Rusty Rebar

    I am going to go with not enough info, but suspicious as all hell. Also, how long until the “taint” team starts leaking?

  6. Other Bill

    I’m beginning to think the government lawyers, private lawyers, judges, journalists, government employees, FBI agents, intelligence agents, lobbyists, advocates and other various people who inhabit the District of Columbia and its environs really do think they own and run the government and the country. They’re evidently furious someone has invaded their personal sandbox and they are bound and determined to run Trump out of town on a rail. It’s getting creepy and I’m getting depressed about it. It’s making me feel like a crackpot. And James Comey is on a book tour analogizing a sitting President to a mafia mob boss. Why is a former director of the FBI writing a book? Can’t anybody just shut up?

  7. Chris

    As Popehat has convincingly argued, it is almost impossible to believe that this raid occurred without proper justification:

    https://reason.com/archives/2018/04/09/what-we-know-about-the-search-trump-lawy

    You point out yourself that Cohen is a corrupt thug. There is plenty of reason to believe that he would have shredded any documents related to a crime committed between himself and Trump.

    Alan Dershowitz, who has emerged, with Jonathan Turley, as an unlikely critic of the Mueller investigation and the “Get Trump!” machinations generally,

    Please. Anyone who followed either of them during the Obama years knows that there’s nothing “unlikely” about their contrarianism when it comes to Trump. Their job these days is to be the people that conservatives trot out to say “See! Even these *holds nose* liberal law professors agree with us!” I don’t recall either of them publishing anything of note in the past decade that doesn’t clearly fulfill that purpose.

    I will root for President Trump for many reasons, one being that elected Presidents should be unimpeded while they try to do the hardest job in the world,

    “Unimpeded” by what? The biggest thing that has impeded Trump so far has been his own incompetence and corruption and the incompetence and corruption of his own hangers-on. Have the FBI and the media erred occasionally in responding to this incompetence and corruption? Yes, they have, sometimes in disastrous and career-discrediting ways. But the root cause is still Trump.

    another being that the resistance is playing dice with the Constitution and the stability of the nation, but also because the anti-Trump fanatics deserve to be disappointed, humiliated, and defeated.

    I can’t imagine thinking this about Trump’s critics and not about Trump himself. He is the poster boy for hubris. He deserves to be disappointed, humiliated, and defeated.

    And he will be.

    • Other Bill

      Now hubris is an impeachable offense? Good to know. Finally, someone has articulated what exactly Trump is guilty of. Thank you.

      • Chris

        I know that you can read well enough to know that that is nothing like what I said, so why are you pretending that you cannot?

        • Other Bill

          Please don’t presume to tell me what I do or don’t think. It’s a tiresome deflection you use. One of many.

          • Chris

            Ok, so you can’t read well enough to know that that is nothing like what I said.

            I won’t give you the benefit of the doubt in the future.

            • Chris wrote, “I know that you can read well enough to know that that is nothing like what I said, so why are you pretending that you cannot?”

              …and then Chris wrote…

              Chris wrote, “Ok, so you can’t read well enough to know that that is nothing like what I said.

              I won’t give you the benefit of the doubt in the future.”

              That is coming from the person that misrepresents what others write more than any other commenter at EA. Chris your double standard is exposed – again. Why don’t you gaze into a mirror once in a while and see what others see?

              Also; you’ve mentioned a couple of times about Trump’s “corruption”, please Chris share with us how you personally define corruption and then share a brief list of Trump’s “corruption”.

              Chris wrote, “[Trump] is the poster boy for hubris. He deserves to be disappointed, humiliated, and defeated.”

              Chris you need to understand that considering all the left is actively doing to bring down Trump it’s not a completely unreasonable extrapolation to interrupt what you wrote as “now hubris is an impeachable offense”. Heck even I wouldn’t have chastised you for writing something like that.

              • valkygrrl

                There are things I could actively do to bring down Trump? For the love of the gods man, tell me what they are.

                • You may be kidding. Millions are not.

                  • valkygrrl

                    Hey, if I can bring down Trump without committing treason, tell me and I’ll do it. As much as I loath Pence I’ll finally be able to sleep at night without worrying that the next presidential temper tantrum will tank the economy, cause a constitutional crisis or start a war.

                    It’s a sad state of affairs when it’s considered a win not to have shit-flinging man-child in the oval office but that’s where we are.

                    • Chris

                      I don’t even know why he thought you were kidding; the implication was that it’s wrong to want Trump brought down.

                      But there is nothing wrong with wanting a shit-flinging man-child brought down.

                      No, not even when that shit-flinging man-child is president. Especially when that shit-flinging man-child is president.

                    • Honestly, and I say this as a diagnosis, what an utter asshole you are sometimes. “But there is nothing wrong with wanting a shit-flinging man-child brought down.”

                      There is everything wrong with substituting your own personal tastes for that of the electorate, and believing that your sensibilities justify the contrived overthrow of an elected leader and his government: lawlessness, unfairness, disrespect, disrespect for process, arrogance, hubris, recklessness…and dozens more.

                      Your statement is a smoking gun.

