Special Master Rejects One-Third Of Michael Cohen’s Latest Privilege Claims

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 16: Michael Cohen, longtime personal lawyer and confidante for President Donald Trump, arrives at the United States District Court Southern District of New York, April 16, 2018 in New York City.... NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 16: Michael Cohen, longtime personal lawyer and confidante for President Donald Trump, arrives at the United States District Court Southern District of New York, April 16, 2018 in New York City. Cohen and lawyers representing President Trump are asking the court to block Justice Department officials from reading documents and materials related to his CohenÕs relationship with President Trump that they believe should be protected by attorney-client privilege. Officials with the FBI, armed with a search warrant, raided Cohen's office and two private residences last week. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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July 20, 2018 9:59 a.m.

A court-appointed special master has shut down many of the latest requests by former Trump attorney Michael Cohen to keep hundreds of documents out of the hands of federal investigators.

Cohen’s lawyers have consistently argued that much of the material seized from his hotel room, office and apartment by the FBI is either protected by attorney-client privilege or highly personal.

But in a report filed Thursday, special master Barbara Jones determined that 1,452 of the 4,085 documents designated as privileged by Cohen’s legal team did not actually fit that designation. Jones agreed that the other 2,633 were either fully or partially privileged.

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The non-privileged items will “promptly be released” to prosecutors in the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office for use in their criminal investigation into Cohen’s business and financial dealings, according to the filing. This is the second report Jones has issued on the trove of materials that federal agents seized from Cohen’s premises in an April raid.

Cohen recently shook up his legal team, replacing the attorneys at McDermott Will & Emery who assisted with the document review with former Manhattan prosecutor Guy Petrillo and former White House lawyer Lanny Davis. Since then, he has displayed a new willingness to cooperate with the federal investigation, telling the press that his loyalty is to his country and family rather than Trump.

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