Monday’s search was broader than previously reported: in addition to Cohen’s home and office, there were court-authorized searches of a safety deposit box and two cellphones.
Cohen has publicly declared that he would defend the president to the end, but court documents show that prosecutors are building a significant case that could put pressure on him to cooperate and tell investigators what he knows.
Hendon argued that Trump is within his rights to object to the disclosure of records relating to his longtime legal representation by Cohen.
Cohen’s lawyer cited attorney-client privilege in seeking to restrict access to “documents and communications related to numerous clients”.
President Trump has asked trade officials to explore the possibility of the United States rejoining negotiations on the Pacific Rim agreement after he pulled out a year ago as part of his “America first” agenda.
In May, for instance, a report appeared in the New York Times detailing fired Federal Bureau of Investigation director James B. Comey’s account of a one-on-one dinner he had with the president, during which he said Trump asked him to pledge his loyalty to the president and he declined.
Hendon asked the magistrate, US District Judge Kimba Wood, to have the DOJ delay looking at the records until the matter could be resolved.
The FBI took the extraordinary step of raiding Cohen’s property on Monday after the Manhattan US attorney’s office received a referral from the special counsel Robert Mueller, who is overseeing the Russian Federation investigation.
A court filing did not detail what Cohen is under investigation for.
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. One source told the newspaper that Cohen liked to record calls so he could use them later as leverage. Cohen recently admitted to paying the adult film actress Stephanie Clifford, known as Stormy Daniels, a sum of $130,000 just before the 2016 election.
Citing “several” people close to President Trump, the Times reports 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”. Federal Bureau of Investigation agents removed Cohen’s computer, cell phone, business files and financial documents.
Farm-state lawmakers said Thursday after a White House meeting with Trump that he had given that assignment to his trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, and his new chief economic advisor, Larry Kudlow.
“Many details in the documents were redacted”, according to the Times, “but prosecutors said they had found evidence of fraud and a “lack of truthfulness” on his part”.
Attorneys for the government said they would wait to review the materials until then. The filter team is working from a list of individuals and companies they’ve compiled regarding people who aren’t Cohen’s legal clients.
“Back in the early 2000s, Trump used to tell me all the time that he was recording me when I covered him as reporter for the New York Times”, O’Brien wrote. “The retention of such privileged information from the President presents not only routine attorney-client privilege and attorney work product issues, but also creates constitutional concerns regarding officers of the Executive Branch rummaging through the private and privileged papers of the President”.