                    • Chris wrote, “But there is nothing wrong with wanting a shit-flinging man-child brought down.

                      No, not even when that shit-flinging man-child is president. Especially when that shit-flinging man-child is president.”

                      What a bunch of sophomoric garbage. I suppose next your immature character will need to tell us that a turd is tapered on one end to prevent your asshole from slamming shut.

                      Grow the f*** up Chris.

                    • Chris

                      There is everything wrong with substituting your own personal tastes for that of the electorate,

                      I am not doing that, and “personal taste” has nothing to do with it.

                      and believing that your sensibilities justify the contrived overthrow of an elected leader and his government:

                      No, I believe that evidence of crimes committed by the elected leader and his government justifies investigating them.

                      lawlessness,

                      What lawlessness?

                      unfairness,

                      I’m always fair.

                      disrespect,

                      You’re right, I do not respect Trump. He is not deserving of respect.

                      disrespect for process,

                      No.

                      arrogance, hubris,

                      A little.

                      recklessness…

                      I’ve been very careful.

                      You have just given a good summary of some of Trump’s flaws, though.

                    • Chris wrote, “I believe that evidence of crimes committed by the elected leader…justifies investigating…”

                      So Chris where is this “evidence of crimes committed by [Trump]”, I haven’t seen any of it? Seriously Chris present this evidence of crimes committed by Trump right now or shut your hole.

                    • Chris

                      It’s unclear what you’re objecting to, Zoltar. The profanity? Should I bleep it out like you do? Your response was at least as immature as mine, if not moreso.

                    • Chris wrote, “It’s unclear what you’re objecting to, Zoltar.”

                      Then you’re an idiot.

                    • Chris

                      I imagine your response to my presentation of such evidence would be the same as your response to my presentation of evidence of Trump’s corruption, Zoltar.

                    • Chris wrote, “I imagine your response to my presentation of such evidence would be the same as your response to my presentation of evidence of Trump’s corruption,”

                      Screw you Chris!

                      I just now saw your list about three minutes ago Chris, so how about you act like a patient adult for just little while and give me a change to read and write a reply.

                • You may be kidding. Millions are not.

              • Chris

                Examples of Trump’s corruption off the top of my head:

                –Trump University
                –Using funds donated to his charity to buy a signed Tim Tebow helmet
                –Using funds donated to his charity to buy a giant painting of himself

                There are many more, and of course you know of examples of corruption of much of his staff as Jack has written about them here; there was one such story on this blog in the last week.

                • valkygrrl

                  Using staffers to promote his daughter’s business.
                  Not paying contractors forcing them to bear the costs of lawsuits and accept less than promised.
                  Use of campaign appearances to promote his business.
                  Use of his office to pressure a foreign government for personal gain. http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-organization-lawyer-letter-to-panama-president-experts-2018-4

                  • Chris

                    Imagine asking someone to come up with examples of Trump’s corruption and thinking that would be hard.

                  • valkygrrl wrote, “Using staffers to promote his daughter’s business.”

                    Did President Trump force staffers promote his daughter’s business to do that or did it just happen by chance. If President Trump is forcing staffers to do something like that I think you are correct.

                  • valkygrrl wrote, “Use of his office to pressure a foreign government for personal gain.(link)”

                    valkygrrl,
                    When are you going to learn that correlation ≠ causation?

                • Chris wrote, “Examples of Trump’s corruption off the top of my head:

                  –Trump University
                  –Using funds donated to his charity to buy a signed Tim Tebow helmet
                  –Using funds donated to his charity to buy a giant painting of himself”

                  Those could certainly be reasonably fair examples of Trump’s life before becoming President as long as they fall inline with your definition of “corruption”, which you didn’t bother to share. Please follow these simple instructions; “share with us how you personally define corruption”.

                  Now since the implications of what you originally stated were about Trumps’ time as President (that’s how I read it), please share with us the things you define as corruption from the now President Trump.

                  • So using Chris’ justification for smearing others, it’s now been just over two hours since I posted the comment above and Chris hasn’t replied yet.

                    POLL
                    Should I be like Chris and start smearing him for not replying within that two hour time frame?

                    1. Yes
                    2. No
                    3. I don’t know, this is over my head.

                    • Chris

                      Wait.

                      You think this…

                      “I imagine your response to my presentation of such evidence would be the same as your response to my presentation of evidence of Trump’s corruption.”

                      …Is a smear?

                      How delicate.

                      Yes, please do respond to me in a similar tone as the above quoted comment. It would be a huge improvement.

                      (And no, I am not going to define “corruption” for you.)

                    • Yes Chris, to anyone paying attention it was an intentional smear. Just be an adult and own it.

                    • Chris, you are the one that seems to bastardize definitions that’s why I asked how you define it so I can understand what you’re talking about. But that’s alright, just continue to deflect, we’re used to it.

    • adimagejim

      Let’s say you’re right. Trump is gone; perhaps deservedly so, perhaps not.

      Will your ideological side be satisfied? Or does Pence just become the next target? This will be the test for any ounce of honesty the Left may still possess.

