offices and residences should not be turned over to prosecutors. Todd Harrison, a lawyer for Cohen, had asked for another month to review the documents. Prosecutors told the judge it would take them a couple more weeks to finish that project, and it seems review of those documents won't be subject to the June 15 deadline.
Cohen, who has not been charged with any crime, is under investigation by the USA attorney's office in Manhattan regarding his business dealings. Prosecutors called that an "unreasonable delay". Lawyers practicing in the federal court in Manhattan must follow local rules barring statements that might taint prospective jurors. "I can't stop you - unless you're participating in a matter before me", she added. "I don't want you to be in some sort of limbo where you're able to denigrate Mr. Cohen". Should his application be accepted, Wood said it would require him to "change [his] conduct". He accused Cohen's lawyers of leaking the audio.
"When you get into it, you realize how much time it takes", said Alan Futerfas, who represents the Trump Organization, referring to Cohen's team's work.
The courtroom witnessed fireworks as Cohen's lead lawyer, Stephen Ryan, attacked Avenatti, accusing him of committing a "premeditated drive-by shooting of my client's rights" by leaking sensitive bank records pertaining to Cohen - records that showed bankers had filed suspicious activity reports over money flows through Cohen's Essential Consultants LLC.
"It has not occurred", he said.
Cohen, who made a $130,000 payment to Daniels to keep quiet about an alleged Trump affair, is under investigation for fraud-related offenses.
Speaking to reporters after the court hearing, Avenatti said Ryan's reference to the existence of audio tapes was a major revelation, and that he was certain some of those tapes relate to Daniels. Cohen's attorneys and Avenatti have engaged in an extended back-and-forth over the question, filing dueling letters Tuesday night and then arguing in court Wednesday. "A number of these recordings were made illegally, they should be disclosed now to the American people". ". People can make their own determinations as to their importance pertaining to the president and what he knew and when he knew it and what he did". Wood was nonplussed by Avenatti's colorful and impassioned rhetoric, which included his assertion that he has been "an exemplary member of the bar for 18 years" with an "exceptional track record".
Until now, a court-appointed special master has been overseeing scrutiny of the materials with Cohen's lawyers, but Wood suggested in a hearing in U.S. District Court that the process was moving too slowly.
Among the items not yet cleared for release, a prosecutor said in court on Wednesday, were two BlackBerry phones and the contents of one of Mr. Cohen's shredders.
There will also be an update Wednesday on whether documents seized during the raid are privileged communications.
The raids on Cohen were triggered in part by a referral from special counsel Robert Mueller, who separately is looking into Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.
"It's important for the court to balance the slow, deliberate needs of claiming attorney-client privilege with the need of the investigation to go forward", she said.