Lawyer: Trump ready for role in raids' evidence review

27 April 2018, 12:37 | Isaac Mcdaniel

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Judge faces key choice in Michael Cohen case

She will ultimately decide what is considered privileged material that prosecutors can't see. The request for a special master was originally made by Cohen. The parties had submitted seven other possible candidates, including former magistrate judges and prosecutors.

The prosecutors have asked for a quick review.

Trump's comments in an interview with Fox & Friends were the first time he has conceded his connection to Cohen's deal with Stormy Daniels, who says she had a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006, after Trump's marriage and the birth of his youngest son. Earlier, she worked in both the United States Attorney's Office and the Manhattan District Attorney's Office.

Prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of NY wrote to federal Judge Kimba Wood on Thursday that they were prepared to withdraw their objection to a "special master".

In their filing, prosecutors withdrew their previous opposition to the appointment of a special master, provided that a third party receive the documents before Cohen and his attorneys.

Trump, who has said little publicly about an adult-film star who says she was paid to stay silent about a one-night stand she had with Trump in 2006, also confirmed for the first time that Cohen had represented him in "this insane Stormy Daniels deal".

Raiding an attorney's office is a last-resort option for the Justice Department when it fears that documents could be destroyed if they were sought in any other way. The judge said she'll "revisit" the arrangement if the process drags on, the New York Post reported.

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Wood ordered prosecutors to turn all of the seized materials over to Jones, who will review them to determine what is protected by attorney-client privilege.

Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen. Eight boxes of hard copy documents were removed. Her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, had previously told reporters that he expected Cohen to plead the Fifth Amendment, but it was not official until the court filing Wednesday. Cohen's lawyers are arguing that most of the documents are privileged, while SDNY has been saying that Cohen's records are predominately business records, not legal ones. He added that having Cohen's attorney suggest nonresponsive material would also slow down the task at hand, reviewing materials for privilege.

Cohen's NY home and office were raided by the FBI this month as part of an unspecified criminal investigation and Trump sought in the "Fox and Friends" interview to distance himself from his longtime personal attorney. There were no campaign funds going into this which would've been a problem, ' he said, in reference to the $130,000 payment to Daniels weeks before the election which Cohen says he made from his own funds.

Daniels' move to take part in the case in NY on Thursday could add another voice in the fight over who's reviewing Cohen's files.

Prosecutors had initially pushed for the use of a Justice Department "taint team" to perform the review, but cited new developments in changing their position. Agents also seized communications with his lawyer, Brent Blakely, about the civil case, Cohen said.

Daniels's lawyer concluded, "We now find out that that's bogus".

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