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    04.11.18 Professor Miriam Baer Discusses F.B.I. Raid and Mueller Probe with The New York Times and Vox

    Professor Miriam Baer, an expert in white collar crime and criminal law and an associate director of the Law School’s Center for the Study of Business Law and Regulation, was quoted in recent stories on issues related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and the F.B.I. raids of the office, home, and hotel room of Michael Cohen, President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer.

    In an April 11 story in The New York Times about the raids on Cohen, Baer discussed the definition of privileged communications between a lawyer and a client.  Under the law, the story pointed out, “only materials that contain confidential communications between a lawyer and a client, or lawyer-client work product undertaken in anticipation of litigation, are potentially privileged,” but the public does not know what law enforcement officials are seeking, making it difficult to decipher the raids.

    “It bears remembering that not everything in Michael Cohen’s office, home or hotel is even covered by the privilege to begin with,” said Baer. “There are a lot of papers, data or files that could be in Michael Cohen’s office that don’t fit the definition of privilege.”

    In a separate Vox story the same day, Baer discussed why firing Mueller and Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein—if the President were to do so—likely would not end the probes or save Trump’s closest allies. “It seems highly doubtful…that either office would simply abandon its investigation on account of political or personal pressure,” she said. “The imperative to ‘do the right thing’ and see an investigation to its proper end has been woven into each office’s culture.”

    In an April 4 Vox story, Baer explained the difference between being a “criminal target” of the Russia investigation and merely a “subject” in the probe. “It’s important to stress the fluidity between categories,” she said. “Depending on the prosecutor’s case, a subject can very quickly become a target (and although less likely, a target might for some reason morph back into a subject).”

    Baer has been a frequent commentator on issues related to the Mueller investigation. In a separate Vox story last month, she explained the theory behind the charges against 13 Russian citizens and three Russian companies, accusing them of conspiring to interfere with the 2016 presidential election and help Donald Trump win the White House.

    Baer is a member of the American Law Institute and a Fellow at the American Bar Foundation. At the Law School, she teaches in the areas of corporate law, white collar crime, criminal law, and criminal procedure. Her scholarship, which focuses on organizational wrongdoing in public and private settings, has twice been selected for the prestigious Stanford-Yale-Harvard Junior Faculty Forum and for the American Law and Economic Association’s Annual Meeting. She has published her work in many journals, including the Columbia Law ReviewMichigan Law ReviewVirginia Law Review and Yale Law Journal Online, among others.

    Read more:
    Warrants and Privilege: Legal Questions About the Raids on Trump’s Lawyer
    Firing Mueller and Rosenstein won’t save Trump’s closest allies
    Mueller is investigating Trump, whether he’s a “criminal target” or not