Official says Cohen prosecutors will get phone contents soon
NEW YORK (AP) — A court-appointed official reviewing materials seized in FBI raids on attorney Michael Cohen’s home and office said Tuesday that prosecutors were likely to get their first look at over a million pieces of data from three of Cohen’s phones on Wednesday, but over 250 attorney-client privilege claims will block access to other materials.
Special Master Barbara Jones made the revelations in a report to U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood that made it seem like a process set up to disqualify criminal prosecutors from seeing any materials subject to the privilege was proceeding on schedule. The report was submitted a day before Wood was to preside over a hearing in Manhattan federal court.
Wood appointed Jones to oversee a process to protect attorney-client privilege for Cohen, who is President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, and Trump after the April 9 raids. FBI agents seized over a dozen electronic devices in what prosecutors said was a probe into possible fraud involving Cohen’s business interests. No charges have been filed publicly.
She said lawyers for Cohen, Trump and the Trump Organization had made 252 total privilege designations from materials produced by the government on May 8 and May 9. In a report earlier this month, Jones said the government turned over electronic data from the contents of telephones and iPads on those days.
Additional electronic data from the contents of other telephones and digital devices were produced by the government for study by Jones and lawyers for Cohen and Trump on May 11, and Jones said the three telephones that produced the more than million pieces of data were from that shipment.
She said none of the pieces of data from three phones likely to be turned over Wednesday after she makes a final review of them were designated as subject to attorney-client privilege or highly personal by lawyers for Cohen, Trump or the Trump Organization.
She said nearly 300,000 items, including 12,543-pages of hard-copy documents in eight boxes, have already been turned over to prosecutors.