Two pleadings are online in Cohen v. United States, 1:18-mj-03161-KMW (S.D. N.Y.). A reply by Cohen may be filed today. Read them. The Government has the better argument. I don’t see Cohen’s argument against a “filter team” even in the ballpark.
[Redacted] The search warrants were requested and executed in violation of the guidelines set forth in the USAM, and were wholly unnecessary, given Mr. Cohen’s extensive and ongoing cooperation with the government’s various investigating agencies.
The government’s unnecessary seizure carries a substantial risk of infringing upon the attorney-client privilege and attorney-work product doctrine. There are two general categories of privileged information the government has seized: (1) documents relating to privileged communications between Mr. Cohen and his clients; and (2) documents relating to privileged communications between Mr. Cohen and his own lawyers.
This matter is particularly sensitive and unique because, as the government is well aware, the President of the United States is one of Mr. Cohen’s clients. [Redacted] There is therefore no doubt that the government is in possession of a significant amount of information that is protected by the attorney-client privilege and attorney work product doctrines, most of which does not relate to their current investigation of Mr. Cohen.
The USAO-SDNY and FBI take seriously the obligation to respect attorney-client privilege. That is why the search warrants in question expressly provide that review of the seized material “shall be conducted pursuant to established procedures designed to collect evidence in a manner reasonably designed to protect any attorney-client or other applicable privilege.” As set forth below, the USAO-SDNY and FBI have established rigorous protocols – consistent with common practice in this District – to ensure that the attorney-client privilege is respected. Furthermore, the USAO-SDNY and FBI have invited Cohen to offer suggestions as to the USAO’s review process and to provide a list of Cohen’s clients and his own attorneys, to facilitate the initial segregation of potentially-privileged materials for review (which invitation has thus far been ignored). These protocols are more than sufficient to protect any privileged materials that may have been seized. Cohen’s motion should be denied.
The Government also suggests President Trump waived privilege as to the Stormy Daniels allegations by telling the press “Ask Michael.” Page 11 n. 5.
President Trump’s letter filed with the court as a possible intervention included in this article.