US President Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer has arrived at a Manhattan court for a hearing over documents seized as part of a federal investigation that could cast a harsh light on Trump’s business and personal relationships.
Federal Bureau of Investigation agents raided Cohen’s home, office, safe deposit box and cellphones last week.
Prosecutors contend that Cohen was “performing little to no legal work” for Trump.
The prosecutors assert that they have confidence that any seized material would not fall under the significant amount of attorney-client privilege that Cohen has claimed.
The White House has denied Trump had sex with Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.
The raid prompted speculation that Mueller, or Rosenstein, would soon be fired for overstepping the bounds of the special counsel investigation – which is investigating Russian meddling and any potential collusion by the Trump campaign. Initially, Mueller had requested some records from Cohen while he was with the Trump family company – a position he held for about a decade – yet dropped the request after Cohen pushed back.
As a portion of the legal evaluation related to his own business practices, Cohen is due in Manhattan court.
“Both Mr Cohen and President Trump made inflammatory statements about this case”.
What is a “taint team?”
The President’s attorneys called the federal searches of Cohen’s home, office, hotel room and cellphones last Monday “an operation disquieting to lawyers, clients, citizens, and commentators alike”.
It’s been a rough week for Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, a lawyer who seems to never have anticipated passing any kind of scrutiny, public, legal, or otherwise.
Another option is to set up a “special master” who will vet the material to determine what is protected and what isn’t; that is the Cohen team’s second choice.
Mr Trump’s aides consider the Cohen inquiry, which has been underway for several months, to pose the greater threat to the president, the New York Times reported April 13.
Instead, Judge Kimba Wood ordered federal prosecutors to assemble and index the seized records and give copies to all parties in the case, according to USA Today.
The team comprises individuals who are not directly linked to the ongoing investigation, whether it be agents or lawyers, to make sure the process is carried out without any bias. “All lawyers are deflated and concerned”. It referred them to an ABA website which I wrote about a year ago, called Legal Fact Check, which was established “to help the public find dependable answers to swirling and sometimes confusing legal questions”. A lawyer’s communications with a client are not covered by the privilege if those discussions do not involve legal advice, or were used to further a crime or fraud.
Cohen is expected to attend the hearing.
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.
What’s worth watching, though, is whether Cohen will follow in his most prominent client’s footsteps and decry mainstream news outlets more frequently with #fakenews if they continue to unveil more unflattering information against him.