Donald Trump made, possibly, the dumbest career move of his life when he appeared on Fox News Thursday morning because he’d rather be on television than do actual work. Now, however, Trump is likely kicking himself over the statements he made in that interview, including admitting that he lied about being in Moscow when the pee pee tapes were made, and that Michael Cohen was representing him in the Stormy Daniels case despite his multiple claims that he knew nothing of his lawyer’s payment to the porn star.
Daniels’ lawyer jumped on the interview almost immediately, posting the following to Twitter:
Thank you @foxandfriends for having Mr. Trump on this morning to discuss Michael Cohen and our case. Very informative.
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) April 26, 2018
Avenatti also made the following statement to the press:
“That’s a hugely damaging admission by the president, because according to what he said on Air Force One a few weeks ago, he didn’t know anything about the agreement. He’s now just admitted, and he tripped himself up, he’s just admitted that in fact Michael Cohen’s represented him in connection with the Stormy Daniels situation.”
Avenatti wasn’t the only person paying close attention to Trump’s words. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York filed documents with Judge Wood, who is handling the Cohen case. The document reads:
“At the conference scheduled for today at noon, the Government will provide a detailed update on the status of its production to Michael Cohen’s counsel of a set of the materials seized during the April 9, 2018 searches of Cohen’s premises and electronic devices. As a general matter, the Government expects to report that its production is on schedule, as described in its April 18, 2018 letter to the Court.
The Government also writes, in advance of the conference, to apprise Your Honor that we are prepared to withdraw our objection to the appointment of a Special Master to conduct the review of the potentially privileged materials seized during the April 9 searches, and to propose a compromise position with respect to the privilege review that, we believe, will most efficiently complete the review while honoring the concerns expressed by counsel for Cohen and the intervenors.
Specifically, as set forth in more detail below, we propose that the Special Master directly review the seized materials to determine which appear to be privileged and then hear from both sides before making a final determination. We previously provided the Court with the names of three retired Magistrate Judges for consideration for appointment by the Court as a Special Master in this matter, and have subsequently spoken to some of the candidates we proposed. In that regard, we attach as Exhibit A a letter from retired Magistrate Judge Frank Maas describing his proposed process. The Government supports the process recommended in Judge Maas’s attached letter, namely, use of a technology-assisted review (“TAR”) process to identify potentially privileged material for review in an efficient manner, with an opportunity for Cohen and the intervenors to be heard and to supplement the documents they claim as privileged. Judge Maas recommends this method based on his experience as providing a “timely and cost- effective” way to accomplish the review. He also notes that TAR is “at least as effective as exhaustive manual review, and far more efficient.
For example, Cohen’s counsel could provide a list of clients and attorneys and (on an ex partebasis) some background and context regarding the nature of the attorney-client relationships. The Government could provide (similarly on an ex parte basis) the search warrant affidavit and some background on the Government’s investigation and/or theory of the case, as would be necessary for Judge Maas to make any determinations regarding application of the crime-fraud exception ensuring the efficient completion of the privilege review in a manner that recognizes the important law enforcement interests at stake.”
Cohen has been arguing that the FBI raid on his hotel room and office can’t be used against him in court because the documents seized are “privileged” and that it violates attorney client privilege. The document claims this cannot be true if the president’s morning statements are true.