      • Chris

        You’re right. Republicans only ever targeted one Democrat ever, and after that, never criticized another Democrat again. It’s only fair we offer the same courtesy.

        • That’s not the equivalency, and I think you know it.

          Whether or not the concerns are well grounded, it is a general concern that the Left won’t stop if Trump is impeached, but would then place Pence in it’s impeachment cross-hairs.

          This isn’t about targeting for mere criticism.

        • adimagejim

          Was Al Gore a target for impeachment? Dang, must have missed it.

          • Chris

            Al Gore…was never…President…

            • Vice-Presidents can be impeached, and Gore, in fact, did violate election laws by soliciting contributions from his office.

              • Chris

                Context is our friend, Jack. The conversation was about targeting Pence for impeachment after Trump is impeached, i.e., when Pence is president. That made adimagejim’s response about Gore a non-sequitur. I’m aware vice presidents can be impeached; that has nothing to do with the imaginary double standard adimagejim was creating out of whole cloth.

                • The context was Al Gore, and the theoretical impeachment thereof.

                  • Chris

                    No, I just explained what the context was. You are just ignoring it because you don’t want to admit you were wrong.

                    • A statement that is ignorant and fact does not become accurate when you shift the context. Gore could have been impeached. That he was not President was irrelevant.

                    • Chris

                      I did not say he could not be impeached.

                    • Chris wrote, “No, I just explained what the context was. “

                      I see you’re dragging the f***ing goalposts around the game field again Chris. What a unintelligent hack you are.

                      Chris wrote, “You are just ignoring it because you don’t want to admit you were wrong.”

                      Now you’re just being an asshole that’s bucking to be banned.

                      Geeze Chris, when the hell are you going to learn when you should just shut the f*** up?

      • Eternal optometrist

        This is the new normal, as someone on heee recently said. The over under for discussions about impeaching president pence is three days after taking office.

    • JP

      Thanks for sharing Pophat’s link. I’m don’t think Jack is saying it happened under unethical means, just that these are very dangerous waters and could set a terrible precedent (though he could have done without the last paragraph).

      At this point, everything is just speculation until more facts are released. It seems unlikely that this is Russia/Trump-related if the issue is past crimes (this is what NPR says). It could be just against Cohen himself and his relationship to Trump is why so many high-level sets of people (according to Pophat) were taken.

      • I see nothing especially useful in Ken’s post, except the quotes from the Handbook, which I had already linked to. That raiding the offices of a President’s lawyer is a big deal? I think we knew that. Ken, I believe, is also ignoring the massive evidence we have of “the resistance,” the “Get Trump” virus and other maladies blinding previously trustworthy professional, judges and magistrates. They were being careful because they knew their decision would be under scrutiny? Seriously? The same crowd that met with Bill Clinton while Hillary was being investigated? That never made Clinton interview under oath? That used an unreliable dossier to get permission to surveil a Trump campaign contact? It’s a big deal, all right, but which way it swings is very much in doubt.

        I’m happy to reiterate and endorse that last paragraph. The eagerness with which some Americans are actively seeking, not justice for actual crimes but proof of crimes they WANT to see the President proven guilty of so they can overturn the election is disgusting. It is a greater peril to the nation than anything Donald Trump could do or has done, and if he manages to do his job in the midst of such sabotage, he will have earned my gratitude and that of any other fair citizen.

        • Chris

          I see nothing especially useful in Ken’s post, except the quotes from the Handbook, which I had already linked to.

          That’s a shame.

          That raiding the offices of a President’s lawyer is a big deal? I think we knew that. Ken, I believe, is also ignoring the massive evidence we have of “the resistance,” the “Get Trump” virus and other maladies blinding previously trustworthy professional, judges and magistrates. They were being careful because they knew their decision would be under scrutiny? Seriously? The same crowd that met with Bill Clinton while Hillary was being investigated?

          It isn’t even the same crowd at all, as has already been pointed out to you in this thread.

          That never made Clinton interview under oath?

          Has Trump interviewed under oath and I missed it?

          That used an unreliable dossier to get permission to surveil a Trump campaign contact?

          That was not the only evidence used to get permission, as you know. I am disappointed to see you fall back on this discredited talking point after it has been proven that the FISA warrant was granted in an appropriate and legal manner.

          • Idiotic comment, Chris. The Mueller investigation was engineered and is being bolstered by the FBI and the Justice department, and they ARE the same crowd. Mueller appointed the same crowd to his team, which was, by the way, stupid and improper. And the FBI is now modelling a double standard that guarantees no bi-partisan support no matter what the investigation comes up with or how solid it is supported.

            Good job, everybody. And people like you are enabling it all. The blood will be on your hands.

    • As Popehat has convincingly argued, it is almost impossible to believe that this raid occurred without proper justification:

      You have quite a lot of faith in law enforcement.

      Perhaps you should read this blog’s post about Ken Anderson.

      • Chris

        Read the article, Michael. Ken White has basically zero faith in law enforcement, and he still says there’s no way this raid happened without the proper justification.

    • Chris wrote, “Have the FBI and the media erred occasionally in responding to this incompetence and corruption? Yes, they have, sometimes in disastrous and career-discrediting ways. But the root cause is still Trump.”

