Judge Extends Evidence Deadline For Cohen Team On Attorney-Client Privilege

by Garry Watts April 15, 2018, 0:13
Judge Extends Evidence Deadline For Cohen Team On Attorney-Client Privilege

In the filing with a court in NY, prosecutors blacked out a section describing what laws they believe Cohen has broken, but they said the "crimes being investigated involve acts of concealment" and suspected fraud.

The Friday motion said that because of that overlap, "Mr Cohen's Fifth Amendment rights may be adversely impacted if this case proceeds", a reference to the possibility that his testimony could be used by prosecutors to build a related criminal case against him. Trump's legal team is claiming that the raid has hindered the team's ability to provide proper legal defense for the president against the former adult film star.

Uncertainty over exactly what Federal Bureau of Investigation agents seized from Cohen comes as Trump faces an intensifying probe by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into whether his presidential campaign colluded with Russian Federation.

Each search warrant specifically describes how records seized that may fall into attorney-client privilege will be filtered out by a team that's walled off from the federal agents who have conducted the investigation, the prosecutors wrote.

A lawyer for President Donald Trump has sought in court to stop United States prosecutors from deciding what materials seized from his personal lawyer can be used in a probe that began with a referral by investigators looking into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Previous search warrants allowed NY federal prosecutors to search multiple email accounts, the filing said. Cohen reportedly said he "would rather jump out of a building" than testify against Trump.

The unusual, high-stakes court hearing Friday also featured an appearance by an attorney representing Trump, Joanna Hendon. She argued that material obtained from Cohen had to be handled carefully because some could relate to a sitting president.

Under US law, communications between attorneys and their clients are privileged and must remain confidential, but judges can grant exceptions in cases involving criminal wrongdoing.

Whatever the judge decided, Hendon noted, would have to "withstand scrutiny for all time".

Wood noted that she was concerned about what was potentially said in open court, since information about the underlying criminal investigation could potentially be exposed.

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She added that she was anxious about the "appearance of fairness", given the stakes.

McKay said Trump's ability to invoke the privilege is "no different" from anyone else's. Daniels opposes the request; her response to Friday evening's request is due by 6 p.m. PT Monday.

The afternoon portion of the hearing came after a hectic morning before Wood.

A lawyer for Daniels, Michael Avenatti, suggested his customer may function as the niche of some of those supplies, as well as her pursuits wanted coverage also.

A private sidebar then took place, and members of the press asked US District Judge Kimba Wood to make a transcript of that conversation public.

Over the next few hours and days we heard more about specifically investigators were looking for - we heard it related to Stormy Daniels, Karen McDougal, even the Access Hollywood tape!

The prosecutors noted Cohen had personally not turned over any documents to Robert Mueller's Special Counsel investigation.

They said agents had already searched multiple email accounts maintained by Cohen. They claim it's protected by attorney-client privilege.

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