Stormy Daniels' lawyer joins fight over Cohen's files

Mark Wilson  Getty Images

Sources tell ABC News President Donald Trump spoke Friday with his personal attorney Michael Cohen who, according to court documents, has been under criminal investigation for months, largely centered on his business dealings.

Cohen's home and office were raided by federal investigators on Monday, but attorneys for Cohen have filed a temporary restraining order in the matter, asking the court to stop federal prosecutors from using some of the records they seized.

At a hearing in Manhattan federal court, assistant US Attorney Tom McKay accused Mr Cohen of trying to hide behind a legal doctrine known as attorney-client privilege to avoid disclosing materials related to the president and other cases.

In rsquo Friday &;therefore submitting, prosecutors accused Cohen's attorneys of creating the & ldquo; rdquo & unprecedented; assert that they ought to settle on which records are privileged, or make the decision to a venture.

Prosecutors also seized recordings of conversations that Cohen had secretly made, but he told people in recent days that he did not tape his conversations with Trump.

Trump's lawyers joined in the action -and Federal District Judge Kimba Wood ruled that President Trump could intervene in the motion. Daniels opposes the request; her response to Friday evening's request is due by 6 p.m. PT Monday. It's part of a broad investigation into Cohen's business dealings, and may also include his role in nondisclosure agreements with women who claimed to have affairs with Trump, and Cohen's unofficial role in Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.

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Cohen wants Wood to let them or a "special master" review the seized materials to decide what can be turned over, without violating the right of his clients to shield communications with their lawyers.

McKay said rsquo & Trump;s capacity to emphasise that the privilege is " rdquo & no more different; from anyone else & rsquo; s. Justice Department regulations require prosecutors to have a "taint team" not involved in the underlying investigation to sift through seized materials and make sure prosecutors don't see things that aren't relevant or are protected by lawyer-client privilege.

The judge in the suit had given Cohen until Friday evening to formally request the stay.

While Cohen has admitted to no wrongdoing, the intensity of the government's investigation will put significant pressure on one of the President's closest confidants.

Asked to specify how many clients shared attorney-client privilege with Cohen, his attorney said, "I need more time to really analyze that question".

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