90 Miles From Tyranny : Who Leaked the Trump Tape?

Friday, July 27, 2018

Who Leaked the Trump Tape?

The reason this is important to all Americans, beyond the immediate parties to this taped conversation, is that it may well discourage clients, patients, penitents and others from confiding in their lawyers, doctors, priests and the professionals who promise them confidentiality.

Cohen promised confidentiality and yet the world heard what his client confided in him.

Obviously, people who are willing improperly to leak confidential material may also be willing to lie about it under oath, but the consequences of lying under oath are greater than leaking, since leaking is not a crime but perjury is.

Someone leaked the lawyer/client confidential tape containing a conversation between President Donald J. Trump and his lawyer Michael Cohen. A former judge, assigned by the presiding judge to evaluate the seized tapes, reportedly concluded that this conversation was privileged. Yet someone leaked their contents. The President Trump's current lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, then waived the privilege as to that tape. He said he never would have waived it had its existence and content not been improperly leaked.

So, the question remains: Who leaked this privileged material? If it was anyone in the Trump camp, there would be no violation of confidentiality, as the privilege belongs to the client, namely Trump, who can waive it. But no one else, most especially his lawyer, may properly waive the privilege. And Giuliani has categorically denied that it was leaked by Trump or anyone on his behalf. Indeed, he has expressed outrage at the leak.

Whom does that leave? Cohen is an obvious suspect, although I am confident that his excellent and experienced lawyer, Lanny Davis, would not have done so. Perhaps Cohen himself, who ran into Michael Avenatti at a restaurant, told him about the tape. We simply do not know.

It is unlikely that any judicial or prosecutorial authority is responsible for the leak, because they would have more to lose than to gain if they were caught.

The reason this is important to all Americans, beyond the immediate parties to this taped conversation, is that it may well discourage clients, patients, penitents and others from confiding in their lawyers, doctors, priests and the professionals who promise them confidentiality. Cohen promised confidentiality and yet the world heard what his client confided in him. We know he recorded the confidential conversation without the knowledge of his client. That is bad enough. Then it was deliberately leaked by someone who must have believed he or she would reap some benefit or advantage from having the public hear it.

We must find out who is the source of this damaging leak — damaging to all Americans who place their faith in the promise of confidentiality from...Read More HERE

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