Tuesday, 18 September, 2018

Government lawyers using Cohen's media interviews against him

NATION-NOW    
          Federal judge denies Trump's bid to review records seized in FBI raid        Judge won't let Trump review FBI-seized records NATION-NOW Federal judge denies Trump's bid to review records seized in FBI raid Judge won't let Trump review FBI-seized records
Stacy Diaz | 16 April, 2018, 05:31

Cohen is reportedly being investigated for bank fraud and campaign finance violations.

It's unclear what the Federal Bureau of Investigation was looking for. Compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, the dossier details the efforts Russian Federation had allegedly taken to help Trump's campaign, including stealing and releasing emails from her campaign chair and the Democratic National Committee.

"We're pretty confident there are thousands of privileged communications", Mr Cohen's lawyer Mr Todd Harrison told the judge. Officials redacted a section in the document explaining why they thought they could not trust Cohen to turn over records willingly.

Citing "two sources familiar with the matter", the news agency reported that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has obtained evidence of a Cohen visit to Prague.

On Friday, McClatchy reported that Mueller has evidence that Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, made a trip to Prague in the summer of 2016.

During the raid on Cohen, the Federal Bureau of Investigation seized documents relating to the $130,000 "hush money" paid by Cohen to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, who claims she had an affair with Donald Trump shortly after the birth of his youngest son Barron, The Hill reported. The lawyers said they should be allowed to identify which of the documents are protected by attorney-client privilege before prosecutors get to look at them. The president does not use email, according to associates.

Attorneys for Trump lawyer Michael Cohen want the court to order prosecutors to temporarily halt an examination of the material that was seized. The U.S. Attorney's office has noted that that process has been used in the past in criminal cases against lawyers. They said Cohen has told at least one witness that his only client was Trump.

In Friday night's filing, Blakely and Harder argue that "where there are overlapping issues in criminal and civil cases, a stay "is appropriate to preserve [an individual's] Fifth Amendment Rights" - quoting from a federal court ruling from NY. McDougal said her lawyer at the time secretly negotiated with Cohen on a deal with American Media Inc, publisher of the National Enquirer, which paid her $150,000 in 2016 to keep quiet.

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

"As a privilege holder, he has an acute interest in these proceedings and in the manner that these materials are reviewed", the attorney, Joanna Hendon said at the federal court in Manhattan.

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

"He is the president of the United States", she said.

McKay replied that the president's attorney-client privilege "is no stronger than anyone else who seeks legal advice".

Prosecutors said the move is meant to ensure no documents are improperly used or breach client confidentiality. "If they in fact do exist, Attorney Davidson will pursue all his legal rights under the law".