Trump wants to review all Cohen material before investigators
Trump wants to review all Cohen material before investigators
Under Siege, Michael Cohen Is Vacillating Between a New Level of Exasperation and Trumpian Business-As-Usual
17 April, 2018, 03:30
Attorneys for Cohen had already applied to Judge Kimba Wood at Manhattan federal court for a restraining order that would stop authorities reviewing the records seized from Cohen until Cohen's team has reviewed the materials themselves.
Cohen has been ordered to appear Monday in federal court in NY for arguments over last week's raid.
Michael Cohen is under criminal investigation for personal business dealings and was ordered to appear in court to help answer questions about his law practice. They said Cohen has told at least one witness that his only client was Trump.
Prosecutors say they've set up what's known as a "taint team" or "filter team" to review Cohen's documents so nothing they seized is used improperly or breaches client confidentiality. Not only has its use been controversial, but the information Cohen alleges to be "fake news" has turned out to be anything but in some cases. The raid, which took place on the morning of April 9th, targeted Cohen's office, claiming business records, emails, and documents pertaining to the Trump campaign's finances. Court documents show that Mr. Cohen was actually under investigation for months by the US attorney in NY, according to the report.
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. He said Cohen reached out to him after being contacted by Keith Davidson, an attorney representing the woman, and said he retained Trump's lawyer "after he informed me about his prior relationship with Mr. Davidson". Before that, he tweeted that "attorney-client privilege is dead" and lashed out at the investigation, calling it a "witch hunt".
On Sunday, attorneys with the law firm Spears & Imes fileda letter on Trump's behalf, arguing that Trump is asserting his attorney-client privilege, and should be allowed to view the documents so that he and his legal team can determine which ones are privileged before the government's team makes that decision.
Michael Cohen, who prosecutors revealed last week is under criminal investigation, has asked the court to give his own lawyers the first look at the seized materials so they can identify documents that are protected by attorney-client privilege.
They appeared in court on Friday, as did three lawyers for Trump, who at this time is not a party in the case. "I have many (too many!) lawyers and they are probably wondering when their offices, and even homes, are going to be raided with everything, including their phones and computers, taken".
Though President Trump declared after last week's raids that "attorney-client privilege is dead", there's actually a higher bar for obtaining a search warrant that might scoop up privileged materials. "All lawyers are deflated and concerned!"
On Sunday, Mr Trump's lawyers asked a judge to let him preview the files.
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