The Justice Department has spent months investigating a “bribery-for-pardon scheme,” even as President Donald Trump was running for reelection, according to court documents unsealed Tuesday.

In a 20-page heavily redacted opinion, dated Aug. 28 but posted Tuesday evening, U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell wrote that attorney-client privilege didn’t protect certain communications if they were alleged to be part of a “bribery-for-pardon scheme.” The communications involved in the bribery investigation had been copied to a third party who was not an attorney, the opinion stated. 

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