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CNN has a the actual paperwork up on their web site here:

https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/01/politics/doj-pardon-investiga...

Not a lot to glean from it. But it appears to involve 4 parties. I think one is the suspect - a political donor who has made substantial political donations in the past and is contemplating additional donations in the future. No word on who was the recipient of those donations. And it's not clear if the future donations are the bribe payment or not.

I suspect two of the other parties are the suspect's attorneys. And the main issue is attorney-client privilege. The potential error is including the fourth party - not the suspect's attorney and not hired by the attorney - in the e-mail conversations. Does that break the attorney client privilege? Apparently so, at least as far as this judge is concerned.

The issue is this attorney-client privilege. The judge decided that the privilege did not extend to certain communications involving this outside party. Those communications (apparently e-mails) became available to the investigators looking into a potential bribery for pardon scheme as well as an unregistered lobbyist issue.

It is possible that the potential pardon could be for the unregistered lobbyist crimes. I could see the investigators looking into the lobbyist issues and stumbling upon the bribery scheme. Or they could be separate. Hard to know with all of the redactions.

It also seems likely that the investigation is still ongoing and its clear that no charges have yet been filed. The original decision allowing the investigators to access the not-privileged information was made on August 28. The government wanted to keep this decision under seal, but the court found that it could be unsealed with sufficient redactions. So the redactions were made and the decision unsealed today (Dec 1).

Let the speculation commence. Or, ummm, continue, as I've already started speculating.

--Peter
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