Trump Wants To Review Seized Cohen Documents To Assert Privilege

Trump Wants To Review Seized Cohen Documents To Assert Privilege

Donald Trump's longtime attorney Michael Cohen is set to appear in federal court on Monday afternoon as he and the president are fighting to be able to review documents seized last week by federal agents before prosecutors do.

U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood said in hearings Friday and again on Monday that if Cohen wanted the court to declare that the some of his files were protected because of attorney confidentiality rules, he would have to divulge the names of his clients. As a first step, she told prosecutors to put all the seized documents into a searchable database and share it with Cohen's lawyers.

In a letter filed with the court on Sunday night, the president's attorneys argue that Trump's team should be able to review documents seized in Monday's raid to protect attorney-client privilege.

In her motion, the lawyer, Joanna C. Hendon, asked Judge Wood to give the documents to Mr. Cohen first so that she and the president can look at them and decide if any are protected by attorney-client privilege.

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It also potentially involved records related to porn star Stormy Daniels, who was paid $130,000 weeks before the election to silence an alleged affair she had with Trump.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas McKay said in court that the government took images of the contents of most electronic devices, leaving them behind after the raids, and that cataloguing evidence might be delayed because some devices must be sent to an Federal Bureau of Investigation laboratory to "decrypt" because they require code words. And even though Cohen's livelihood-and perhaps his freedom-hangs in the balance, no one in his boss' orbit seems interested in taking a fall for the man who is already in the process of taking a very precipitous fall, says Vanity Fair.

Prosecutors challenged the letter, saying this is not a special case, adding that "Michael Cohen and President Trump made inflammatory public statements about this case", Gainer reported.

That procedure involves having a "taint team" of prosecutors outside the investigation review all the material and separate what is covered by the privilege. The use of filter teams is standard in federal criminal investigations.

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The attorneys said in the filing that Cohen represented three clients in the past year.

Cohen's lawyers did not detail the type of legal work he did for Hannity.

He said the appointment of a "special master" to review the documents seized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation would establish the "appearance of fairness". "It nearly goes without saying, unfortunately, that none of Mr. Cohen's clients want to be associated with the government raid on his home and law office, or want to be affiliated in any way with the proceedings here and the attendant media coverage". "All lawyers are deflated and concerned!"

Asked whether he believed Cohen had any recordings of Daniels, Avenatti said, "I think any recordings that Michael Cohen made of people without their permission is a big, big problem - for Michael Cohen and possibly for the president of the United States".

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Setting the scene for more potential fireworks is Stormy Daniels' intention to attend the hearing, according to her lawyer. The president has denied any knowledge of the payment to secure Daniels' October 2016 signature on a hush agreement preventing her from talking about the liaison.

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