      These three sentences proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that Chris knows absolutely nothing about finding “root cause” and he speaks from utter ignorance.

  8. I’ll say it right now; if they don’t indict someone in very short order as a result of these raids then there was some serious problems with the information that lead to the warrant and everyone should be worried about the Justice Department. I’m going to wait as patiently as I can.

    I wonder how long it’s going to take for leaks of alleged “document contents” to emerge in the anti-Trump media. Those suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome will believe any dirt that makes Trump and his associates look bad, they don’t care if it’s true or false, they don’t care if the sources are real or figments of some biased “journalists” mind.

    • Chris

      How long did the Watergate scandal take?

      • Rich in CT

        Nixon had the benefit of being smart. Trump and co. don’t have that luxury….

      • Watergate is really not a good comparison Chris.

        If they’ve got the evidence now that they’ve completed this raid they should indict “immediately”, if they still don’t have the evidence to indict in very short order then this has ALL the appearances of a witch hunt that was instigated by Robert Mueller.

        When the confidential client/attorney relationship between a client and his attorney is literally destroyed by a government agency then the result of this raid could easily be the start of a new precedence for attorney client relationships, especially when it comes to prominent people or politicians. I’m really concerned about how this has transpired and you should be too.

        I’m quite sick and tired of all the witch hunting in politics, if you’re not equally sick and tired of it then there is something seriously wrong with your ideological views of the world.

  9. Chris

    It is genuinely funny to me that the general reaction here to Trump’s lawyers’ office being raided by the FBI is to talk about how much the left sucks.

    • Eternal optometrist

      Glad you can have a laugh! Indeed the best evidence. Was John Edwards campaign managers office ever raided by the FBI. That’s a serious question, I really don’t know.

    • valkygrrl

      That’s their reaction to everything. Do you not recall that a couple days ago, on this supposedly ethics themed blog, I posted a speech from Mr Rogers? Did anyone even take note of the ethical principals he spoke of?

      Did you not notice that the only reply was dur hur hur, liberals suck and then a bunch of people chiming in with ya that’s great liberals do suck, dur hur hur.

      Why would you for one second except to be engaged in good faith?

      • Eternal optometrist

        I’ve always found dur hur hur to be a convincing argument.

      • Chris

        I admire your level of cynicism while still not being quite able to reach it, v.

      • I wonder if there’s a way for Jack to quantify how many posted links are actually clicked in his discussions?

        I also wonder if video links are less likely to be clicked than article links.

        I also wonder if likelihood of clicking video links decreased as length of video increases.

        If there’s any data that implies a very low likelihood of someone watching a 16 minute long video, then I think your snark is uncalled for.

    • Isaac

      It might be related to the fact that Cheryl Mills and several other people related to the various Clinton shenanigans were all offered immunity right up-front, and then basically allowed her lawyers were allowed to destroy whatever evidence they wanted and hand over what was left.

      All while having plenty of time to destroy evidence both before and after a subpoena was delivered. Some show of consistency would make the public less suspicious.

      • adimagejim

        Isaac: Stop with the logic and facts. It offends so many.

        If Trump is guilty of committing high crimes or misdemeanors, impeach him. We are, or are supposed be, a country of laws.

        Let’s be crystal clear, the laws are not being impartially executed. If they were, Hillary Clinton would already be on trial, in prison, or potentially worse for violating many laws many times.

        Who gets pursued and how they are pursued is the issue at hand.

        • Chris

          If Trump is guilty of committing high crimes or misdemeanors, impeach him. We are, or are supposed be, a country of laws.

          Yes…and one of those laws is that people need to be investigated first, to see if they’ve committed a crime…

          This seems to bother you.

          • Cooked up, fishing expedition investigations that continue until they find something should bother everyone. Basic Golden Rule issue.

            • Chris

              Good thing that’s not what this is, then.

            • …Coming soon to progressives near you, too!

              Oh, this is going to end badly. Progressives have not learned that the rules they break will be broken against them as well.

              I am beginning to cheer for that to happen, as unethical as that is. Otherwise, progressives will continue to get away with their lawlessness, eventually leading to prison for those who disagree.

              This is the way of all socialist movements, historically speaking.

              My former conservative fellow travelers view this latest outrage as the final straw. The two tiers of justice are too blatant. I fear this road we are on.

            • Jack Marshall wrote, “Cooked up, fishing expedition investigations that continue until they find something should bother everyone.”

              One thing an experienced investigator will tell you is that if they turn over enough rocks they will find something on any suspect and then they can trap them in a lie. All suspects are guilty of something, they just have to find that thing the suspect is guilty of and then leverage it somehow. Guilt by association is one of the worst slippery slopes in predefined guilt and starting a witch hunt. Unfortunately, this is how many investigators approach their duties. Yup I’ve personally known a few Police Officers, Metropolitan Detectives, and FBI agents in my lifetime.

              If you interview most investigators they will likely deny what I just wrote, but have a few beers with your friends that do that sort of work for a living and you’ll get an entirely different answer.

