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#306456 - 04/22/18 02:37 PM WHO HAS THE LEGAL RIGHT TO LOOK AT MICHAEL COHENíS SEIZED FILES?
NW Ponderer Offline
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Registered: 09/09/11
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Brett Max Kaufman, from the ACLU, asks in Newsweek,WHO HAS THE LEGAL RIGHT TO LOOK AT MICHAEL COHENíS SEIZED FILES? It's a very good question.

Although we on the outside don't really know what's in the warrant, and what its basis was, I, like everyone else, suspects (and hopes) that the prosecutors have Michael Cohen by the short hairs. His behavior reeks of criminality. As an ardent Civil Libertarian, however, my intellect agrees with his assertion that a "Special Master" should be appointed to sift through the electronic files that have been seized. It's a mental war between, as my son puts it, "my monkey brain", that wants a good comeuppance, and my rational mind that recognizes there needs to be a limit on government intrusion.

For me it has almost nothing to do with "attorney-client privilege", and everything to do with Constitutional structures: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects".

In normal circumstances, as Mr. Kaufman notes,
Quote:
When the government executes a search warrant, it sometimes stumbles into things it never anticipated finding. When such things are incriminating and are located in ďplain viewĒómeaning that they are encountered by law enforcement during the reasonable execution of a lawful searchóthe government is entitled to seize them.
This is fairly straightforward when the place searched, and the items seized, have physical form. It gets very tricky, indeed, when they are merely bits and bytes.

How is a court to determine what is in "plain view" in electronic files? Just because the "files" are electronic should not give law enforcement carte blanche to traipse through them looking for criminality. And yet... this is Michael Cohen, Trump's personal shyster.

The approach suggested by Kaufman, a Special Master, is eminently reasonable, but not without inherent dangers. Special Masters, like every other human, have biases and predilections. Some will lean toward law enforcement, others against. Another layer of potential inconsistent application of the law. And yet, and yet, isn't the Fourth Amendment supposed to be a restraint on intrusive government action? We're defining sauce here, it shouldn't matter if the subject is a goose or a gander...

The war within continues. Righteousness or rationality. Where do you stand?
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Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich

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#306458 - 04/22/18 06:03 PM Re: WHO HAS THE LEGAL RIGHT TO LOOK AT MICHAEL COHENíS SEIZED FILES? [Re: NW Ponderer]
pdx rick Offline
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Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 41049
Loc: Puget Sound, WA


GPS Founders say that it is Trump's nefarious business dealings that will undermine him, not Stormy Daniels. I say, why can't it be all of these factors? smile Why put all the eggs into one basket? Hmm

OPINION: The Business Deals That Could Imperil Trump

Quote:
A string of bankruptcies in the 1990s and 2000s may have left Mr. Trumpís companies largely unable to tap traditional sources of financing,Ē they write in a new piece for the New York Times. ďThat could have forced him to look elsewhere for financing and partners at a time when money was pouring out of the former Soviet Union.

...

But a comprehensive investigation could raise questions about the Trump Organizationís compliance with anti-money-laundering laws and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which ó according to the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice ó makes it a crime for a United States company to act with willful blindness toward the corrupt activities of a foreign business partner.
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#306459 - 04/22/18 06:06 PM Re: WHO HAS THE LEGAL RIGHT TO LOOK AT MICHAEL COHENíS SEIZED FILES? [Re: NW Ponderer]
pdx rick Offline
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Posts: 41049
Loc: Puget Sound, WA

Felix Satter, the name that keeps popping up, all over the place. smile
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#306464 - 04/23/18 02:26 AM Re: WHO HAS THE LEGAL RIGHT TO LOOK AT MICHAEL COHENíS SEIZED FILES? [Re: NW Ponderer]
pondering_it_all Offline
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Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 7997
Loc: North San Diego County
We could just say that files that are encrypted are hidden, while plain text files on seized accounts or drives are "in plain sight". It may not be perfect but "plain text" correlates nicely with "in plain sight".

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#306468 - 04/23/18 11:09 AM Re: WHO HAS THE LEGAL RIGHT TO LOOK AT MICHAEL COHENíS SEIZED FILES? [Re: pondering_it_all]
pdx rick Offline
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Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 41049
Loc: Puget Sound, WA
Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
We could just say that files that are encrypted are hidden, while plain text files on seized accounts or drives are "in plain sight". It may not be perfect but "plain text" correlates nicely with "in plain sight".

Bow
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