'Witch hunt' claims ignore facts about raid

I applaud The Baltimore Sun for publishing letters to the editor that present both sides of today's divided political landscape. However, as I read some of these letters, I find it incomprehensible how so many can ignore the facts before them.

Now, it is the "witch hunt' concerning the searches of Michael Cohen's home, apartment and office (“Trump is right — there’s a witch hunt,” April 11). If it is a "witch hunt,” why did a federal magistrate judge authorize the warrants after reviewing the information investigators put before him? The U.S. Attorney's manual contains procedures on how to get subpoenas and search warrants for cases that look into a lawyer's materials. It also tells investigators to first exhaust all other avenues of evidence so as not to impinge on the attorney-client privilege. However, if there is a concern material could be destroyed, then a search warrant is appropriate. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who approved the Cohen raid, is a former U.S. Attorney for Maryland. So it would not be a stretch to say that he is probably well aware of the guidelines in the U.S. Attorney's manual on how to carry out an investigation on another lawyer.

As for Mr. Rosenstein's integrity, look at his record and I believe that speaks for itself. He was one of three U.S. Attorneys appointed by George W. Bush who were retained by the Obama administration. Mr. Rosenstein headed up a successful five-year investigation into Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson, a Democrat, on bribery charges. He also dismantled the Black Guerrilla Family's hold on the Baltimore City Detention Center. And in 2012, then-U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, a Democrat, asked Mr. Rosenstein to head a special investigation into leaks.

As for attorney-client privilege, the Department of Justice will appoint a "taint team" of lawyers, not assigned to the case, who will review the materials to determine investigators are not compromised by exposure to privileged material. In other words, so the prosecutors will not be "tainted."

The search warrants served on Mr. Cohen are separate from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation. Mr. Mueller did provide information to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York which, in turn, provided the information to a judge for the warrants. After all, Mr. Cohen himself practically admitted to bank fraud when he said he used a home equity loan to make a hush-money payment to Stormy Daniels.

I have heard the criticism over and over again that Mr. Mueller's "Russia" investigation is taking too long; so therefore, he can't have any proof of wrongdoing. Well, this latest news certainly shows why it's taking so long.

Michelle Peyton, Havre de Grace

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