Prosecutors have proposed Barbara Jones a former federal judge who once screened records belonging to Michael Cohen to now oversee weighing which of the materials recently seized from onetime Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s home and office might be protected by attorney-client privilege.
In a letter to U.S. District Court Judge J. Paul Oetken that was filed to the court docket Thursday night, the retired judge was recommended to handle the sensitive matter “because her background and the resources available to her at her law firm will allow her to complete a privilege review in a fair and efficient manner,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rebekah Donaleski, Aline R. Flodr and Nicolas Roos wrote.
The letter, first reported by The New York Times, comes after Oetken last week agreed to appoint a special master and asked prosecutors to propose candidates for the job by the end of this week after the FBI seized electronic devices from Giuliani’s home and office.
The proposed candidate, Jones, is a partner at Bracewell LLP, a firm formerly known as Bracewell & Giuliani where Giuliani was once a partner. Prosecutors have said Giuliani’s departure from the firm in 2016, came months before Jones was brought onboard and wouldn’t create a potential conflict.
Prior to her partnership role at Bracewell, Jones served for 17 years on the Federal District Court in Manhattan after she was appointed to the bench by President Bill Clinton in 1995.
Giuliani is under investigation over his dealings in Ukraine during the Trump administration. He has denied any wrongdoing.
According to the letter proposing Jones, lawyers for Giuliani and Victoria Toensing, a conservative Washington lawyer who has said she was wrongly targeted after her phone was also seized in the investigation, have agreed to her being tapped for the role.
The proposal still needs to be approved by a federal judge.