Donald Trump is having quite a day today and it just got worse after a federal judge dealt a blow to Michael Cohen, the former reality show star’s embattled personal lawyer, in a court decision on Monday afternoon. Cohen is probably the least likely choice for an alleged billionaire to retain, but Trump, who claims to surround himself with the best people, chose a man who got a degree from the worst law school in the country.
U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood rejected efforts by Trump and his longtime attorney to block prosecutors from reviewing documents seized from Cohen’s home, hotel, and office in the FBI raids last week. Cohen’s legal team requested a temporary restraining order so that they could review the files and then turn over to prosecutors in a request that the government called unprecedented.
Cohen did get somewhat of a victory, but it pales in comparison to his request being rejected. Judge Wood did say she may appoint someone as an impartial “special master” to mediate any review of the documents that were seized from Cohen and share it with his legal team.
Wood voiced confidence in federal prosecutors and said she wants to get “this moving.”
“I have faith in the Southern District U.S. attorney’s office that their integrity is unimpeachable,” Wood said, according to Bloomberg, and she added that her interest is in “getting this moving” speedily and efficiently. That, too, doesn’t sound good for Cohen.
NEW: Federal judge rejects request from Pres. Trump and his personal lawyer Michael Cohen for temporary restraining order that would have kept federal prosecutors’ so-called “taint team” from reading files seized last week. https://t.co/STcnFlp1H2
— ABC News (@ABC) April 16, 2018
Federal prosecutors have argued for a standard review of the seized material by what is referred to as a “taint team” of independent lawyers, which is meant to sift through documents to determine what may be privileged and cannot be given to criminal investigators. Once the taint team is finished, the remaining documents are passed on to the attorneys who are working on the case.
Wood voiced confidence in the U.S. attorney’s office handling the case but she did note that there might be a role for a special master to ensure the “perception of fairness.”
“I have faith in the Southern District U.S. Attorney’s Office,” she said. “Their integrity is unimpeachable.”
Cohen’s attorney’s had objected to the use of a taint team to review the materials. In another blow to Cohen today, his lawyers were forced to reveal in court who his third mystery client is. Gasps were heard in the courtroom as Sean Hannity was revealed to be Cohen’s client.
Cohen knows where the bodies are buried and it’s only a matter of time before he flips on Trump. It’s quite fitting that Cohen, who represents Trump, has a female judge presiding over the case.
Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images.