              • By the way; this statement “all suspects are guilty of something, they just have to find that thing the suspect is guilty of and then leverage it somehow” is exactly what those suffering with Trump Derangement Syndrome are counting on and they really don’t give a damn how they turn over the rocks, they’ll justify it as long as the “moral” motive is to bring down Trump.

          • adimagejim

            I want both sides treated equally under the law. If you believe Trump and Hillary have been treated equally under the law, then I suggest you seek help.

            Nevertheless, if Trump is guilty of high crimes or misdemeanors, impeach him. Then Pence becomes President. The result, if not the process, suits me fine.

  10. valkygrrl

    Anyone who claims to understand this unusual tactic by Special Prosecutor Mueller is engaging in confirmation bias, and risking looking like a biased fool.

    What does Mueller have to do with any of this? Has he suddenly been named United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York?

    • Chris

      Yes, Mueller handled this in the best way possible—by referring the issue to the NY states attorney. He is above critique here.

      • Chris wrote, “He is above critique here.”

        That is an assumption that you simply cannot support at this time because none of us have absolutely any idea what specific information Robert Mueller refereed or whether that information was accurate.

        “Above critique” is a stretch.

      • Glenn Logan

        For once, I almost agree, and I’ll get to the qualifier later. From the reports I have read, he did what he should’ve done in the referral.

        What is still unclear is what was referred, and why. My concern is that Meuller is using a crime theory that would generally not be prosecuted except as a civil violation, and using it as a means to get at Trump’s privileged communications with his lawyer.

        I am entirely skeptical of “taint teams” and other such “protections” against the breech of privileged data. I am persuaded by Alan Dershowitz’s argument that these are not protections and that such searches are not constitutional.

        Finally, if Mueller is using a pretense, which I suspect but am willing to be persuaded otherwise, he is not only deserving of critique, but of dismissal. The attorney-client privilege is sacred in this country, and has been eroded too much already. This has the potential to do grave damage to it that may never be recoverable.

  11. Aleksei

    If whatever they uncovered in Cohen’s emails/penthouse letters is short of sacrificing virgins at a secret retreat for the world’s rich and famous, cough Bildeberg, Davos types, cough, there’s going to be some serious ‘splainin to be had. The situation will probably ripen for a South American style military junta. I bet under that “administration” they will be very curt with our wise bureaucrats.

    Also, is it me, or did The Zuck at his congressional testimony come off as wet cardboard?

    • valkygrrl

      This is basically Cohen.

      So there’s no doubt all sorts of interesting things in those, erm, penthouse letters. The DOJ will never see those things though. They’ll only see what was outlined in the warrant (which we haven’t seen.)

      • Aleksei

        I just wonder what their probable cause was that justified such an intrusive look see. If it was the Stormy Daniels stuff, then I should be in federal prison for jaywalking on multiple counts by now, serving two life sentences. And to compare with The Godfather, even the feds didn’t get to bust Micheal’s balls like that, even though they suspected him of murder, racketeering, conspiracy, so on and so forth. And that senator was xenophobic, when he said he didn’t like Italians.

        • valkygrrl

          Michael and his father were both bribing judges and one assumed, magistrates. It was a major plot point, no one could get into the drug business without getting busted unless the Corleones told the judges to look the other way

  12. Greg

    I’ve never understood the justification for middle-of-the-night, no-knock raids in cases like this. If Cohen were a drug dealer who could flush the evidence down the toilet or an armed desperado who might start shooting, that would be one thing. But this time, the feds were there to seize thousands of pages of documents. If they had arrived at noon and knocked on the door, how many pages could he have shredded before he had to let them in?

    One thing that I haven’t seen commented on: Several of the stories mentioned that the search warrant covered communications with not just Trump but some or all of Cohen’s other clients, too. What’s that about? Are the other clients related to Trump in some way? Was the crime here that Cohen was defrauding his clients and embezzling funds held in escrow? I suppose that might justify seizing client records and explain why Mueller handed the case to the SDNY as being unrelated to his own investigation. But other reports have said that he didn’t really hand off the case; he only handed off the execution of the search warrant. The bottom line seems to be that nobody outside the investigation has any solid information about what’s going on, and despite the investigation’s reputation for being leaky, nobody in the know is talking.

    • valkygrrl

      and despite the investigation’s reputation for being leaky, nobody in the know is talking.

      Who did the what now? Leaky? When? We don’t find out about anything that doesn’t happen in open court for months unless the subjects spill the beans.

      If Cohen were a drug dealer who could flush the evidence down the toilet or an armed desperado who might start shooting, that would be one thing.

      How long does it take to swallow a mirco-sd card full of documents?*

      *Though personally if I were hiding data from the FBI, I’d try a spy coin. https://jet.com/product/Covert-Compartment-US-Nickel-Hidden-Compartment-Coin/ea0d4c4b0cde4c5c9e147cb7138f3842 …actually I get a certain perverse pleasure from the thought of making the FBI X-ray every coin in someone’s possession and then if you had a few hollow coins with SD cards full of random noise you could make them spend their time trying to decrypt…..

