Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
Entertaiment | By Mabel Barber

Donald Trump seeks to limit access to records seized in Federal Bureau of Investigation raid

Also expected to be on hand is adult-film star Stormy Daniels, whom Cohen secretly paid $130,000 in 2016 to keep quiet the details of an alleged sexual liaison she had with Trump.

Lawyers for Cohen and Trump want to be allowed to decide which items seized from his home and office are protected by attorney-client privilege before criminal prosecutors see them. "The cases upon which the government relies do not authorize this extraordinary measure, and, to our knowledge, no court in this Circuit has ever forced a privilege-holder, over his objection, to rely on government lawyers to protect his attorney-client privilege as to materials that were seized from his own lawyer's office".

Wearing a pink suit and high heels, Daniels was the main attraction - for the media anyway - at a court hearing before a federal judge considering what to do with records and electronic devices that the FBI seized last week in raids on President Donald Trump's lawyer, Michael Cohen. "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". He did not attend Friday's hearing and was then ordered by the judge to appear in court Monday to help answer questions about his law practice.

Trump's request, in the form of a letter from other lawyers representing him, could further complicate a hearing set for Monday afternoon.

Trump, or his lawyers, would then get to say what he believed to be off-limits to investigators.

The US Attorney's Office has proposed to use a so-called "taint team" to conduct the initial review - lawyers from the office who are not involved in the Cohen investigation - to determine what, if any material, should be shielded from the investigators because it is protected by attorney-client or another privilege.

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On Friday, lawyers for Cohen appeared in federal court in NY asking that they, not the Department of Justice, be given a first crack at reviewing the seized evidence to see if it was relevant to the investigation or could be forwarded to criminal investigators without jeopardizing attorney-client privilege. Cohen has been under investigation for months, according to filings connected to the federal search warrant. 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.

She added that "the president respectfully requests" that the judge issue an order barring the taint team from conducting an initial review of the seized material and require the government to turn over a copy of that material to Cohen's lawyers.

On Sunday, Trump took to Twitter to comment on the possibility his attorney-client privilege has been trampled on.

They have asked Wood to appoint a special master to sift through the seized documents and excise ones that pertain to his work as an attorney for his clients.

In addition, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is also looking into whether any fraud was committed in connection with Cohen's ownership of taxi medallions - assets whose value has plummeted in recent years.

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