Few client communications found so far in
Michael Cohen documents: judge
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[June 23, 2018]
By Brendan Pierson
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A review of documents
seized from U.S. President Donald Trump's longtime personal lawyer
Michael Cohen has so far turned up only a handful of communications
between Cohen and his clients, a federal judge said in a written order
Cohen's home and office were raided in April as part of a criminal
investigation by Manhattan federal prosecutors. He has not been charged
with any crime.
Out of nearly 300,000 items reviewed so far, 161 are privileged and
seven of them are communications between Cohen and a client containing
legal advice, according to an order from U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood
on Friday confirming findings by the special master. The order said most
of the documents were communications between Cohen and his lawyers.
Lawyers for Cohen and Trump could not immediately be reached for
Wood appointed a special master to review the documents before turning
them over to prosecutors after lawyers for Cohen and Trump said they
might include privileged attorney-client communications, which
prosecutors are normally not allowed to see.
Prosecutors said in an April court filing that they believed Cohen was
"performing little to no legal work" and that they were primarily
investigating his personal business dealings.
Most of the roughly 3.7 million items seized from Cohen are still under
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President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen arrives at
his hotel in New York City, U.S., June 20, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan
On Friday, Wood ordered Cohen's lawyers to identify for the special
master, former federal judge Barbara Jones, by June 27 any remaining
items they believe are privileged.
The probe into Cohen's dealings stems in part from a referral by
Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating possible
collusion between Russia and Trump's 2016 campaign.
Trump has denied that there was any collusion, and Russia has denied
meddling in the election.
(Reporting By Brendan Pierson in New York)
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