  13. Something stinks. I do believe the Swamp is striking back, regardless of what side of the Aisle they sit on.

    Note the Left has been prepared to protest/riot for over a year, with at least a quarter million volunteers signed up. Astroturf

    Bought and paid for by Soros.

    • Chris

      “Cohen is a felon”

      “Soros”

      Something something lock her up

      Man, this thread has really brought the partisan idiocy

      • You forgot “He is above critique here.”

        • Chris

          Mueller is a Republican. I am a Democrat. By definition, my defense of Mueller cannot be “partisan,” Jack.

          • Wrong. Political affiliation does not mask or change bias that serves partisan agendas. Richard Painter claims to be a Republican. You really assume that what someone puts on a voter registration, this neutralizes all other biases, emotion and alliances?

            Oh, you probably do.

            • Chris

              You haven’t provided a shred of evidence that Mueller is biased against Trump, other than the fact he’s investigating him.

              • Glenn Logan

                Let’s put it this way, then. If this search was a Mueller ploy to circumvent the attorney-client privilege, the emperor will be as naked as a jaybird when it comes to his motives.

              • Chris wrote, “You haven’t provided a shred of evidence that Mueller is biased against Trump, other than the fact he’s investigating him.”

                Based on the conversation leading up to this comment, this comment is another example of illogical and immature argumentation and pretty darn good evidence that Chris’ Cranial Power Generation Potential is approaching infinity.

          • Chris wrote, “Mueller is a Republican. I am a Democrat. By definition, my defense of Mueller cannot be “partisan,” Jack.”

            This is illogical and immature argumentation.

            Chris has been hanging around middle schoolers way too long, their “logic” and “reasoning” has rubbed on on the teacher instead of the other way around.

            • Mueller is a Republican! So what? So is McCain, Romney and Flake. Now that is a Trump hit squad the TDS groupies would be proud of.

              The link below has an editorial from the Boston Herald that summarizes what I have position posted on this thread as have others. I have no “love” of Trump, but I also have even less love for such as obvious bias.

              http://www.bostonherald.com/opinion/editorials/2018/04/editorial_investigators_reveal_bias_against_trump

            • It’s also kind of ignorant about prosecutors. Prosecutors are trained to find probably cause, catch, charge and convict people. That’s their bias. That’s why so many of them abuse their power. It has nothing to do with politics.

              • Chris

                Then my comment wasn’t partisan.

                • 94% of your comments are partisan. The odds were in my favor.

                • Chris wrote, “Then my comment wasn’t partisan.”

                  You clearly don’t understand this statement from Jack, “Political affiliation does not mask or change bias that serves partisan agendas.”

                  Something else you’re not considering; in today’s toxic political environment, anything that supports attacking President Trump can be perceived as partisan in the same way that anything that supports President Trump can be perceived partisan. The perception of the support(s) I mentioned usually associated with the known source of that support, regardless of which side of the argument the support comes from, is usually what causes them to be labeled partisan.

                  There are those in these blog threads that have labeled Jack partisan, personally I think they’re completely off their rockers; it’s clearly a perception problem based on ones own bias and on how what is read is perceived.

                  • Chris

                    The clearest display of bias in this thread has been that of those desperate to spin the raid of the president’s lawyer as reflecting negatively not on the president or his lawyer, but on the president’s detractors and those investigating him. This despite the fact that the raid had to be approved by multiple layers of beuraucracy, all of which had to determine that there was strong likelihood that the president and his lawyer have committed a crime in the context of their attorney-client relationship and that Cohen would likely destroy evidence of such.

                    Somehow, that’s still about the left.

                    • Chris wrote, “The clearest display of bias in this thread has been that of those desperate to spin the raid of the president’s lawyer as reflecting negatively not on the president or his lawyer, but on the president’s detractors and those investigating him.”

                      Part of that Chris is your own terribly biased partisan perception of all things political. By the way Chris, you are spinning just about everything, heck you are even calling people “felons” with your Freudian slip and followup comment that haven’t been convicted of anything, isn’t that spin. Am I correct in assuming that you’ve removed all the mirrors in your home.

                      Chris wrote, “This despite the fact that the raid had to be approved by multiple layers of bureaucracy, all of which had to determine that there was strong likelihood…”

                      That doesn’t make the raids right, it only means that it was approved based on what was presented to the judge issuing the warrant. We’ll see as this progresses.

                      Chris wrote, “…which had to determine that there was strong likelihood that the president and his lawyer have committed a crime in the context of their attorney-client relationship…”

                      You are extrapolating an assumption in regards to the President, what it does imply is the likelihood that Cohen might have committed a crime of some sort, beyond that Chris we are ignorant of the reasons behind the warrant.

                      Chris wrote, “…and that Cohen would likely destroy evidence of such.”

                      Actually Chris we don’t know that that was part of the justification for the warrant. In fact, to my knowledge, Cohen had been cooperating with investigators.

                    • Except you can’t analyze this raid in a vacuum. There is no spin necessary. The Left has demonstrated, since the election, that it is in Get-Trump-At-All-Costs-For-Anything mode. The raid merely looks bad BECAUSE of this.

                    • Chris

                      The raid doesn’t look bad at all.

