Cohen Loses Bid To Block Review Of Documents Seized In FBI Raid

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Some of the documents seized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation reportedly relate to a payment of US$130,000 (RM505,128) that Cohen admits making to Stormy Daniels, who claims she had a one-night stand with Trump a decade ago. Trump's attorneys filed papers on Sunday that would temporarily keep the Justice Department from reviewing the materials gained from an April 9 raid of Cohen's home and office. Cohen's lawyers say they will then go through the materials and share relevant information with President Trump's legal team.&.

U.S. District Judge Kimbra Wood said that she had faith in the Justice Department's so-called "taint team" to isolate materials protected by attorney-client privilege, but added that she would consider allowing a neutral third party requested by Cohen to weigh in.

"For years, Mr Cohen has acted like he is above the law", she told reporters, dressed in a pale purple skirt suit and black blouse, after the 2.5-hour hearing.

The legal maneuvering is the latest twist in parallel USA investigations that Trump has assailed as a "witch hunt". They acknowledged that the investigation was referred by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is looking into Russian interference in the 2016 USA presidential election, but was being conducted by the US attorney's office in Manhattan.

"The notion that attorney-client privilege is so sacrosanct that the government can not review the documents or the court can not determine these issues is not only antiquated, it's no longer viable", Mr. Ross said.

McKay said Cohen's lawyers were attempting to make an "over-broad" claim of privilege, and that while the vast majority of Cohen's documents that were seized may likely relate to Trump, attorney-client privilege is much narrower in scope. But, as the news of Hannity's role ping-ponged around media and political circles in NY and Washington, Hannity downplayed any attorney-client relationship he has had with Cohen.

When Wood questioned Cohen's attorneys as to the legal ground for withholding the individual's name, they said he had asked Cohen to do so over the weekend, and that Cohen had a responsibility toward his client.

Prosecutors have asked that the seized documents be reviewed to identify those covered by attorney-client privilege by a "filter team" of lawyers within their office, who would be walled off from the main prosecution team. The privilege doesn't cover communications in furtherance of a crime.

Stephen Ryan, an attorney for Cohen, said Trump Organization materials had been seized in the raid. Prosecutors "already pre-judged the matter of privilege, repeatedly urging that few privileged documents are likely to be found", according to the filing. Insisting that Cohen's team were "pretty good people", he prompted a withering response from the judge.

Prosecutors with the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan said they have a "filter team" of lawyers separate from those involved in the investigation in place to review the documents for any communications between Cohen and his clients.

"The lodestar is fairness, not speed", Hendon wrote.

Cohen is due in Manhattan federal court as part of a criminal investigation largely related to his business practices.

Prosecutors argued that allowing the subject of a search warrant the ability to review what was seized before investigators can defeat its objective.

The judge asked each side to provide four names as potential special masters, but made clear she has not made a final decision. Cohen wasn't in court Friday. Cohen eventually found a more hospitable crowd on Friday afternoon outside the Regency, holding a cigar with a quorum of coiffed well-wishers who looked perfectly at home as extras in this plot. Michael Avenatti, a lawyer for Stormy Daniels, did not. She is suing Trump and Cohen to void a non-disclosure agreement she signed with a company set up by Cohen just before the election. Cohen says he paid the money on his own and wasn't reimbursed. After the Federal Bureau of Investigation raid on Cohen, Trump stepped up his criticism of Mueller.

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