Manhattan federal prosecutors on Friday agreed to put on hold any review of materials seized from the office of President Donald Trump's personal lawyer this week after a hearing in which attorneys for the lawyer, Trump himself and porn star Stormy Daniels all weighed in.
The Justice Department announced Friday that Cohen has been "under criminal investigation" for months in NY over his business dealings.
Whatever the state of their relationship, Trump and Cohen's lawyers went to court Friday in an effort to block the Justice Department from reading seized documents, and although Cohen was not technically required to be there, a judge seemed upset that he didn't appear.
Lawyers for both Cohen and the president told a NY federal judge that the material is protected under attorney- client privilege.
But Cohen's lawyers could not immediately say how many clients - or how many documents covered by attorney-client privilege - were at stake, and prosecutors accused Cohen of trying to stall the investigation.
Cohen's lawyer argued Friday during a hastily scheduled court hearing in NY that documents and devices seized from Cohen should be protected by attorney-client privilege.
Investigators also sought records related to Cohen's interactions with Trump campaign officials during the 2016 election cycle, according to the sources.
Further, prosecutors said in court papers that they used a search warrant in the Cohen raid - versus a subpoena - because "they had evidence" that his files "might be permanently deleted", the Times reported.
Representing Trump, Joanna Hendon said that as Cohen's client, Trump has the right to assert what's privileged, not Cohen.
McKay said rsquo & Trump;s capacity to emphasise that the privilege is " rdquo & no more different; from anyone else & rsquo; s.
Cohen is seeking to stop the U.S. government from reviewing the documents.
Accordingly, they argue, most of the material seized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation does not involve attorney-client privilege and could figure in a future court case.
Searches of lawyers' offices are rare but not unheard of, and prosecutors use what's called a separate "taint team" to review the material and exclude any documents that are covered by the attorney-client privilege.
Prosecutor Thomas McKay, who agreed to do nothing with the seized materials until Monday's hearing, told Wood that Trump should get no special privileges.
Cohen is being investigated for possible bank fraud, wire fraud and violations of campaign-finance laws, according to people familiar with the matter.
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