Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Judge orders privilege search to end by June 15

Porn Star’s Attorney Avenatti Battles Wall Street Journal Report Of Stonewalling Federal Prosecutors Avenatti Must End 'Publicity Tour' to Take Part in Michael Cohen's Federal Case, Judge Says
Jay Anderson | 02 June, 2018, 05:18

Daniels has said the payment was meant to buy her silence about a sexual encounter she says she had with Trump in 2006.

The FBI raids were conducted as part of a continuing investigation of Cohen on potential charges of bank fraud, wire fraud or campaign finance violations.

The judge set a deadline of June 15th for Cohen's lawyers to turn over materials they have received from the feds to a "special master" hired to determine which documents are privileged and therefore off limits to the feds.

Jones wrote in a filing submitted Tuesday night that after her reviews so far, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of NY has been given access to more than 292,000 items, and more than 1 million items "not designated privileged or highly personal" were expected to be released Wednesday.

In response, Cohen's attorney said he was unaware of the release of any audio file, noting that if it had been released, they would be "everywhere" and that "if" the audio files existed, they would be "under lock and key at my law firm". The government also said it had a shredder in its possession, but any documents produced from it would be a small amount. "We have now individuals sleeping on couches".

Wood told Cohen's team to complete its work by 15 June.

The FBI is still working to access two blackberries, as well as going through the contents of a shredding machine, lawyers said. 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".

The attorney for porn actress Stormy Daniels appeared Wednesday evening on MSNBC's "The Beat With Ari Melber", where the host asked him to speculate about what those tapes might reveal about the president and his Trump Organization attorney. He also pointed out the extensive publicity and harsh commentary made by Trump, as well as the president's own encounters in bankruptcy court.

When he entered the courtroom Wednesday, Avenatti approached the bench to find out where he should sit. "It didn't bother me one bit", he said. Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has also filed a suit against Cohen, claiming a nondisclosure agreement she struck with Trump is null and void.

Cohen's attorneys then said they couldn't be sure if the phones belonged to Cohen's wife.




Meanwhile, Stormy Daniels' attorney Michael Avenatti wants in on the action, and Cohen is desperately trying to keep him out.

"It's never a good idea to be recording conversations, period, especially if you are an attorney, especially if you're dealing with sensitive information", Avenatti said.

Avenatti defended his release of the financial information, which prompted the Treasury Department's inspector general to launch an investigation.

"There's no evidence that we did anything improper", Avenatti said. "We haven't been contacted by the Treasury Department".

This story was updated to include Avenatti's withdrawl from Cohen's case. Ryan said that was raised because it showed that "Mr. Avenatti can not keep his agreements".

Michael Avenatti fired back at President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani on MSNBC Wednesday evening, calling him a "joke" after Giuliani falsely claimed that Avenatti had been kicked out of court earlier in the day.

The emails, according to Hendon, undercut a simple claim by Avenatti: that the law firm connected to the California bankruptcy did not represent Clifford in the matter before Wood.

Responding to a request from Business Insider, Avenatti called the effort by Cohen's attorneys "desperate". He said he was unperturbed by Woods' assessment, and had no plans to change his strategy.

Cohen's team further claimed that Avenatti's release of financial documents revealing Cohen was paid by major US companies and foreign governments for consulting services should also bar him from the case.

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