Editors Choice

The Unprecedented Greed Series: What do Rudy Giuliani, Ukraine, and Goodwin have In Common? Criminality.

NY Judge: Correia’s reliance on an out-of-circuit case, United States v. Hankins (5th Cir.), for the proposition that a client’s communication of documents to his attorney is a privileged communication is misplaced.

LIT COMMENTARY

GoodwinLaw defends “the money man”, David Correia, who is charged alongside two associates of Rudy Giuliani in an alleged scheme to funnel foreign money into the U.S. elections and to “dig up dirt on Joe Biden” (per Vicky Ward of CNN).

Goodwin, Correia’s new lawyers relied upon a 5th Cir. case when trying to say when you send all your damning digital devices via courier to your criminal lawyer, that’s attorney immunity and/or work product immunity.

The NY judge quite rightly rejected that argument.

Once again, Goodwin goes “above and beyond” for it’s high profile clientele.

Defendant Loses Bid to Suppress Evidence in Case Linked to Giuliani Associates

A Manhattan federal judge ruled Monday that the package, which included two notebooks, a hard drive, a computer and a smartphone, was not protected by attorney-client privilege and the attorney work-product doctrine.

June 22, 2020 | LIT Republished; June 27, 2020

David Correia, who is charged alongside two associates of Rudy Giuliani in an alleged scheme to funnel foreign money into U.S. elections, has lost his bid to suppress evidence he mailed to his lawyer just before he was arrested last year.

A Manhattan federal judge ruled Monday that the package, which included two notebooks, a hard drive, a computer and a smartphone, was not protected by attorney-client privilege and the attorney work-product doctrine.

According to court documents, Correia sent the package from a DHL overseas last October, shortly after he learned that Giuliani’s associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, were arrested on criminal campaign-finance charges.

At the time, Correia’s attorney, Jeff Marcus of Marcus, Neiman, Rashbaum & Pineiro, had arranged for his client to fly back to the U.S. and self-surrender in the Southern District of New York. However, Correia informed his counsel just before his planned take-off that he had left his passport at the DHL, which had closed for the evening, causing him to miss his flight.

Prosecutors later executed a search warrant on the sealed package, and used a filter team to review its contents for privileged material.

William Harrington, a Goodwin Procter Partner, is representing Correia in the criminal case, had argued that the package itself represented a privileged attorney-client communication because Correia had sent the items in order to obtain legal advice and to prepare a defense to the criminal charges he was facing.

“These intrusions into hallowed legal privileges and protections cannot be left to stand, particularly given the government’s awesome power to obtain attorney-client communications,” Harrington, a partner with Goodwin Procter, wrote in an April 3 filing.

“A rule that permitted the government to use these powers to peer into attorney-client communications would drastically reduce the confidentiality currently afforded in the American legal system to criminal defendants communicating with their lawyers,” he said.

Prosecutors in the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office responded in court papers that Correia could not “render the evidence privileged simply by mailing it to his attorney.” Correia, they said, knew he would be arrested as soon as he entered the United States, and had mailed the materials to ensure that he “did not have a single electronic device or piece of relevant evidence on his person” upon arrival.

Even if the package did constitute a privileged communication, prosecutors argued, that privilege would not extend to the electronic devices and notebooks inside.

U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken of the Southern District of New York on Monday sided with the government in ruling that the proposed “blanket suppression” Correia sought would run counter to the narrow protections that the privilege was meant to provide.

“To allow this vast swath of materials to be considered privileged is the antithesis of this court’s mandate to narrowly construe the attorney-client privilege,” Oetken wrote in an eight-page opinion. “Indeed, such an exception would swallow the rule: by simply sending to counsel all materials that could potentially be relevant, a client could render all relevant material in her case privileged and concealed from the opposing party.”

Contacted by email Monday, Harrington declined to comment on the ruling.

Correia and a fourth defendant, Andrey Kukushkin, are charged in an Oct. 10 indictment with making political donations that were secretly funded by a Russian businessman in order to win favor for a planned recreational marijuana business.

Parnas and Fruman, who both performed work on behalf of Giuliani, are accused of making political contributions exceeding the legal limit and then trying to cover up the source of the funds. Among the donations was a $325,000 contribution in May 2018 to America First Action, Inc., a super PAC supporting President Donald Trump.

Giuliani, the former New York mayor turned personal attorney to the president, has not been charged and denies any wrongdoing.

Ex-GOP congressman (Texas) says he’ll donate contributions from arrested Giuliani associates

Originally Published; Oct. 11, 2019 | Republished by LIT; June 27, 2020

A former Texas congressman who received at least $20,000 in campaign contributions from two associates of Rudy Giuliani who were arrested Thursday for campaign finance violations, has said he will donate the funds to local charities.

“Yesterday, I learned that two contributors to my 2018 campaign are being charged for not following campaign contribution laws,” Pete Sessions said in a statement Friday. “Their deception cannot, and should not, be tolerated. Therefore, I am contributing the amount of their contributions to charities that serve abused women and children and the elderly in Central Texas.”

Federal prosecutors say that one of the arrested men, Lev Parnas, urged an unidentified congressman to seek the ouster of U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch at the behest of Ukrainian government officials.

That happened about the same time that Parnas and his co-defendant Igor Fruman committed to raising more than $20,000 for the politician.

An indictment against Parnas and Fruman filed in the Southern District of New York does not accuse Sessions of wrongdoing or mention him by name, simply referring to the person as “Congressman 1.” But donations made by Parnas and Fruman match campaign finance reports for Sessions.

Sessions, who served in the House of Representatives for 11 terms before losing his seat to Democrat Colin Allred in 2018, announced recently that he will be throwing his hat in the ring for Texas’ 17th congressional district seat after GOP incumbent Rep. Bill Flores announced he’d be retiring ahead of the 2020 election cycle.

Parnas and Fruman’s shell company Global Energy Producers (GEP) allegedly contributed $325,000 and $15,000 to separate committees in May 2018, “to obtain access to exclusive political events and gain influence with politicians,” the indictment says. They allegedly incorporated GEP around the time the contributions were made.

According to FEC records, GEP contributed $325,000 in May 2018 to pro-Trump super PAC America First Action.

In a statement, a spokesperson for America First Action noted that a complaint was filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) in July 2018 over this contribution in addition to separate litigation in Florida. The statement said that the money was placed “in a segregated bank account,” was not used, and “will remain in this segregated account until these matters are resolved.

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