Feds: Trump, Hannity Remarks Suggest Cohen Doesn’t Have Many Privileged Docs

on September 19, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images North America

Federal prosecutors argued in a Thursday morning letter that documents seized in an FBI raid on Michael Cohen’s home, office and hotel room are unlikely to contain a large percentage of material subject to attorney-client privilege because two of Cohen’s three clients have downplayed the legal work Cohen carried out for them.

Prosecutors noted that since Cohen revealed that one of his three clients was Sean Hannity, the Fox News host has since said that Cohen has never represented him in a legal matter. Attorneys for the government also cited an interview President Donald Trump, another Cohen client, gave on “Fox and Friends” just a couple hours before the letter was produced in which the President claimed that Cohen only managed “a tiny, tiny little fraction” of his legal work.

“These statements by two of Cohen’s three identified clients suggest that the seized materials are unlikely to contain voluminous privileged documents, further supporting the importance of efficiency here,” prosecutors wrote in the letter.

The argument came in a footnote on a letter notifying the judge in the case that the prosecution now supports the appointment of a third party “special master” to review the seized materials for potential privileged documents.

Cohen and the prosecutors in the case have been locked in a back and forth over the process investigators will employ to throw out any privileged materials seized in the FBI raid. Cohen’s lawyers have argued that prosecutors will not be able to fairly sort through the materials, and President Donald Trump pushed for his lawyers to review the seized materials before the government does. Prosecutors pushed back on this request, calling Trump’s position “extreme.”

Lawyers for Cohen and the prosecution will attend a hearing on Thursday to discuss the process for reviewing the seized materials.

Read the letter:

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