Hours after President Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer said in an interview that he puts “family and country first,” a special master appointed to go through evidence seized in an April FBI raid on Michael Cohen has now turned over 1.3 million items to federal prosecutors, with more materials still to be delivered to federal prosecutors.
“The Special Master’s review of the remaining items is ongoing,” said Barbara Jones, a former federal judge, who has been going through an extensive amount of evidence seized by the FBI, to determine what might items might be privileged, and therefore out of the reach of prosecutors.
“As of June 15, 2018, all of the Seized Materials have been provided to the Special Master with the exception of the electronic contents of one Blackberry phone,” Jones wrote in a document submitted Monday to New York federal Judge Kimba Wood.
Earlier in the day, Cohen had made headlines via ABC News, as he said that he would not be a “punching bag” for anyone.
After almost three months of legal wrangling, it was the first time that federal prosecutors had actually been able to get at evidence seized in a series of April 9 raids on Cohen, who asserted attorney-client privilege was at stake – but the special master has found that does not apply to most of the materials.
The Trump Organization is still reviewing over 22,000 pieces of information – lawyers for the group must submit their arguments on why that material should not be handed over to the feds by this Thursday.
A day after the FBI raid on Cohen, President Trump went on Twitter – “Attorney-Client privilege is dead!!” he tweeted.
The legal maneuvering on Cohen came as other legal documents were filed today in the case of former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who has already plead guilty to making false statements to FBI agents who asked about his conversations with the Russian Ambassador to the United States.
While there had been claims from conservative quarters that Flynn’s prosecution was somehow unraveling, there was no hint of that in a joint filing made on Monday by Flynn’s lawyer, Robert Kelner, and federal prosecutors, as they both agreed that they would notify a federal judge when they were ready to proceed to sentencing.
Many legal experts believe the delay in setting a sentencing date for Flynn is easily explained – that he is still cooperating with the Special Counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, and any possible ties to people linked to the Trump Campaign.
But the judge in the case, Emmet G. Sullivan, evidently wants answers in person – so, he set a hearing for July 10.