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Prosecutors Already Have More Than 1.3 Million Michael Cohen Documents in Criminal Investigation


Trump 'fuming' about Michael Cohen

After the FBI showed up at his home, office, and hotel room in April, much of Michael Cohen‘s time — and the time of Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump, Alan Dershowitz, and so on, have been — has been spent arguing about when it had all of a sudden become appropriate to raid a lawyer’s office. Despite the arguments that went on in the immediate aftermath of the raid, the government now officially has access to more than 1.3 million items seized in the raid, and that’s only the beginning.

The Monday filing in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) confirms that a release of exactly 1,310,365 items were handed over to federal prosecutors. These items were not designated “privileged, partially privileged or highly personal” by Cohen. In other words, these items weren’t contested, so this is what the government has to work with from the start.

“Further, once the Trump Administration submits its designations, any remaining items that are not designated privileged, partially privileged or highly personal will be promptly released to the Government,” the filing continues.

More items are also being reviewed in the meantime.

At first, Cohen and his former attorneys Stephen Ryan and Todd Harrison wrangled in court about the documents. Eventually, prosecutors and Cohen’s team agreed to have retired judge Barbara S. Jones serve as special master at Judge Kimba Wood‘s appointment. She was tasked with sifting through all of the seized materials and making a recommendation on whether or not the documents were covered by privilege.

Jones previously determined that 14 paper documents were privileged or partly privileged and that 148 electronic files were privileged. Electronic files came from two of Cohen’s phones and one iPad. CNN reported that only three items were considered “highly personal.”

Between the beginning of the case and now, Cohen’s aforementioned attorneys ceased representing him and Cohen’s defense has also taken a different shape. Guy Petrillo, the former leader of the criminal division at the SDNY (the office currently pursuing Cohen), will be representing the embattled former personal attorney of Donald Trump moving forward.

Cohen told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos in an interview Monday where his loyalties are.

“To be crystal clear, my wife, my daughter and my son, and this country have my first loyalty,” he said. “I will not be a punching bag as part of anyone’s defense strategy. I am not a villain of this story, and I will not allow others to try to depict me that way.”

[Image via Yana Paskova/Getty Images]

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.