This may sound like a defense lawyer’s fantasy — government counsel trusts you to voluntarily hand over incriminating evidence against your client, while understanding that your ethical duty is to protect your client’s best interests — but it happened. To Hillary Clinton’s defense lawyers.
It’s good to be the Clinton lawyer.
For the rest of us, you know, defense lawyers representing the remainder of the population who are not Clintons, we respond to search warrants and subpoenas.
Let me explain.
The Feds have two ways to get evidence: 1) ask you, 2) force you. Guess how many times I have seen the first option? Zero. Zero times. Second option? 100% of the time.
And I’m not special. I checked with many defense lawyers. None of us have ever seen option 1. Ever.
Option 1 is like the Unicorn Option. It’s said to exist in imagination alone.
Unless you are a Clinton lawyer. Then you get to meet unicorns.
DOJ prosecutors came up with a most outlandish response to questions about giving Clinton this Unicorn Option: because her lawyers knew it’s a crime to destroy evidence, and because it saved time for the prosecutors.
Of course, Clinton’s lawyer’s knew that destruction of evidence is a crime. Most lawyers know this. This is like saying they met minimum competency standards. But we know her lawyers were far more intelligent than that. This is a loaded response. What else?
“The prosecutors stated that seeking evidence through consent also saved time by allowing the government to avoid motions to quash subpoenas based on privilege or lack of probable cause.” Wait. The prosecutors stated that they can avoid a few minutes of adversarial process? But the entire point of having lawyers on both sides is that they engage in adversarial process. IT’S THEIR JOB! They argued that not doing their job would save time?!
FBI disagreed with the prosecutors’ unique decision to use the Unicorn Option, and believed that: “Clinton’s attorneys had not been forthcoming about the existence of potential sources of evidence.” No way! Shocking! So weird.
That's when the unicorns started burping rainbows and the FBI’s concerns were disregarded.
AND THEN, the prosecutors didn’t get search warrants for 6 laptops provided to the government by Clinton’s lawyers on the condition that the government NOT search these laptops. Not The Onion. I promise.
Why not search them? Because they may have files subject to attorney-client confidentiality. Oh. So Michael Cohen and Trump, they are not entitled to voluntary non-search based on confidentiality concerns, but Clinton is. Of course. Unicorns.
AND THEN, the prosecutors decided that she can go home: “… at the end of the day, I do believe everybody felt that we had obtained everything that we needed to obtain in order to assess criminality.”
That’s when the unicorns started pooping cupcakes.
BUT the FBI disagreed. Even the agent who really hated Trump. He said that he was “aggravated by the limitations” that the prosecutors were placing on the FBI’s ability to obtain evidence and felt that “if you add up this delta over a bunch of decisions, all of a sudden it becomes substantive.” That FBI agent didn’t get a unicorn cupcake.
And that's the story of Clinton’s lawyers getting to meet unicorns.