It is hardly a secret that the president is enraged at the fact that his attorney, Michael Cohen was raided by the FBI last Monday. Authorities raided his home, office, and hotel room, according to reports.
They were on the hunt for documents related to topics ranging from Cohen’s hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels on behalf of the president himself to other instances where the lawyer may have committed a crime while attempting to buoy the public image of his most prominent client.
Now, the president has taken his rage with the case into the courtroom via his lawyer, Joanna Hendon, who Sunday night filed a letter with the court requesting that the president himself get the chance to review materials seized from Cohen before investigators do. He has long stated his concern to be with the preservation of attorney client privilege, even though as The Washington Post notes:
‘A lawyer’s communications with a client are not covered by the privilege if those discussions do not involve legal advice, or were used to further a crime or fraud.’
Even still, the president’s lawyer pressed on this Sunday night, filing a letter that accused the Justice Department of acting improperly in their raid of Cohen.
Hendon claimed that the government acted in an “aggressive, intrusive, and unorthodox“ manner and wrote:
‘The president objects to the government’s proposal to use a “taint team” of prosecutors from the very office that is investigating this matter to conduct the initial privilege review of documents seized from the President’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen.’
A taint team refers to a third party group of lawyers assigned to review materials seized from attorneys with the aim of determining what among them may fall under attorney client privilege. The Justice Department has already stated that in Cohen’s case, the size of the portion of the seized evidence that may fall under that privilege is small because he did not even do much legal work at all.
In a Monday afternoon court hearing, Cohen’s legal team has been told to produce a list of all possible clients of Cohen affected by the raid via having their communications swept up. Cohen himself will be at that hearing, as will Stormy Daniels herself. Daniels is currently engaged in her own separate court battle with the president and his team over the fate of the nondisclosure agreement that she signed accompanying the hush money.
Cohen’s world has fallen in on him recently via the raids last Monday. This past Friday, the Department of Justice revealed that they had actually been investigating the president’s longtime confidant for years.
In that intervening time period, the president raged on Twitter, asserting that attorney client privilege is “dead” in the face of the apparent seizure of communications of his with Cohen during the course of Monday’s raids.
He also indicated while speaking to reporters that he is open to the idea of firing Special Counsel for the Russia investigation Robert Mueller, even though the raids were not carried out as a direct part of his investigation. Apparently he still thinks that firing people is the answer to everything, carrying that over from his reality television days.
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