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Trump, Cohen denied exclusive first look at seized documents

Trump, Cohen denied exclusive first look at seized documents

Michael Cohen, personal lawyer of President Donald Trump, arrives for a court hearing at the US Courthouse in New York, April 16, 2018. An attorney for the president on Monday accused prosecutors of "government overreach".

Cohen, Trump's fiercely loyal and pugnacious lawyer, is in court to ask a judge to limit the ability of federal prosecutors to review documents seized from him last week as part of a criminal investigation. Trump said Sunday that all lawyers are now "deflated and concerned" by the Federal Bureau of Investigation raid on Cohen. Prosecutors said they expected to let Wood know on Wednesday how long it will take them to share the materials with Cohen's legal team. They said that prosecutors had already intercepted emails from Cohen and executed the search warrants only after discovering that there were no emails between Trump and Cohen. He declined to explain further when asked by the Guardian following the hearing.

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. But an exception exists for documents containing evidence that the attorney was involved in a crime.

Cohen is asking for the review to be conducted by a court-appointed attorney.

"This ends now", Daniels, accompanied by her lawyer, told reporters outside the courtroom. Also on hand was 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. Cohen has been under investigation for months for possibly committing election finance infractions and bank fraud. Daniels was swarmed by photographers and almost fell as she was hustled into a federal courthouse. She also appeared in court on Monday. Court artists craned to observe Clifford through their magnifying spectacles.

She continued: "It doesn't seem like Mr. Cohen is someone you go to when you have a real legal, tough problem you want an answer to".

"I understand he doesn't want his name out there, but that's not enough under the law", she told Cohen's attorneys.

Trump's attorneys argue that he and Cohen should not have to rely on the government's "clean team" to review the documents to protect his privilege, as he has "a unique interest in ensuring that every privileged item is fully protected from improper disclosure". "You can't take the high road and the low road at the same time".

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The disclosure came as Cohen's attorneys tried to persuade a federal judge in NY to delay prosecutors from examining records and electronic devices seized in the raids on the grounds that many of them are protected by attorney-client privilege.

Cohen was in court to ask a judge to limit the ability of federal prosecutors to review the documents seized from him last week.

Prosecutors in NY haven't identified what specifically they're probing, although they said in a court filing that "the crimes being investigated involve acts of concealment by Cohen".

It is unusual but not unprecedented for criminal investigators to seize documents from a lawyer, and there is a policy in place created to shield information covered by the attorney-client privilege. Prosecutors will now have a team separate from the one investigating Cohen put all of the seized documents on a searchable database - without reading any of them. "Our office has done no such thing", said McKay.

Cohen made a similar argument last week. "It is paramount that the review of Mr. Cohen " s data and documents be handled in such a way as to eliminate as much as possible, even the "appearance of unfairness'".

What is attorney-client privalege?

Wood directed prosecutors to produce a copy of all Cohen's files for his team and to begin searching metadata to estimate the volume of material. I think there is a significant danger to the president. Attorneys for Cohen suggested appointing an impartial special master to decide.

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