                    • Chris wrote, “The raid doesn’t look bad at all.”

                      For certain it wouldn’t look bad to any anti-Trumper with permanently attached industrial-strength weapons-grade thickened ideological blinders. #Corneilus_Gotchberg.

                    • Better yet…

                      “…permanently attached industrial-strength weapons-grade thickened anti-Trump blinders.”

                    • A no-knock raid on a non-threatening target.

                      Early morning hours.

                      *Supposedly* to find intel related to the “pussy grab” tape amidst *actually* wanting intel related to porn-star payoffs all somehow speciously under the umbrella of a Russia-Collusion investigation.

                      By NO rational, objective evaluation are those optics squeaky clean.

                      However, it all looks pretty dirty given the context of it falling ultimately in the realm of an investigation that has produced *nothing* regarding it’s original intent but nicely fitting with the overall objective of….

                      Get Trump At All Costs For Any Reason And Damn The Consequences

                    • Chris

                      Read the Ken White article, Michael.

                    • Does it undermine my assessment that regardless of results of the raid or the appearance of the raid, the optics will turn out good for the Anti-Trump-All-The-Time crowd?

                    • Chris

                      It says nothing about optics or the “Anti-Trump crowd” at all, because that isn’t Popehat’s obsession. The article is about what the raid means for Cohen, the guy who was raided, and Trump, Cohen’s client. I realize you don’t care about that, and only care how the raid can be spun so you can get your digs in at the left. But that isn’t what matters.

                    • If the article doesn’t address my original observation, then I’m not sure what you’re trying to do regarding my original observation…

                    • Chris

                      The article challenges your assumption that the raid was unjustified. I don’t know how to make that more clear.

                    • Did I characterize it as unjustified?

                      Or have I been commenting on the optics?

      • Chris wrote, ” ‘Cohen is a felon’ “

        What context you were writing that in and why did you put quotes around it? No one in this thread has written “Cohen is a felon”; no one.

        • Chris

          That was meant to be “Comey.”

          • Chris,
            I think you should seriously consider that it was a Freudian slip on your part.

            • Chris

              It’s possible.

              Cohen is probably a felon.

              • Chris wrote, “Cohen is probably a felon.”

                This is an illogical argument. Either he is or he is not, there is no probably.

                Neither Cohen or Comey are felons. A felon is “a person who has been convicted of a felony” and neither of those individuals have been convicted of a felony.

                • Chris

                  Ah.

                  I must have missed when you corrected slick on this point.

                  • Chris wrote, “Ah. I must have missed when you corrected slick on this point.”

                    Are you really this much of a self-centered and stupid troll?

                    I completely reject your implication of a double standard. The comment you just replied to is correcting both at the same time Chris.

                    I know good and well that slickwilly is reading these comments. The difference between slickwilly and you is that slickwilly has the intelligence to understand and accept what I wrote instead of trying to attack the messenger with yet another unethical deflection.

                    Bite Me Chris!

      • Chris has proven himself a smug hypocritical party hack, not interested in actual discussion, debate, or fair treatment. He is unethical, as as such I will not dignify his responses any further. Do not feed the trolls.

        • As evidence, note that Chris replied to NOTHING that I wrote, just blathered some partisan bullshit designed to smear anyone he has a political difference with.

        • Chris

          Look, you can’t invoke the demon-god Soros and then accuse others of being “hypocritical party hacks.” Nor can you do so after using Trumpian catchphrases like “the swamp” while deflecting from the swamp-like behavior of Trump and his cronies. Have you no self-awareness?

          • Chris has proven himself a smug hypocritical party hack, not interested in actual discussion, debate, or fair treatment. He is unethical, as as such I will not dignify his responses any further. Do not feed the trolls.

            Note he still deflects. Facts matter not to progressives.

            • valkygrrl

              That’s how you feel then?

                • valkygrrl

                  to slickwilly

                  Sir,
                  You have on several occasions, the most recent being a comment posted publicly on April 12, 2018 at 11:24 am, stated despicable opinions related to the character of persons whose political convictions fall under the common label of progressive. Knowing sir as you do mine own political opinions, I am left with the inescapable impression that have with malice impugned my character.

                  I address this letter to you, sir, hoping to receive prompt and unqualified acknowledgment or denial of my inclusion in your denunciations of progressives that, in focusing on private character, clearly fall outside the honorable disagreements between political opponents.

                  I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

                  valkygrrl

                  • When I ever find an honest progressive who does not change their support for political gain… but that is a defining characteristic of progressives.

                    Charles is a liberal. Spartan is a liberal. They can agree to disagree without claiming their opinion is right regardless of facts. They do not set out to destroy political enemies out of some emotive self righteous conviction that their cause is true (all evidence to the contrary) and the ends justify the means.

                    Progressives are dishonest. They play games with words, they lie, cheat, and steal. They believe that America is the worst nation on Earth, but ignore the shitholes of their socialist brothers. I also notice they never emigrate as they threaten, and can never explain how such a terrible place keeps getting so many fleeing from those wonderful countries.

