Have a Coke and a…subpoena?

Yesterday, I referred to the Human Rights Council’s bullying of the King & Spalding law firm. Now it comes out that Coca-Cola might have played a part in that bullying, too, and might be in for some thoroughly uncarbonated bad news as a result.

This isn’t a criminal court in which we are prohibited from inferring guilt from a refusal to testify. This is the court of public opinion. If Coke had zero involvement in this unseemly episode, it would be simple enough to issue a one-line denial. The company didn’t do that. I think it entirely reasonable (unless Coke has lost any PR smarts it has) to assume something went on here.

And guess what? The House of Representatives, not to mention state bar organizations, is fully capable of demanding answers. Ethics expert Richard Painter yesterday explained there is no attorney-client protection for any message from one client to its lawyers about another client…

Congress does have subpoena power, too.


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