Report: DOJ seized privileged attorney-client materials during raid on Trump’s Florida residence

by WorldTribune Staff, August 15, 2022

The Department of Justice allegedly seized materials that contained privileged attorney-client communications in its raid on former President Donald Trump’s Florida residence at Mar-a-Lago, a report said.

The FBI took boxes containing records covered by attorney-client privilege and potentially executive privilege during the Aug. 8 raid, sources familiar with the investigation told Fox News, adding that the DOJ opposed Trump lawyers’ request for the appointment of an independent, special master to review the records.

Legal scholar Jonathan Turley noted that the request for the appointment of a special master after the Mar-a-Lago raid seemed reasonable given the search warrant’s broad scope: “The request for a special master would seem reasonable, particularly given the sweeping language used in the warrant. It is hard to see what material could not be gathered under this warrant.”

Many observers believe Attorney General Merrick Garland ordered the raid as part of the ongoing search for materials that might relate to the protest at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, for which Democrats want the DOJ to prosecute Trump.

Fox News’s report raises doubts about whether the DOJ would be able to use any of the seized materials if it were to move to prosecute Trump.

The FBI claims to have also seized classified records from Trump’s Palm Beach home during the unprecedented raid, but Trump said the records have been declassified.

The attorney-client privilege, protected under the right to counsel guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, means that almost any communications from a client to his or her attorney cannot be revealed.

The only exceptions to the rule are when a client is communicating the intent to commit a future crime, or when the attorney is involved in a joint criminal or fraudulent endeavor. A confession of past crimes is still covered by the privilege.

Action . . . . Intelligence . . . . Publish