Michael Cohen lawyer completed review of files seized by FBI

Michael Cohen. (Bloomberg pic)

Lawyers for Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former lawyer and personal fixer, say they’ve completed a review of 4 million files seized by the FBI during an April raid and found that 12,061 are privileged and shouldn’t be viewed by government lawyers.

In a letter to US District Judge Kimba Wood on Monday, Cohen’s lawyers said they’re done. That means federal prosecutors may soon have access to almost all the materials they seized in an April 9 raid on Cohen’s home, office and hotel room, including eight boxes of paper files; data from 13 phones and other mobile devices; laptop computers; and flash drives and external hard drives.

The Trump Organization had asked on June 23 for an extension to July 11 to complete its review of materials, saying it had received 22,000 documents on June 20, and additional audio files and documents two days later. The US responded that an extension to July 5 would give the organization enough time. The judge hasn’t ruled on the request.

Prosecutors said on June 15 that they had restored 16 pages of documents found in Cohen’s shredder and recovered 731 pages of messages sent on encrypted platforms, including WhatsApp and Signal.

Wood had agreed to Cohen’s request that his team be allowed first look at the materials to weed out protected attorney-client communications and attorney work product. The materials deemed privileged by Cohen’s team are then reviewed by a retired judge and Wood has the final say.

In a May 30 hearing, Cohen’s lawyer Todd Harrison, a partner at McDermott, Will & Emery, said his legal team included 15 lawyers and two data specialists working day and night and on weekends, sleeping on couches in the office to try to complete the review as quickly as possible. Cohen is reportedly replacing the McDermott Will firm with New York lawyer Guy Petrillo.

The case is In the Matter of Search Warrants Executed on April 9, 2018, 18-mj-3161, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).