                    Racism is racism, regardless of the color of the racist. It is not political disagreement as progressives have used it for a decade. You cannot right a past wrong by repressing the uninvolved because they share skin tone in common with the long dead oppressors. White privilege is bullshit, at least in fly over country. Sexism is sexism, whether directed at men or women. Equal protection under the law eschews protected classes. There are two (and only two) sexes, defined by biology not feelz that change on whim. These are facts, not opinions.

                    America is far from perfect, but it is the very best nation currently existing, if not the best in history. Can you agree with that statement?

                    (It is not partisan, being neither Democrat or Republican. Indeed, the Establishment is part of the problem: they are all crooks looking to profit while misleading those who they are supposed to serve)

                    Private character matters. If one supports progressive narratives, one cannot consistently also have what society traditionally terms a good character. Integrity, essential to good character, does not allow it.

                    If the shoe fits, val. Does it?

                    • Chris

                      Why do you think this blog is designed for your random political screeds?

                    • Chris wrote, “Why do you think this blog is designed for your random political screeds?”

                      Oh man, this is rich coming from Chris. As a friend of mine says a lot, that thinking is going to come back to haunt Chris.

                    • Z:
                      Oh man, this is rich coming from Chris. As a friend of mine says a lot, that thinking is going to come back to haunt Chris.

                      Chris does not have to worry about past stances haunting future virtue signalling. This is a great advantage to being progressive: the ends justify the means. He is not self aware enough to see what he wrote as ironic.

                      Chris:
                      Why do you think this blog is designed for your random political screeds?

                      Chris has proven himself a smug hypocritical party hack, not interested in actual discussion, debate, or fair treatment. He is unethical, as as such I will not dignify his responses any further. Do not feed the trolls.

              • Chris

                slick: Man that Chris is partisan

                Also slick: Progressives suck progressives suck progressives suck progressives suck progressives suck

  14. Could you folks take a break for a half hour as I have to go to the store for some more popcorn?

  15. The get Trump at all costs crowd doesn’t have to care about the legality of the raid or the legality of anything they obtain from the raid…they know the optics of having the media run the narrative these past two years.

    Either the raid produces stuff useful for the get Trump at all costs crowd, which is a win for them.

    The raid produces nothing, but the reporting we hear is “Alleged This with Possible Ties to That”…which furthers the well poisoning.

    The raid turns out to have enough unconstitutional aspects that whatever it produces gets shut down, and the media reports it as though it is part of a cover-up…win for them.

    The fiasco that once was a supposedly Russia Collusion investigation, and EVERYONE WHO EVEN REMOTELY supports this, are all responsible for the irrevocable damage being done to the Republic.

    If things do go sour in a decade, as Jack puts it, the blood is on their hands.

    • Chris

      There is no evidence that the raid was illegal or unconstitutional. None. Your comment makes it quite clear that the only reason you want to believe it was illegal or unconstitutional is to stick it to the left.

      • There you go again, mis-characterizing what I’m talking about.

        I notice in the other thread you never took back your distortions.

        Here, I’m commenting about why the get Trump at any costs crowd doesn’t have to care about legality. I didn’t say it was illegal.

        Go back, re-read. My comment is all about how well maneuvered this whole disgrace has been, because regardless of how the raid turns out, it’s an optics win for the rabid hate Trump crowd..

        • Chris

          If you don’t think it’s illegal or unconstitutional, then your comment is meaningless except as another slam on the left.

          Which goes for most of the comments in this thread.

          • Jack has already demonstrated that legal raids of this type have, in a large percentage of situations, had enough questions about the process involved, to have the raid’s findings tossed out of any court.

            This scenario is perfectly in line with my analysis that regardless of how the raid turns out, all forks in the road lead to good optics for the hate-Trump-for-breakfast-hate-Trump-for-lunch-hate-Trump-for-dinner crowd. In such a scenario, it would fit with this:

            “The raid turns out to have enough unconstitutional aspects that whatever it produces gets shut down, and the media reports it as though it is part of a cover-up…win for them.”

  16. Michael R.

    And all this discussion just illustrates the central issues of the last presidential election. An arrogant, unethical President was elected. He is now being hounded by endless charges of arrogant and unethical behavior. However, his opponent has been shown to be guilty of those same offenses and worse. Had Clinton been elected President, all the same charges of arrogant and unethical behavior currently being levied against Donald Trump would be at least equally as valid. The difference is that we all know there would be no investigation, if Clinton had been elected. There would be no non-stop press coverage of it for over a year. There would be no press corps demanding answers. There would be no FBI investigating. There would be no CIA, NSA, and FBI leaks about it on a weekly basis. I feel that Donald Trump has done this nation a great favor. No, it isn’t by being President. It is by showing us how corrupt our government agencies and the press have become. It has shown us how badly our government acts, how it is enabled by the press, and how acceptance of this is indoctrinated into the next generation by our educational institutions. It has shown us that we are subjects, not citizens. It has shown us that when we elect someone, we are only allowed to elect someone the governing elite approve of. Finally, it has shown us that some people don’t have to obey the law and that those who cross the elites can and will be charged with crimes, even if those crimes don’t even exist.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.