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FBI Seized Recordings Between Michael Cohen And Stormy Daniels' Former Lawyer

15 April 2018

President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, on Friday filed for a 90-day delay in porn star Stormy Daniels' defamation lawsuit, citing Monday's raids on his home, office and hotel room by USA prosecutors.

Cohen is also requesting that the court allow his attorneys to review the seized material prior to investigators to ensure that the government does not review material covered by attorney-client privilege.

Federal prosecutors revealed on Friday that Cohen has been the subject of a criminal investigation for months. And they help explain why Mr. Trump was furious about the raid.

The Times reports that his advisers "have concluded that a wide-ranging corruption investigation in NY poses a greater and more imminent threat to the president than even the special counsel's investigation, according to several people close to Mr. Trump".

Cohen's lawyer cited attorney-client privilege in seeking to restrict access to "documents and communications related to numerous clients". Previous search warrants allowed NY federal prosecutors to search multiple email accounts, the filing said.

"We're pretty confident there are thousands of privileged communications", Cohen's lawyer Todd Harrison told the judge.

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In response to Cohen's motion to prevent prosecutors from using evidence collected in Monday's raids of his home and office, the USA attorney in NY asserted the raids were authorized by a federal judge to seek evidence of conduct "for which Cohen is under criminal investigation". She argued that material obtained from Cohen had to be handled carefully because some could relate to a sitting president.

"His attorney-client privilege is no stronger than anyone else who seeks legal advice", McKay told Wood.

Whatever the judge decided, Hendon said, would have to "withstand scrutiny for all time". Her client, the president "as the privilege-holder, has an acute interest in this issue". "... He is the President of the United States".

The report adds that Cohen pleading the fifth in a criminal case could harm Trump in his legal issue with Daniels, as Cohen is Trump's key witness.

The judge in the suit had given Cohen until Friday evening to formally request the stay. The hearing was set for Monday afternoon.

Michael Avenatti, a lawyer for Stormy Daniels, also made an appearance at the hearing.

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Judge Kimba Wood said Cohen's team will need to turn over by Monday a full list of Cohen's legal clients and the attorneys he's retained in various legal matters, as well as evidence proving that the parties were engaged in an attorney-client relationship.

That material appeared to concern Stephanie Clifford, who goes by the stage name of Stormy Daniels. Cohen's team, he said, was "delaying a government investigation because they can't come up with the facts to justify their case".

They said agents had already searched multiple email accounts maintained by Cohen. Her allegation was based on a February 13 statement by Cohen that she said hurt her reputation.

Cohen's attorneys say they want a chance to review documents seized in the raid on Monday and specify items they believe aren't relevant to the investigation.

Public corruption prosecutors in the USA attorney's office in Manhattan are trying to determine, according to one person familiar with the investigation, if there was any fraud related to payments to McDougal and Clifford.

In addition to searching Cohen's office and hotel room, prosecutors also obtained warrants to seize material from his cellphones, tablet, laptop and a safe-deposit box, according to people briefed on the warrants.

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FBI Seized Recordings Between Michael Cohen And Stormy Daniels' Former Lawyer