A legal adviser to Rudy Giuliani said he hopes former President Donald Trump will join in a court fight to attempt to block federal prosecutors from accessing seized material Giuliani believes is protected by attorney-client privilege, CNN reports.
Lawyer Alan Dershowitz, who is not formally representing Giuliani but acting in an advisory capacity, said the former New York City mayor will likely file a court challenge and wants his former clients to also seek to prevent prosecutors from examining the material. An attorney for Giuliani told CNN later Monday they are gearing up for a legal battle.
“Hope the people whose information is privileged, like Donald Trump, would join the lawsuit and say look you can’t see my stuff,” Dershowitz, a retired Harvard Law School professor who served on the then-President’s defense team in the first impeachment trial and whose career has mostly been focused on individual civil liberties, told CNN.
Spokespeople for Trump did not respond to requests from CNN for comment.
Giuliani’s legal team is set to expand with additional attorneys as the former New York mayor prepares for a legal fight, attorney Robert Costello told CNN on Monday night, but there is no current coordination between Giuliani and Trump’s legal team.
Costello said that Trump, who does not regularly text or email, may not have much direct communications swept up in the raid but noted there could be discussions by others about the former President, raising potential privilege issues that could be challenged.
Costello and Giuliani learned last Friday that the Department of Justice got an initial search warrant for Giuliani’s Apple cloud account in 2019. Costello questioned why additional seizures were needed since the communications would already be available via the cloud.
The warrant, Costello said, sought communications with approximately a dozen Ukrainians and Americans. It also sought communications with any government officials or federal employees related to former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
Federal authorities last week seized Giuliani’s electronic devices as a result of search warrants executed on his Manhattan residence and office. Costello said shortly after the warrants were served on his client that the devices are “replete with the material covered by the attorney-client privilege and other constitutional privileges.”
Trump’s other former attorney Michael Cohen went to court in 2018 to fight over privilege issues after prosecutors raided his home, office and hotel room.
Cohen’s attorneys first sought a temporary restraining order to prevent investigators from reviewing the seized material. After a federal judge denied that request, Cohen’s attorneys successfully sought the appointment of a “special master,” a court-appointed independent authority to review the material and determine which documents were privileged. The special master ultimately concluded that privilege applied to only a small portion of the thousands of pages of seized documents.