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 filing, signed by acting U.S. Attorney Robert Khuzami in the Southern District of NY, also says that while the current investigation was referred by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, the NY investigation "has proceeded independent" of Mueller's work.

Agents also seized Cohen's computers and other electronic devices, as well as materials from a safe deposit box. Previous search warrants allowed NY federal prosecutors to search multiple email accounts, the filing said.

But Cohen's lawyer told The New York Times the Federal Bureau of Investigation searched Cohen's office, at least in part, because of a referral from special counsel Robert Mueller. Initially, Mueller had requested some records from Cohen while he was with the Trump family company - a position he held for about a decade - yet dropped the request after Cohen pushed back. In a footnote, the government stated that the Manhattan prosecutors' investigation "has proceeded independent from" Mueller's, and that suggestions that Mueller's team "drafted the search warrants is unfounded".

According to The Washington Post, Cohen may be under examination for possible bank fraud and for campaign finance violations.


Then, The Wall Street Journal reported, seemingly out of the blue, that Cohen had facilitated a payment to a former Playboy model who had become pregnant after an affair with prominent Republican fundraiser Elliott Broidy - an arrangement that echoed similar arrangements between President Trump and Stormy Daniels, as well as Karen McDougal. Records related to Cohen's taxi medallion business were also sought.

Mr. Cohen has publicly declared that he would defend the president to the end, but court documents show that prosecutors are building a significant case that could put pressure on him to cooperate and tell investigators what he knows...

Public corruption prosecutors in the United States attorney's office in Manhattan are trying to determine, according to one person familiar with the investigation, if there was any fraud related to payments to McDougal or Clifford.

"Attorney Davidson never consented to any recordings of his conversations with Mr. Cohen", a spokesman for Davidson told CNN.

"His attorney-client privilege is no stronger than any other person who seeks legal advice", McCay said.


Cohen's lawyers, for their part, have asked to review the material for themselves, a proposal which the Manhattan prosecutors are fighting. But because Cohen is so closely connected to Trump, the development apparently has the president bracing for the worst, The New York Times reported on Friday.

Avenatti told reporters after the Friday morning hearing that he had no doubt the materials seized include documents concerning the negotiations with Daniels, which is the subject of a lawsuit filed by her against Cohen and Trump in Los Angeles. Hendon, that claimed she was hired by Trump day, urged Wood maybe not to decide that gets got right up until after she files a short while by Sunday 33, inspection documents that were seized.

First, the recordings would be reviewed by a separate Justice Department team and possibly by a federal judge.

Stephen Ryan, a lawyer for Mr. Cohen, referred to his earlier description of the raid as "completely inappropriate and unnecessary".

The unusual, high-stakes court hearing Friday also featured an appearance by an attorney representing Trump, Joanna Hendon.


After, Davis Wright Tremaine partner Rachel Strom rose to point out, as the attorney present representing the interest of the assembled press, that case law would support an even smaller subset of Cohen's clients to be considered privileged. They cited the President's own comments.

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