Once again, a Trump team lawyer doesn’t understand the Fourth Amendment. Saying the Fourth Amendment was violated doesn’t make it so. I hear this everyday from my own clients who are far less sophisticated about the law than Trump’s own lawyers. It’s like their legal education came from a “Law and Order” episode they once saw.
Trump’s lawyers show they don’t understand the criminal justice system. Either that, or they know exactly what they’re talking about and trying to delegitimize the Special Counsel’s investigation. In the normal criminal case, defense counsel watches the moves of the prosecution as the investigation progresses to learn from it and organize the defense. A criminal investigation should not be a PR exercise because it usually blows up in the defendant’s face, but that seems to be all that Trump’s lawyers are doing. That, and lying to the client about what’s really going on, as in “the investigation will end by the end of the year.”
Since Saturday afternoon, there’s been several articles about a letter to Congress about this purported Fourth Amendment violation and haven’t found the letter yet. But, if the news reports are accurate, and they are consistent in content, we don’t need to see the letter. If we get it, I’m sure it will just confirm what we know: The Trump team is in over its head.
Where is the Fourth Amendment violation? I can’t see it from the articles, and not a word in the articles explain. Was a grand jury subpoena or search warrant used to get the emails? I’m betting search warrant because probable cause is such a low threshold and it carries the good faith exception. Once again, under existing law, where is the Fourth Amendment violation? I’ve noticed those without much of a grasp of the Fourth Amendment strain to find violations where none exist. And this is such an example, but it’s coming from lawyers not rationalizing suspects. I would have thought Trump would have assembled a “Dream Team,” but it’s quite the opposite. Even from this far away, I marvel at their fumbles and wonder how many far more competent lawyers there are in America that would be doing a better job.
Some of the articles:
● Inquisitr: Robert Mueller Accused Of ‘Unlawful Conduct’ And Violating Fourth Amendment Over Latest Move In Russia Probe by Heather Tooley: Why Special Counsel Robert Mueller is accused of “unlawful conduct” by President Trump’s attorney over how he obtained thousands of emails.
● Axios: Scoop: Mueller obtains “tens of thousands” of Trump transition emails by Mike Allen
● Reuters: Trump allies say Mueller unlawfully obtained thousands of emails by Steve Holland
● The Hill: Trump lawyer says Mueller obtained transition emails illegally by John Bowden
● WaPo: Mueller unlawfully obtained emails, Trump transition team says by Anne Gearan and Philip Rucker
Worse, to save his own butt, Trump is undermining federal criminal justice. As Trump rails against the FBI having its “reputation in tatters,” which is just another lie, he’s giving defense lawyers all over the country the ability to argue with a straight face that the FBI botched an investigation they didn’t. And that’s sad. If I can just get 2 or 3 Trump supporters on a federal jury ….