On Friday, lawyers for Michael Cohen, President Trump's longtime lawyer and fixer, sought a temporary restraining order to prevent federal prosecutors from reading through the tranche of documents and electronic files the FBI seized from his office and residences on April 9, and in a filing Sunday night, Trump's lawyers asked to join in on Cohen's requested first review of the documents.
Prosecutor at the office of the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, which is leading the investigation into Cohen's activities, want to have a "taint" or "filter" team of prosecutors not connected to the investigation sort through the documents first to pick out any that might violate legitimate attorney-client privilege. Cohen and now Trump formally oppose that system. They are requesting that Cohen's lawyers, after their review, be made 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," letting Trump say what he believes to be privileged information
"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," wrote Trump lawyer Joanna Hendon, a former prosecutor at the Southern District office, in Sunday night's filing. Cohen, who was not in court on Friday, has been ordered to appear for Monday afternoon's hearing.
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Prosecutors said in court on Friday that Cohen performed "little to no legal work" for Trump, and they believe most of the material the FBI seized relates to his "personal business dealings," which wouldn't be covered by attorney-client privilege. Cohen has told at least one witness that Trump is his only client, the government said in a filing.
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