Ex-federal judge tapped to review Cohen documents

27 April, 2018, 00:38 | Author: Edward Snyder
  • Ex-federal judge tapped to review Cohen documents

US District Judge Kimba Wood announced Barbara Jones, a former federal judge in the same court who moved into private practice five years ago, will be special master.

"The attack on the DOJ is part and parcel of a case about obstruction of justice, part of the pastiche of things that he has said that indicates that he wants to obstruct this investigation", Gertner said.

The prosecutors have asked for a quick review.

The president also distanced himself from Mr Cohen, who is now under federal investigation for possible campaign finance law violations in the Daniels matter as well as personal business activities, saying Mr Cohen did only a "tiny, tiny fraction" of Mr Trump's legal work and that his business activities don't have "anything to do with" the president. Earlier this month, the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided Cohen's office, home, and hotel room as part of an probe into whether Cohen violated campaign finance laws or committed bank fraud, The Washington Post reported.

Wood chose Jones, a former colleague, after prosecutors said they would agree to the use of a so-called special master.

Trump and Cohen don't quite see eye to eye on a special master.

Stormy Daniels' attorney, Michael Avenatti, said Thursday that President Donald Trump made a "hugely damaging admission" regarding Michael Cohen by saying Cohen represented him in the Daniels case.

The raids sought documents relating to Daniels and other matters. The judge said she'll "revisit" the arrangement if the process drags on, the New York Post reported. Cohen has handled Trump's most sensitive legal and personal affairs for more than a decade, but the president told the Fox hosts that he is more of a businessman than a lawyer. Prosecutors haven't disclosed what exactly they are looking into, though they said in a court filing that "the crimes being investigated involve acts of concealment". A dozen electronic devices - including phones, iPads and computers - were seized. Federal prosecutors initially argued that a government filter team should handle the review instead, but withdrew their objections to a special master on Thursday.

"Placing the initial identification of potentially privileged materials in the hands of a neutral party guards against the concern that an interested party making the first selection would be overbroad or underinclusive in their selection of the universe of potentially privileged materials".

Cohen's attorney argued Jones should also be allowed to set aside material that is not responsive to the search warrants served this month, such as family photos or personal medical records.

Though Trump said Cohen's legal work for him was minimal, he said the lawyer "represents me on some things", mentioning "this insane Stormy Daniels deal".

Cohen has admitted paying $130,000 to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, before the 2016 election to secure her silence about the one-night stand she said she had with Trump.

Cohen was expected to be at Thursday's hearing.

Barbara Jones, a former federal judge in the Southern District of NY who has overseen cases ranging from organized crime to corporate compliance, will decide which of the documents should be handed over to prosecutors.


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