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Michael Cohen seeks restraining order on items seized by feds
15 April 2018, 12:12 | Katrina Lee
Lawyers for Trump's Personal Attorney Set for Friday Court Appearance
Federal agents who raided Cohen's home, office and hotel room this week seized recordings, sources familiar with the raid tell ABC News. And they help explain why Mr. Trump was furious about the raid.
President Trump's longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen was the subject of a months-long criminal investigation before the FBI raided his home and office this week, according to court documents.
Cohen'therefore attorneys requested U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood at the hearing to let them examine the seized supplies to be certain that there wasn't any breach of attorney-client privilege, allowing clients to safeguard communications with their own lawyers.
Judge Wood delayed until Monday a hearing in which Cohen's attorneys will argue for a restraining order to temporarily ban federal prosecutors from inspecting the records.
Trump denounced the Federal Bureau of Investigation raid on "good man" Cohen as "disgraceful" and an "attack on our country".
Then, The Wall Street Journal reported, seemingly out of the blue, that Cohen had facilitated a payment to a former Playboy model who had become pregnant after an affair with prominent Republican fundraiser Elliott Broidy - an arrangement that echoed similar arrangements between President Trump and Stormy Daniels, as well as Karen McDougal.
The lawyers fear Cohen will not be forthcoming about what was in his files, leaving them girding for the unknown.
Cohen's lawyer cited attorney-client privilege in seeking to restrict access to "documents and communications related to numerous clients".
None of those emails, they added, was exchanged with Trump.
A lawyer for Cohen, Stephen M Ryan, on Monday said that United States prosecutors conducted a search that was partly a referral by the Office of the Special Counsel, Robert Mueller.
A lawyer for President Donald Trump has sought in court to stop USA prosecutors from deciding what materials seized from his personal lawyer can be used in a probe that began with a referral by investigators looking into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
In Friday night's filing, Blakely and Harder argue that "where there are overlapping issues in criminal and civil cases, a stay "is appropriate to preserve [an individual's] Fifth Amendment Rights" - quoting from a federal court ruling from NY.
Present in the courtroom Friday was Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for Stormy Daniels, who is seeking to have the courts throw out a hush agreement prohibiting her from talking about her affair with Trump.
The warrant for the raids also specified that Cohen was being investigated for bank fraud, wire fraud and campaign finance issues, CNN reported earlier this week. Initially, Mueller had requested some records from Cohen while he was with the Trump family company - a position he held for about a decade - yet dropped the request after Cohen pushed back.
It isn't clear yet, however, whether the business dealings described in court documents on Friday might have any connection to Mueller's investigation into whether any Americans conspired with Russia's attack on the 2016 presidential election.
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