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Offbeat Special master in Michael Cohen case finds few privileged items in initial review of files

03:25  05 june  2018
03:25  05 june  2018 Source:   cnbc.com

Cohen Prosecutors to Get About 1 Million Items From Phones

  Cohen Prosecutors to Get About 1 Million Items From Phones The retired judge appointed last month to review documents seized by the FBI from Michael Cohen said she plans on Wednesday to turn over about 1 million items taken from three phones to federal prosecutors who can then begin reviewing them as part of their criminal investigation of President Donald Trump’s longtime lawyer and fixer. Barbara Jones, appointed to help determine which items are protected by attorney-client privilege, said in a report Tuesday that she’s reviewed thousands of pages and on May 23 turned over 292,000 items to the government.

  Special master in Michael Cohen case finds few privileged items in initial review of files © EPA/PETER FOLEY A court appointed watchdog in the case of President Donald Trump's lawyer, Michael Cohen, released an initial report Monday which found that relatively few documents in an initial tranche of documents that were seized from Cohen in a raid met the standard of being subject to attorney client privilege. 

The priviliged documents will not be turned over to federal prosecutors in New York who are conducting a criminal investigation of Cohen. The 51-year longtime lawyer for Trump is under scrutiny for various business dealings, as well as a $130,000 hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels on the eve of the 2016 presidential election.

Federal judge to hear from Stormy Daniels lawyer in Cohen case

  Federal judge to hear from Stormy Daniels lawyer in Cohen case <p>Adult film star Stormy Daniels' attorney is expected to ask a federal judge on Wednesday to address claims that President Donald Trump's longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, leaked audio recordings seized from Cohen in raids of his home and office to news media outlets.</p>The issue was among several slated to come up in a hearing before U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood in Manhattan, who is also expected to get an update on a review of materials federal agents seized in the April raids.

In a report to the court, Special Master Barbara Jones said Cohen's lawyers and Trump's lawyers had identified 17 items in an initial group of eight boxes that they believed to be privileged or partially privileged, out of 639 total. Of those 17, Jones agreed with them on 14 of them, and rejected the claim of privilege on the other three.

Among the contents of two phones and one iPad, Jones reports that Cohen's lawyers had flagged 156 items out of a total of more than 290,000 as either privileged, partially privileged, or highly personal. In this case, Jones agreed with the Trump Organization's and Cohen's attorneys.

From the report:

1. Contents of Eight Boxes of Hard Copy Materials:Out of 639 total items consisting of 12,543 pages, the Special Master agrees with the Plaintiff and/or Intervenors and finds that 14 items are Privileged and/or Partially Privileged.The Special Master also finds that 3 items are not privileged.

Avenatti 'Publicity Tour' Leaves Him Shut Out of Cohen Case

  Avenatti 'Publicity Tour' Leaves Him Shut Out of Cohen Case Michael Avenatti’s "publicity tour" and harsh tweets about President Donald Trump’s legal team may have caught up with the media-savvy California attorney for adult film star Stormy Daniels. At a hearing Wednesday in Manhattan, U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood said Avenatti’s public clashes with Trump’s longtime personal attorney and "fixer" Michael Cohen, whose business and finances are being investigated, could taint a jury if charges are ever filed."I can’t stop you, unless you’re participating in a matter before me," Wood said to Avenatti in the packed courtroom.

2. Contents of Two Phones and an iPad: Out of 291,770 total items, the Special Master agrees with the Plaintiff and/or Intervenors and finds that 148 items are Privileged and/or Partially Privileged and that 7 items are Highly Personal.

This review represents only a fraction of the total documents seized in the April 9 raid of Cohen's office, home and hotel room, which included computer hard drives that are expected to contain hundreds of thousands more files.

Immediately following the raid, lawyers for the Trump Organization and Cohen voiced concerns that an unknown number of the files could be protected by attorney client privilege, and they objected to a special team of prosecutors being assigned to review the files for privilege. 

While Jones is not finished with her review, Monday's report seems to weigh against the initial concerns expressed by Cohen's attorneys, that a potentially large number of documents would be privileged.

Trump Personal Attorney Michael Cohen Splits With His Legal Team .
Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s longtime personal attorney and fixer, is parting ways with his legal team as federal prosecutors in New York pursue a criminal investigation of him, according to a person familiar with the case. Under deep financial pressure, Cohen plans to hire a new lawyer for the next phase of the probe, the person said. Cohen’s move to switch lawyers was interpreted by some legal observers as a sign he may seek to cooperate with federal prosecutors. But he could have other motives -- it’s unclear, for example, how Cohen plans to fund his expensive legal defense.

Source: http://us.pressfrom.com/news/offbeat/-151647-special-master-in-michael-cohen-case-finds-few-privileged-items-in-initial-review-of-files/

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