Stormy's lawyer ends bid for role in Cohen case

02 June, 2018, 05:14 | Author: Jason Torres
  • Porn Star’s Attorney Avenatti Battles Wall Street Journal Report Of Stonewalling Federal Prosecutors

Federal investigators raided Cohen's office, hotel and apartment last month with search warrants partially obtained after a referral from special counsel Robert Mueller.

Prosecutors say they're probing Cohen's business interests.

Prosecutors said they've turned over much of the material to a former judge who's been hired to vet the seized material for items that may be covered by attorney-client privilege.

"The fact that so few documents seized from an attorney are even claimed to be privileged is surprising", Mitchell Epner, an attorney at Rottenberg Lipman Rich and former U.S. attorney, told Business Insider. McDermott Will & Emery partner Todd Harrison told the court that Cohen's team had so far received 3.7 million files from the government.

A significant amount of material still needs to be reviewed.

Hendon also took this opportunity to lay it on thick, accusing Avenatti of contradicting his own sworn affidavit submitted to the court on the matter. The material came from 13 mobile devices, 19 digital media devices like hard drives and thumb drives, as well as hard copies seized from Cohen's offices and homes in April. "We have now individuals sleeping on couches".

Wood told the parties to speed up the review process.

The FBI is still working to access two blackberries, as well as going through the contents of a shredding machine, lawyers said. She said the material includes data from a video recorder. But on April 10, the day after the raids, Trump tweeted: "Attorney-client privilege is dead!"

Cohen has been under investigation for potential bank fraud, wire fraud, and campaign finance law violations for months. Trump denies it. Daniels was not in court Wednesday.

When he entered the courtroom Wednesday, Avenatti approached the bench to find out where he should sit.

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"I was told to pull up a seat and share this table", Avenatti said with a chuckle before sitting down.

Following the hearing, Avenatti also said that Cohen's attorneys had "audio tapes" of Cohen and the president, with some of the recordings "relating to my client". He said this was "very surprising and disturbing to me" as an attorney for Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.

Avenatti, the attorney for porn star Stormy Daniels, responded to the filing on Twitter, saying that Cohen, President Donald Trump's longtime lawyer, "will do anything and everything to distract away from the serious charges he will likely face and the complicity of Mr. Trump".

Ryan said Avenatti had "published that information gratuitously".

Avenatti defended his release of the financial information, which prompted the Treasury Department's inspector general to launch an investigation.

"Lawerence, this is pathetic", Avenatti said. "We haven't been contacted by the Treasury Department".

The possibility of tapes in Cohen's position, and their alleged leaking, were part of the reason Clifford was seeking intervenor status in the case, according to Avenatti.

Upon leaving the courthouse in lower Manhattan, Cohen - who also has the Fox TV star Sean Hannity as a client - did not reply to a shouted question about whether he meant to cooperate with prosecutors. "You would not be able to give publicity to documents", said Manhattan Federal Court Judge Kimba Wood to Avenatti today.

Avenatti said a journalist had contacted him recently, claiming to have a recorded conversation between Cohen and an attorney who represented Daniels when Cohen arranged to pay her $130,000 as part of the non-disclosure agreement.

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