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Cohen already under criminal probe

14 April 2018

Monday's raids of lawyer Michael Cohen's home and office followed a referral by US Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who for almost a year has been looking into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow.

The unusual, high-stakes court hearing Friday also featured an appearance by an attorney representing Trump, Joanna Hendon.

"The attorney-client privilege could't at an identical time be utilised like a sword (and) like a shield", McKay advised Wood. The warrant sought information about that payment along with any information that connected Cohen with efforts to suppress disclosure of Trump's alleged affair with Playboy model Karen McDougal.

The attorney was caught in a photo snapped by CNN's Lawrence Crook, sitting outside of the Loews Rengency on Park Avenue - the hotel where his room was raided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation last week.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom McKay accused Cohen of trying to invoking "wildly overbroad" claims of attorney-client privilege to avoid the disclosure of thousands of allegedly privileged communications related to the president and other cases.

Cohen's lawyer, Stephen Ryan, declined to comment on Friday morning.

Prosecutors say Cohen barely practiced law so most of the documents aren't off limits.

In court documents Friday, prosecutors disclosed that they had already secretly obtained many of Cohen's emails.

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, walks to the Loews Regency hotel on Park Ave on April 13, 2018 in New York City.

Herndon, Trump's lawyer, said that after the process is resolved, the ultimate outcome on what documents are deemed unprivileged may produce new litigation.

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Agents also sought records on Cohen's taxi business, CNN reported.

According to The New York Times, which previously reported the story, the phone call took place as both men's attorneys began a courtroom battle with the US Attorney's Office in Manhattan over the raid of Cohen's office and home on Monday.

While the exact nature of the agency's investigation remains unclear, the attorney has filed a temporary restraining order asking the court to "have all seized items be made available to Mr. Cohen's counsel to conduct a review of the documents in the first instance and produce to the government all responsive, non-privileged items".

"The viability of this prosecution, it has to be done right", Hendon told US District Judge Kimba Wood.

Prosecutors say they've set up what's known as a "taint team" or "filter team" to review Cohen's documents so nothing they seized is used improperly or breaches client confidentiality.

Prosecutors said the raid on Cohen's office was the result of a "months-long investigation" into Trump's personal lawyer, and that the crimes largely relate to Cohen's "own business dealings".

After giving Trump until Monday to weigh in, Wood then decided that she would resume a part of the hearing at 2 p.m. on Friday, apparently to consider interests of other clients - "innocent parties" she said - whose files may have been vacuumed up in the Cohen raid.

Federal agents raided Cohen's Manhattan office and residence on Monday, seizing records on topics, including a $130,000 payment made to porn actress Stormy Daniels.

The wide-ranging criminal investigation into Michael Cohen is said to have left President Donald Trump more rattled than the Russian Federation investigation being conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller.

President Trump's advisers have concluded that a wide-ranging corruption investigation into his personal lawyer poses a greater and more imminent threat to the president than even the special counsel's investigation, according to several people close to Mr. Trump.

Cohen already under criminal probe