This combination photo shows, from left, President Donald Trump, attorney Michael Cohen and adult film actress Stormy Daniels. Cohen has been ordered to appear in federal court in New York, Monday, April 16, 2018, for arguments over last week's raid of his home and office. The raid sought information on a $130,000 payment made to porn actress Stormy Daniels, who alleges she had sex with a married Trump in 2006. (AP Photo)

Trump seeks to limit access to records seized in FBI raid

April 16, 2018 - 12:02 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — The porn actress Stormy Daniels is expected to attend a court hearing in New York on Monday where a U.S. judge is hearing more arguments about President Donald Trump's extraordinary request that he be allowed to review records seized from his personal lawyer's office as part of a criminal investigation before they are examined by prosecutors.

The raid carried out last Monday at Michael Cohen's apartment, hotel room, office and safety deposit box sought bank records, records on Cohen's dealing in the taxi industry, Cohen's communications with the Trump campaign and information on payments made in 2016 to former Playboy model Karen McDougal and to Daniels, whose birth name is Stephanie Clifford, people familiar with the investigation told The Associated Press. They spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the confidential details of the investigation.

Both women say they had affairs with Trump.

Lawyers for Cohen said Monday that investigators "took everything" during raids last week. Prosecutors say Cohen is being investigated for an undisclosed crime related to his personal business dealings.

Joanna Hendon, a Trump lawyer, argued in papers filed Sunday that any materials involving the president should be flagged by Cohen and turned over to the president to be reviewed for any attorney-client privilege issues.

"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.

Since all sides have submitted arguments, it is possible Wood could rule on the requests on Monday.

She and Cohen's lawyers are due in court Monday afternoon. Daniels' lawyer says she'll be there, too, as will Cohen, who has been ordered to appear in court to help answer questions about his law practice. He has denied wrongdoing.

On Friday, lawyers for Cohen appeared in federal court in New York asking that they, not the Department of Justice, be given a first crack at reviewing the seized evidence to see if it was relevant to the investigation or could be forwarded to criminal investigators without jeopardizing attorney-client privilege.

Prosecutors want a different system, in which a special team of Justice Department lawyers not directly involved in the probe would review the material and determine what was off-limits to investigators because of attorney-client privilege.

Hendon proposed yet another level of protections, in which Cohen's lawyers, after finishing their initial review, then be required to "identify to the president all seized materials that relate to him in any way and provide a copy of those materials to him and his counsel."

Trump, or his lawyers, would then get to say what he believed to be off-limits to investigators.

Trump said Sunday that all lawyers are now "deflated and concerned" by the FBI raid on Cohen.

"Attorney Client privilege is now a thing of the past," he tweeted. "I have many (too many!) lawyers and they are probably wondering when their offices, and even homes, are going to be raided with everything, including their phones and computers, taken. All lawyers are deflated and concerned!"

Lawyers for President Donald Trump's personal attorney said Monday that investigators "took everything" during raids last week on his residence and office, including over a dozen electronic devices.

The lawyers for attorney Michael Cohen wrote in a court filing as they pressed their argument prior to a hearing later in the day that they should get to review and flag any materials subject to attorney-client privilege before a special team of prosecutors does the same.

Attorneys Todd Harrison and Stephen Ryan said Monday that the raids a week ago to gather evidence from attorney Michael Cohen were "completely unprecedented."

They said that prosecutors had already intercepted emails from Cohen and executed the search warrants only after discovering that there were no emails between Trump and Cohen.

Rather than using less intrusive means, investigators then "took the extraordinary step of raiding several locations, including Mr. Cohen's home, hotel room, and law office and took everything. This is perhaps the most highly publicized search warrant in the history of recent American criminal jurisprudence," the lawyers wrote

They said investigators seized more than a dozen electronic devices and other items including documents and data unrelated to the probable cause upon which the search warrants were based.

The filing came just hours before a Manhattan hearing before U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood, who listened three days earlier at another hearing as Harrison argued that Cohen's attorneys should get to decide what is subject to attorney-client privilege. If not, Harrison said, a special master should be appointed to review the materials.

Joanna Hendon, a Trump lawyer, argued in papers filed Sunday that any materials involving the president should be flagged by Cohen and turned over to the president to be reviewed for any attorney-client privilege issues.

Since all sides have submitted arguments, it is possible Wood could rule on the requests on Monday.

The hearing Monday was expected to be attended by porn actress Stormy Daniels.

Trump was still steaming Sunday about the FBI raids on Cohen, who prosecutors said is being investigated for an undisclosed crime related to his personal business dealings.

The raid carried out last Monday at Cohen's apartment, hotel room, office and safety deposit box sought bank records, records on Cohen's dealing in the taxi industry, Cohen's communications with the Trump campaign and information on payments made in 2016 to former Playboy model Karen McDougal and to Daniels, whose birth name is Stephanie Clifford, people familiar with the investigation told The Associated Press. They spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the confidential details of the investigation.

Both women say they had affairs with Trump.

In her filing, Hendon said it was only fair that the president and Cohen have a chance to review materials before prosecutors.

"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.

She and Cohen's lawyers are due in court Monday afternoon. Daniels' lawyer says she'll be there, too, as will Cohen, who has been ordered to appear in court to help answer questions about his law practice. He has denied wrongdoing.

Prosecutors want a different system, in which a special team of Justice Department lawyers not directly involved in the probe would review the material and determine what was off-limits to investigators because of attorney-client privilege.

Hendon proposed yet another level of protections, in which Cohen's lawyers, after finishing their initial review, then be required to "identify to the president all seized materials that relate to him in any way and provide a copy of those materials to him and his counsel."

Trump, or his lawyers, would then get to say what he believed to be off-limits to investigators.

Trump said Sunday that all lawyers are now "deflated and concerned" by the FBI raid on Cohen.

"Attorney Client privilege is now a thing of the past," he tweeted. "I have many (too many!) lawyers and they are probably wondering when their offices, and even homes, are going to be raided with everything, including their phones and computers, taken. All lawyers are deflated and concerned!"

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