In an attempt to pressure the Justice Department to alter the way it investigates corporate fraud, a key member of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday formally introduced legislation aimed at preventing prosecutors from forcing companies to waive the attorney-client privilege in order to avoid indictment. Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., the outgoing chairman of the committee, said on the Senate floor that the DOJ had not moved quickly enough to change policies that he said encroached on corporate defendants’ constitutional right to counsel.
“I see no need for the Justice Department to publicly express a policy that encourages waiver of attorney-client privilege,” Specter said. “Especially where the policy is backed by the heavy hammer of possible criminal charges.”
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