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Feds can use Hamilton’s emails to his wife

A Richmond federal judge has ruled a legislator’s emails to his wife about an expected new job are admissible in his bribery trial, even though the emails were sent before a privacy policy was enacted at the legislator’s workplace.

U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson held the emails are admissible in the trial of former Del. Phillip Hamilton because he allowed them to remain stored on the office computer even after a policy went into effect that said all office emails would be considered public information.

The government contends the emails establish Hamilton’s intention to seek a university position that he helped create as a legislator.

Hudson also rejected Hamilton’s claim of marital privilege to protect his emails. Hudson said the privilege was waived by the failure to remove the emails from a public computer system.

Hamilton’s trial is scheduled for May 2.

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