This weekend, President Trump’s lawyers claimed that the special prosecutor Mueller improperly obtained 10,000 emails from their transition team. They claimed that these emails were private not government property. If so, any use of them would be a fruit of the poisoned tree. According to the New York Times, “When we have obtained emails in the course of our ongoing criminal investigation, we have secured either the account owner’s consent or appropriate criminal process,” said Peter Carr, a spokesman for the special counsel’s office. If Trump’s lawyers did not provide them, then we assume that they were obtained through a criminal process.
The transition team stored the emails on GSA servers. The agency did not own those emails. So, did the GSA have the right to provide them to Mueller? Democrats say yes. Otherwise, any other conclusion derails the investigation. Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform committee, dismissed the transition’s arguments. The GSA should have turned over the records to Mueller. According to the GSA, the transition team signed documents that allowed for monitoring. Therefore, they should expect no right to privacy. However according to LawandCrime.com ‘the only “notice” evidence otherwise given publicly is that an agreement between the GSA and the transition team identified the possibility of technical and maintenance audits, with some claiming this as a “waiver” of all privacy and privilege rights in the emails forever. Here again, the law does not support such a claim.’ But, no one waived the right to attorney/client privilege.
Attorney/client privilege is firmly established in US law. According to Trump’s attorneys, the prosecutors never should have seen those emails. They were privileged. Possibly, the prosecutors used those emails in interrogating witnesses.
If guilty pleas for lying were gained from illegally obtained emails, the convictions of Mueller must be thrown out.
They are the fruit of the poisoned tree. The Supreme Court in 1939 used this logic. If the source of the evidence is tainted, then anything gained from it is tainted as well. These findings could affect the outcome of Flynn and Gates case too. The persecution of Michael Flynn
The heart of the whole Russia collision case may be poison fruit. If the FISA court orders, to wiretap the Trump campaign used the discredited dossier, then, those wiretaps are poison fruit too.
The next step for President Trump is to declassify the FISA court warrant.
The president has the authority to declassify the warrant. According to the Supreme Court, the President, after all, is the “Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States.” U.S. Const., Art. II, 2. His authority to classify and control access to information bearing on national security… access to such information flows primarily from this constitutional investment of power in the President and exists quite apart from any explicit congressional grant. DEPARTMENT OF NAVY v. EGAN
Recent disclosures of text messages show an anti-Trump bias. The wiretaps and emails may be a partisan overreach to prevent Trump from a successful presidency. Only an open transparent process will stop the suspicions. Consequently, the criminal process which the emails were read must be disclosed. The FISA wiretap source also must be declassified. Our government must act in the light and not in secret.
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