‘So ordered’: Court grants Trump request to intervene in Michael Cohen case


Haley and the Russian ambassador argued over a possible US military strike to retaliate against Syria. Russian Federation has denied meddling in the election, and Trump has said there was no collusion.

FILE Picture: U.S. President Donaldtrump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen leaves a resort in New York City, U.S., April 1 1, 2018.

Meanwhile the lawyer for adult film star Stormy Daniels argued that the seized materials concern his client, who claims the president slept with her. Given that the warrant was already approved by a federal judge, that’s a hail mary pass that isn’t going to work.

A source familiar with the matter told CNN on Friday that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had also seized recordings Cohen made of his communications with Keith Davidson, who had represented both Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal.

Trump has called the raids a “witch hunt”, “an attack on our country” and a violation of rules that ordinarily make lawyer client communications confidential.

Whatever the state of their relationship, Trump and Cohen’s lawyers went to court Friday in an effort to block the Justice Department from reading seized documents, and although Cohen was not technically required to be there, a judge seemed upset that he didn’t appear.

“The (US Attorney) and Federal Bureau of Investigation have reason to believe that Cohen has exceedingly few clients and a low volume of potentially privileged communications”, the Justice Department motion said.

“Although Cohen is an attorney, he also has several other business interests and sources of income”.

Prosecutors said the raid on Cohen’s office was the result of a “months-long investigation” into Trump’s personal lawyer, and that the crimes largely relate to Cohen’s “own business dealings”.

Todd Harrison, an attorney for Cohen, urged U.S. District Court Judge Kimba Wood to issue a temporary restraining order to let either Cohen’s lawyers or a court-appointed special master review the material seized by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents.

Trump attorney Joanna Hendon told the judge that the president has “an acute interest in these proceedings and the manner in which these materials are reviewed”. Her firm, Spears & Imes, was retained on Wednesday, she said, adding that she’d had just two hours notice of the arguments. I think the public is a close second.

McKay, the assistant US attorney, told the judge that he believed the proceedings were an attempt to delay the processing of seized material.

Referring to Trump, McKay said: “His attorney-client privilege is no stronger than anyone else who seeks legal advice”.

Cohen’s lawyers, for their part, have asked to review the material for themselves, a proposal which the Manhattan prosecutors are fighting.

They also argue that Daniels, too, would be prejudiced, because, they write, she “likely would be unable to obtain the documents and deposition testimony that she is seeking from Mr. Cohen” – presumably because he would invoke the Fifth Amendment privilege.

But “the attorney-client privilege can’t at the same time be used as a sword and as a shield”, McKay told Wood.

Cohen wasn’t present for the hearing. Previous search warrants allowed NY federal prosecutors to search multiple email accounts, the filing said.

And he’s barely doing any “legal work” for Trump, either, they claim.

In Friday night’s filing, Blakely and Harder argue that “where there are overlapping issues in criminal and civil cases, a stay “is appropriate to preserve [an individual’s]Fifth Amendment Rights” – quoting from a federal court ruling from NY.

Both Trump and Moscow deny any wrongdoing. His lawyers appeared in court that day.

In an interview, Avenatti said he wants to make sure “that the integrity of the documents, whatever was seized, is maintained”. He then followed with a suggestive tweet that “the weather forecast for Monday looks very Stormy”.

Such an order would be sought to stop the government from using seized materials, according to a person familiar with the investigation. Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 before the election, and he allegedly helped coordinate a $150,000 payment McDougal from American Media Inc., the publisher of the National Enquirer.

Hendon, who said Trump hired her on Wednesday evening, urged Wood not to decide who gets first shot to review seized documents until after she files a brief by Sunday night.


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