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Alan Dershowitz: ACLU 'Sunk to New Low' in Supporting Cohen Raid

Image: Alan Dershowitz: ACLU 'Sunk to New Low' in Supporting Cohen Raid
Attorney Michael Cohen (AP)

By    |   Saturday, 14 April 2018 01:08 PM

The American Civil Liberties Union [ACLU] has "sunk to a new low," becoming a "cheerleader" for the violation of civil liberties of political opponents, evidenced in the FBI raid earlier this week to obtain documents from President Donald Trump's attorney Michael Cohen, said former Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz.

In an opinion piece in the Washington Examiner on Saturday, Dershowitz blasted the raid, saying it could open the door to precedent in seizing records protected by attorney-client privilege, even though the move was a violation to the Fourth and Sixth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

"Since the election of President Trump, [the ACLU] has sunk to a new low, becoming a cheerleader for the violation of the civil liberties of those on the other side of the political spectrum," Dershowitz wrote.

"The ACLU does not discuss the violations of the Fourth and Sixth Amendments that occur as soon as government agents read communications that were supposed to be protected by the Fourth and Sixth Amendments," he continued.

FBI agents raided Cohen's home and law office on Monday, reportedly seeking documents related to efforts by Trump and Cohen to prevent the release of a "Hollywood Access" tape during the 2016 presidential campaign, where years before the president made vulgar comments about women.

Agents also seized information related to a $130,000 payment Cohen made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels. Trump slammed the move as a "disgrace," declaring on Twitter that "Attorney-client privilege is dead!"

Dershowitz, who said he previously served on the ACLU board "with pride," said the organization had become a "left-wing, agenda-driven lobby group" that ignored "the civil liberties of Americans with whom it disagrees."

Dershowitz explained that while investigators could only turn over information to prosecutors that was not protected by attorney-client privilege, government agents will nevertheless have "read communications that are privileged."

"Imagine that the search was of your lawyer's office, or your doctor's office, or your spouse's computer, or the rectory of your priest. And imagine that government agents got to read the most intimate privileged communications between you, your lawyer, your doctor, your spouse or your priest.

"Would it be enough that the government (and the ACLU) told you that the information wouldn't be used in a criminal case against you? Would you believe that your civil liberties had been violated as soon as government agents read this material?

"Would you trust government agents not to leak embarrassing information about your conversations, especially if you were a controversial public figure?" Dershowitz asked.

This issue, Dershowitz maintains, the ACLU "does not address," and notes that nearly every contributor to the ACLU voted against Trump.

In supporting the ACLU raid, Dershowitz stated the ACLU "has abandoned its role as a neutral defender of civil liberties" and he called for another organization to step forward to represent a "neutral civil liberties organization."

"The hyper-partisan nature of American life, reflected by the ACLU's decision to justify potential intrusions into Trump's Fourth and Sixth Amendment rights, makes it necessary for someone to take over the traditional role of the ACLU. I hope others, both Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, will join me in protecting the civil liberties of all Americans," Dershowitz concluded.

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The American Civil Liberties Union [ACLU] has "sunk to a new low," becoming a "cheerleader" for the violation of civil liberties of political opponents, evidenced in the FBI raid earlier this week to obtain documents from President Donald Trump's attorney Michael Cohen,...
alan dershowitz, aclu, president donald trump, michael cohen, fbi raid, civil rights violation
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2018-08-14
Saturday, 14 April 2018 01:08 PM
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