Stormy’s lawyer ends bid for role in Cohen case

Charlene Craig
June 2, 2018

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents seized over a dozen electronic devices in what prosecutors said was a probe into possible fraud involving Cohen's business interests.

"Sooner rather than later that is going to have to be teed-up", he told Wood.

Wood said a "taint team" of prosecutors not involved in the Cohen probe would make the determinations after that date.

Meanwhile, Epner said that because disputed items wouldn't be turned over to federal prosecutors until all objections and appeals are exhausted, there was more "incentive" for Cohen and Trump to "carry the fight" to the circuit court - and even the Supreme Court level - if Jones and Wood "decide that documents over which privilege is claimed are, in fact, not privileged".

A NY judge says lawyers for President Donald Trump's personal lawyer and Trump have until June 15 to make attorney-client privilege claims over data seized in April raids. Also reviewing the materials are lawyers for Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, the president and the Trump Organization.

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Avenatti told Business Insider that the attempt by Cohen's attorney's was "desperate".

"Please take notice that the motion for admission pro hac vice filed by Michael J. Avenatti is hereby withdrawn without prejudice as unnecessary". But the judge seemed to reprimand him and his "publicity tour" in court, and shortly after the hearing, Avenatti withdrew his motion. They also said it was likely that they belonged to Cohen's wife, which surprised federal prosecutors from the United States attorney's office, who said that they were not previously made aware of that information.

Joanna Hendon, a Trump attorney, said she shared the concerns raised by Cohen's team about Avenatti.

"He's concerned in ways in which name consideration to himself", Ryan mentioned in opposition to Avenatti's movement to be admitted.

Avenatti said in court that a reporter called him to describe hearing a recorded conversation between Cohen and Keith Davidson - who as an attorney for Daniels negotiated the $130,000 payment she received from Cohen before the 2016 election - and said this could only have been released by Cohen's team. Trump has repeatedly said there was no collusion, and Russian Federation has denied interfering in the US presidential elections.

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Wood said Cohen's wish to methodologically sort through potentially privileged documents needed to be balanced with "the need for the investigation to go forward".

"There's no evidence we did anything improper", he said.

"As recently as last week, the [Egan Avenatti] firm was in communications with the President's counsel", she said of the contents of the folder. The revelation of that payment ignited a firestorm around Cohen and the president, and Daniels is separately suing Cohen and Trump in California to void the nondisclosure agreement she signed with Cohen.

Prosecutors reportedly believe Avenatti is "stringing them along", according to the Journal's sources, a claim Avenatti denied Monday, adding a claim Davidson is "conspiring behind her back with Mr. Cohen", per the report.

This story was updated to include Avenatti's withdrawl from Cohen's case. Jones noted that so far, only 252 items had been flagged as privileged by attorneys for Trump or Cohen in two of the four sets of material she'd reviewed, and she said she expected to make a recommendation about those materials by Monday.

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Ryan said Avenatti had "published that information gratuitously". The firm has said the transaction had nothing to do with Vekselberg.

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