Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Trump seeks to limit access to records seized in Federal Bureau of Investigation raid

Trump seeks to limit access to records seized in Federal Bureau of Investigation raid

A lawyer acting for Mr Trump personally, Joanna Hendon, also asked in a filing on Sunday to be allowed to review documents that in any way relate to the President, which she described as being seized amid a "highly politicised, even fevered, atmosphere".

Photographers knocked over barricades as they scrambled in the streets outside the Manhattan courthouse to snap pictures of her as she arrived. Among other things, the government is reportedly looking at whether Cohen committed bank fraud when he used a home equity loan to pay Daniels $130,000 to keep quiet about her allegations of an affair with Trump. In a raid on Cohen's home and office last week, federal investigators were seeking documents including records related to a hush agreement with Daniels.

The documents could shed light on the president's relationship with a lawyer who has helped navigate some of Mr. Trump's thorniest personal and business problems. In front of a rollicking court room in lower Manhattan, which included three rows of press personnel-so crowded, in fact, that folding chairs were brought in-Wood adjourned a hearing over whether she would grant the temporary restraining order (T.R.O.) that Cohen's legal team had asked for that, for now, would effectively block prosecutors from reading the seized files. Wood also asked lawyers for both Cohen and Trump to come up with names for a "special master" who she could potentially appoint to comb through the documents first. They walked away with documents dating back years, potentially including those related to payoffs made to women alleging that they had affairs with Cohen's longtime client, Donald Trump, during his presidential campaign.

After a lengthy deliberation in a NY courtroom today, judge Kimba Wood ordered a lawyer for president Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen to reveal the identity of Cohen's mysterious third client: Fox News talk-show host (and vociferous Trump supporter) Sean Hannity.

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Earlier Monday, a federal judge ordered the release of the name of Cohen's mystery third client: Hannity.

Some material may involve communications between Trump and Cohen, and should be reviewed first by Trump, not federal prosecutors in NY who are investigating Cohen, the president's lawyers argued. Special Counsel Robert Mueller is separately examining possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 election.

In a quip near the start of the proceedings, assistant USA attorney Tom McKay raised eyebrows when he remarked that Cohen "has more attorneys of his own than clients".

The next phase is a battle over the procedures involving who may review the materials seized by FBI investigators last week.

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Stephen Ryan, an attorney for Cohen, said on Monday that five paragraphs in the search warrant paperwork were phrased in such a way as to seek "the papers of the president of the United States that are in the possession of my client".

Hannity and Cohen did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Business Insider. "Fairness and justice - as well as the appearance of fairness and justice - require that, before they are turned over to the Investigative Team, the seized materials relating to the President must be reviewed by the only person who is truly motivated to ensure that the privilege is properly invoked and applied: the privilege-holder himself, the President", Hendon wrote. I never retained him, received an invoice, or paid legal fees.

The client was Fox News personality Sean Hannity. But, as the news of Hannity's role ping-ponged around media and political circles in NY and Washington, Hannity downplayed any attorney-client relationship he has had with Cohen. "I have occasionally had brief discussions with him about legal questions about which I wanted his input and perspective", he said.

Dressed in a pastel pink knee-length skirt and suit jacket, Daniels was whisked from a auto into the courthouse on Pearl Street through a sea of photographers, who knocked over a metal barricade in the chaotic crush.

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