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Michael Cohen's lawyers seek to withhold 12,000 files from prosecutors

A former judge will decide whether Cohen's legal team can shield the documents, which they say are protected by attorney-client and work product privilege.
by Tom Winter and Tim Stelloh /
Image: Michael Cohen leaves court in New York
Michael Cohen leaves court in New York on May 30.Seth Wenig / AP file

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Attorneys for Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former lawyer, said Monday that they had completed a review of 4 million files seized during an April FBI raid and want to withhold more than 12,000 of them from federal prosecutors.

The disputed files are protected by attorney-client or work product privileges, the lawyers said in a court filing.

The FBI, working with federal prosecutors in New York and in coordination with special counsel Robert Mueller, executed the April 9 raid searching for information about a $130,000 payment Cohen made to porn star Stormy Daniels shortly before the 2016 presidential election.

U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood had set a June 15 deadline to complete the review, but federal prosecutors said last month that they hadn't yet been able to access two BlackBerries or to reconstruct the contents of a shredder that was seized during the raid.

Also taken were eight boxes of documents, an iPad and several hard drives and storage devices.

Cohen's lawyers said Monday that they had turned over material seized during the raid to the Trump Organization and the president. Nonprivileged material was released to federal investigators, they said.

A court-appointed special master, Barbara Jones, a former federal judge, will decide whether to allow or change the protected designations sought by Cohen's lawyers.

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