GOVT Recording Privileged Phone Calls With Attorneys
by Shari Dovale
The government prosecutors in the Bunkerville Standoff Trial in Las Vegas have been recording the privileged phone meetings between the defendants and their attorneys, according to a filing by Ryan Payne.
The motion to dismiss, filed yesterday November 8th, states that the government collected privileged attorney-client phone calls from an incarcerated defendant and then denied possessing such privileged materials.
On September 11, 2017, the government disclosed hundreds of phone calls including calls made from jail by co-defendant Blaine Cooper and the attorney representing him.
The motion goes on to state, “The recordings, which were made while Mr. Cooper was incarcerated at the Las Vegas City Jail between January 22, 2017, and February 17, 2017, address matters relating to the instant case, including preparation, criminal allegations, and strategy.”
Back in October 2016, Payne believed that CCA-Pahrump, the prison in which he was incarcerated, was recording his phone calls. He subsequently filed a motion which requested the Court issue an order (1) compelling the government to produce any recordings of conversations with counsel, and (2) instructing officials at CCA-Pahrump to cease and desist from recording privileged attorney client phone communications.
The Court denied the motion based on the government’s insistence that it had no recordings of conversations between Payne and his counsel, or between Payne’s co-defendants and their counsel.
However, since the government’s disclosure of recording Cooper’s calls with his attorneys, it is clear that the statements made by the prosecutors were untrue. Would this be considered prosecutorial misconduct? They made the recordings of the defendants privileged calls with their attorneys.
It is clear that the prosecution, including AUSA Myhre, have underestimated the Federal Public Defenders office and the defendants themselves. They have attempted to overwhelm the defense with large amounts of late discovery, but apparently assumed that with little money allocated to the public defenders, no one would have the resources to actually review the recordings.
These attorneys have taken this case much more seriously than the prosecutors expected and are holding the prosecutors accountable.
This is a serious violation of the US Constitution! They have recorded protected communications of attorneys and their clients.
We have seen multiple violations during the past 2 years this court has allowed. Navarro has allowed the prosecution nearly everything they have asked for, while denying the defense even the basics. But this is huge! Even Navarro will not be able to justify this breach.
It is in the realm of possibility that a full dismissal of this case will be soon given.
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