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View Diary: Miers Confirmation Hearing Will be Pure Gold (321 comments)

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  •  Why would her Plame conversations be privileged? (4.00)
    According to John Dean, they would explicitly fall outside of privilege:

    Readers may wonder, why is Bush going to an outside counsel, when numerous government attorneys are available to him - for instance, in the White House Counsel's Office?

    The answer is that the President has likely been told it would be risky to talk to his White House lawyers, particularly if he knows more than he claims publicly.

    Ironically, it was the fair-haired Republican stalwart Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr who decimated the attorney-client privilege for government lawyers and their clients - which, to paraphrase the authority Wigmore, applies when legal advice of any kind is sought by a client from a professional legal adviser, where the advice is sought in confidence.

    The reason the privilege was created was to insure open and candid discussion between a lawyer and his or her client. It traditionally applied in both civil and criminal situations for government lawyers, just as it did for non-government lawyers. It applied to written records of communications, such as attorney's notes, as well as to the communications themselves.

    But Starr tried to thwart that tradition in two different cases, before two federal appeals courts. There, he contended that there should be no such privilege in criminal cases involving government lawyers.

    In fact, if Dean is right, you'd wonder why BushCo was so stupid to have Miers working with these guys to bust the rap, as presumably the picture indicates she was. Because she might be called to testify to those conversations.

    This is the way democracy ends Not with a bomb But with a gavel -Max Baucus

    by emptywheel on Mon Oct 03, 2005 at 09:36:42 AM PDT

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