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  • Donald V. Watkins

Prosecutors Improperly Obtained Privileged Documents

By Donald V. Watkins

©Copyrighted and Published on April 11, 2018


In their zest to investigate my business and personal affairs, federal prosecutors in Birmingham, Alabama requested a mountain of documents that I provided to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in response to a civil subpoena issued in the SEC’s 2016 lawsuit against me. These documents included privileged attorney-client correspondence that was protected by a claw-back agreement designed to keep them from being inappropriately disclosed to other government agencies.


Shortly after Jay E. Town was sworn in as the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, his office commenced a blitzkrieg campaign against me. This new-wave COINTELPRO law enforcement campaign is designed to take me down, smear my name, and stop my online journalism. It has no legitimate law enforcement purpose.

To accomplish this unlawful goal, prosecutors have deliberately misrepresented the rights and obligations between my business partners and me under the plain language of corporate governance documents, purchase agreements, and promissory notes. Prosecutors have also threatened potential witnesses and “twisted” the proper context of business transactions that span the course of thirteen years. In some cases, prosecutors encouraged my business partners to feel “victimized” based upon their intentional misrepresentations of the contractual nature and scope of the business relationships at issue.


To be clear, no investor in my businesses has lost money. Each one gave me prior written authorization for every category of financial expenditures that prosecutors have under review.


At some point during their blitzkrieg campaign, Mr. Town’s prosecutors made a records access request to the SEC for its investigative records in the civil case. The SEC, whose high profile securities fraud lawsuit against me has stalled, dutifully complied with this request. During the records access process, the SEC wrongfully provided prosecutors with access to my privileged documents. To cover its exposure in this “discovery documents” breach, the SEC alerted my attorney to this situation.


Once my attorney learned of this breach, he demanded the immediate return my privileged documents. Among these documents was a vast cache of attorney-client emails between 31 lawyers and myself.


Prosecutors have acknowledged their receipt of the privileged documents, but now claim they did not review them as part of their blitzkrieg campaign. This explanation is simply not credibile.


Mr. Town’s prosecutors have known for some time that they were in possession of my privileged attorney-client documents. Yet, they only disclosed this fact to my lawyer for the first time on April 6, 2018. Even then, their disclosure occurred only after my attorney first raised this issue with prosecutors in an April 3, 2018 letter.


The government’s possession of my privileged attorney-client documents is inexcusable and has tainted whatever investigation prosecutors are conducting. In “Never Let Your Enemies Define Who You Are”, I exposed how prosecutors in my case have intentionally withheld exculpatory evidence from Grand Jurors in violation of their affirmative duty to disclose such evidence under Sections 9-11.010 and 9-11.233 of the U.S. Attorney’s Manual.


In light of (a) the misrepresentations made by prosecutors to my business partners about the nature and scope of our business relationships, (b) their threats to potential witnesses, and (c) their suppression of exculpatory evidence in my case, this recently admitted “discovery documents” breach further demonstrates a disturbing pattern and practice of prosecutorial misconduct in this investigation.


Based upon what the public is presently witnessing in the federal investigation of President Donald Trump, it is clear that the prosecutorial misconduct in my case is not an isolated incident. On Monday, the FBI disregarded the President’s attorney-client privilege and disrespected him by raiding the office, home, and hotel room of Michael Cohen, who is Mr. Trump’s personal attorney. This raid has created a firestorm in Washington.


At this juncture, we do not know what impact the improper possession of my privileged attorney-client communications has had in Mr. Town’s blitzkrieg campaign. What we know for sure is the indisputable fact that nothing in these privileged documents evidences any illegal activity on my part.


We have demanded a listing of the government law enforcement agents who reviewed my privileged attorney-client documents, as well as an accounting of how these documents have been used in the presentation of any evidence to the Grand Jury.


To date, this issue has not been resolved.


PHOTO: Attorney-client documents are privileged and protected from disclosure.


© 2020 by Donald V. Watkins, P.C.