Stormy Daniels: Trump's lawyer believes he's above the law

Remigio Civitarese
Aprile 17, 2018

Joanna Hendon appeared for the president at Friday's hearing, telling Mr Wood that Trump had "an acute interest" in the handling of the seized materials.

U.S. federal Judge Kimba Wood has ordered Cohen to attend the hearing, scheduled for 2:00 pm (1800 GMT), in what will pit a powerful United States attorney's office against lawyers for Cohen and the president. "The president trusted Mr. Cohen as his fixer for years", Avenatti continued.

As a first step, she told prosecutors to put all the seized documents into a searchable database and share it with Cohen's lawyers. "I have many (too many!) lawyers and they are probably wondering when their offices, and even homes, are going to be raided with everything, including their phones and computers, taken".

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, was another.

An email sent to Fox News seeking comment from Mr Hannity was not immediately returned.

The US president reacted furiously, blasting the raid as a "witch hunt" and "an attack on our country", effectively opposing his own Justice Department and siding with his 51-year-old personal lawyer. "I never retained him in any traditional sense".

The disclosure came as Cohen's attorneys tried to persuade a federal judge in NY to delay prosecutors from examining records and electronic devices seized in the raids on the grounds that many of them are protected by attorney-client privilege.

Prosecutors say they are investigating Cohen's personal business dealings. Cohen has acknowledged paying Daniels $130,000 just days before the 2016 election, in order to secure her silence about the affair Trump has denied ever happened. The action had left President Trump livid and he posted on Twitter, saying attorney-client privilege was dead.

But they initially declined to reveal the name of the third client.

In a court filing Monday morning, Cohen's lawyers argued that Cohen should not be required to turn over the names. Daniels was in the courtroom on Monday for the arguments.

A panel of prosecutors who are not associated with the case would sort out any files that are protected under attorney-client privilege and forward them to criminal investigators, the office says.

Court papers filed by Robert Khuzami, the deputy U.S. attorney in Manhattan, are redacted making it unclear the alleged criminal conduct for which the 51-year-old Cohen is being investigated.

He complained that Cohen won't disclose the identity of one of them described as a "publicly prominent individual".

But prosecutors want the documents to be reviewed for attorney-client privilege by a "taint team" of lawyers within their own office, who would be walled off from the main prosecution team.

The hearing in a New York City courtroom stems from a surprise Federal Bureau of Investigation raid on Cohen's home and office.

Some of the documents reportedly relate to payments to porn star Stormy Daniels, who claims a one-night stand with Trump a decade ago, and ex Playboy model Karen McDougal who also claims an affair. They called the search "completely unprecedented".

It began with an appearance by porn actress Stormy Daniels, who was swarmed by photographers and almost fell as she was hustled into the courthouse, a scene that captured the sensational atmosphere around a legal fight involving the president and an FBI investigation into his personal attorney.

After the hearing, Daneils briefly addressed a throng of reporters outside the courthouse.

The matter is now intertwined a broader criminal case surrounding Cohen, whose home and office were raided by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents last week. She says she had sex with a married Trump in 2006. He did not attend Friday's hearing and was then ordered by the judge to appear in court Monday to help answer questions about his law practice.

President Donald Trump's personal attorney has arrived at a New York City courthouse for a hearing over an Federal Bureau of Investigation search of his files.

The hearing was ongoing Monday afternoon.

Failing that, they want the court to appoint an independent official known as a special master, a role typically filled by a lawyer, to go through the records and decide what prosecutors can see. The government says it should do the vetting.

It is not clear if she will rule Monday or release a written decision at a later date.

In a court filing Monday, Cohen's attorneys said three people received legal help from Cohen in 2017 and 2018, after Trump became president.

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