17 April, 2018
The following describes the legal doctrine of attorney-client privilege and whether it may apply to communications between Trump and Cohen and other figures involved in the matter.
NEW YORK - On Monday, a federal judge blocked President Donald Trump's and his longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen's request to prohibit federal prosecutors from reviewing documents they seized during an FBI raid of Cohen's property last week. She said she trusted independent federal attorneys to sift through the material and determine what is admissible in court.
The letter filed with the court said Cohen had referred "approximately five" clients to Squire Patton Boggs, and it was deferring to the law firm and its clients to assert a privilege claim.
According to several reports, Trump's lawyers filed papers Sunday to stop any review of the materials - which were seized during Federal Bureau of Investigation raids of Cohen's home, office and hotel room last week.
Daniels, real name Stephanie Clifford, is trying to sue her way out of a nondisclosure agreement involving Cohen and Trump.
Hannity says he didn't have a formal legal relationship with Cohen, but reporting extensively on Cohen without mentioning their relationship is "pretty shady", Noah said, "even for Sean Hannity".
Hannity was named as the mystery third client of Cohen, who is President Donald Trump's personal attorney, during a federal hearing in Manhattan.
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Shortly before Trump was elected in 2016, Cohen arranged a $130,000 payment to Daniels from his own funds in order to keep her from going public with the story of what she says was her California one-nighter with Trump.
"This ends now", Daniels, accompanied by her lawyer, told reporters outside the courtroom. "It turns out, Michael Cohen's secret client was Sean Hannity - which, I'm sorry, is not a good look", he said. "Their integrity is unimpeachable", she said.
Prosecutors with the United States attorney's office in Manhattan said they have a "filter team" of lawyers separate from those involved in the investigation in place to review the documents for any communications between Cohen and his clients. I never retained him in the traditional sense. Hannity denies ever paying legal fees to Cohen, though he acknowledges occasionally asking for his "input and perspective" on legal questions.
Lawyers for Cohen filed papers Monday saying investigators "took everything" during the raids, including more than a dozen electronic devices. He said that the woman was represented by Keith Davidson, an attorney who is also representing Ms. Clifford. On Monday, a team of federal agents had obtained search warrants for Cohen's home and office, following a referral from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office, as part of the US attorney's office's months-long criminal conduct investigation.
"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.
"It would not protect the public confidence in the administration of justice to give Mr Cohen and the president special treatment", said McKay, adding later: "Just because Mr Cohen has a powerful client does not mean he's entitled to special treatment".