Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Global | By Marsha Munoz

Michael Cohen Fights to Keep Name of Mystery Third Client Private

Michael Cohen Fights to Keep Name of Mystery Third Client Private

Federal prosecutors in a letter to U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood Monday pushed back on President Trump's request that he and his attorney Michael Cohen get the first opportunity, before Justice Department lawyers, to review documents seized in FBI raids on Cohen last week.

Cohen, who didn't attend Friday's hearing, was ordered to appear in federal court Monday to help answer questions about his law practice. As a first step, she told prosecutors to put all the seized documents into a searchable database and share it with Cohen's lawyers.

The Latest on efforts by President Donald Trump and his personal lawyer to stop criminal prosecutors from reviewing materials seized in raids before they have a chance to review them for potential breach of attorney-client privilege.

"Fairness and justice - as well as the appearance of fairness and justice - require that, before they are turned over to the Investigative Team, the seized materials relating to the President must be reviewed by the only person who is truly motivated to ensure that the privilege is properly invoked and applied: the privilege-holder himself, the President", Hendon wrote.

He said the media pounced on his name because Cohen has been associated with hush money settlements, including one with porn star Stormy Daniels over an alleged affair with Trump in 2016.

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After the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted a raid on Cohen's Office, Trump took Twitter to convey his dismay. I suspect that at this point, most clients of Michael Cohen would advise him to find someone better.

The raids were based partly on a referral by the Office of Special Counsel, Robert Mueller who is investigating possible collusion between Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and Russian Federation, according to court filings.

Court papers filed by Robert Khuzami, the deputy United States attorney in Manhattan, are redacted making it unclear the alleged criminal conduct for which the 51-year-old Cohen is being investigated. Outside afterward, she said Cohen has acted like he's above the law and that she and her lawyer are committed to making sure everyone learns the truth.

"Bad reporting, bad information and bad story", Cohen tweeted, namechecking Peter Stone, the reporter behind the story.

Michael Cohen has a mystery client he's done legal work for in the last two years that he is trying to protect the identity of as the USA government prepares to go through the documents seized from him last week.

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At issue is who controls the process of winnowing out legal communications from business matters, determining what is relevant to the investigation, and identifying what is privileged and what is unprivileged because it involves crime or fraud - and how long the process takes.

The hearing in a New York City courtroom stems from a surprise raid this month on Cohen's home and office.

Cohen's hearing is set for 2 p.m. Monday in Manhattan. "All lawyers are deflated and concerned".

"The president objects to the government's proposal to use a "taint team" of prosecutors from the very office that is investigating this matter to conduct the initial privilege review of documents seized from the President's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, " Hendon's letter said. The president has denied any knowledge of the payment to secure Daniels' October 2016 signature on a hush agreement preventing her from talking about the liaison.

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