Review Of Seized Michael Cohen Documents Finds Less Than 1% Of Materials Privileged [FULL COURT DOCUMENTS]
A very small portion of the nearly 300,000 documents seized in the FBI’s April raids of Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s longtime personal attorney, were found protected by attorney-client privilege upon special master’s first review.
Barbara Jones, the court-appointed special master, said in a report to Kimba M. Wood, the federal judge presiding over the case, that of the 639 hard-copy materials she reviewed, only 14 are privileged. She also said that only 148 of the 291,770 electronic files found on two cellphones and an iPad are privileged materials. CNBC reports that Jones is expected to review hundreds of thousand of additional documents from the raid that reportedly include bank records, communication between Cohen and Trump and details pertaining to his payments to two women who allegedly had affairs with Trump.
Following the raids, lawyers for Cohen and Trump requested that they be allowed to review the 3.7 million seized documents the firm claimed to have received before prosecutors to look for attorney–client privilege. According to The Hill, Trump reportedly offered to review the documents himself. Wood rejected this, but allowed the attorneys to review documents so long as Jones vetted their claims. Jones said she will not be reviewing the entirety of the 3.7 million documents, only the materials lawyers have argued are privileged.
At last week’s hearing in Federal District Court in Manhattan, Wood reportedly told Cohen’s lawyers that their review was going too slowly and set a June 15 deadline for them to complete it. Should they miss the deadline, the rest of the review will be handed over to a team of prosecutors currently uninvolved in the Cohen probe.
Cohen is currently under investigation for bank fraud, wire fraud and campaign finance violations.
Below is the initial report.