NEW YORK (AP) — Over 12,000 files seized from President Donald Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, cannot be turned over to prosecutors probing Cohen’s business interests because they are subject to attorney-client privilege, his lawyers said Monday.
The lawyers, Todd Harrison and Stephen Ryan, told a federal judge in a letter that they had finished reviewing more than 4 million electronic and paper files taken in the April 9 raid on their client’s home and business.
The search covered 13 mobile devices and iPads, hard-copy documents and 20 external hard drives, flash drives and laptops, according to the letter.
Prosecutors say they’re investigating Cohen’s business dealings, but no charges have been brought against Cohen.
U.S. District Judge Kimba M. Wood appointed a former federal judge to help decide which of the seized items are protected by attorney-client privilege and should be off-limits to investigators.
Cohen’s lawyers wrote that some of the 12,061 files they believe should not be seen by criminal prosecutors include items subject to “attorney-work product doctrine.”
The lawyers said the government began producing files from the raids on April 26 and delivered the last batch of materials on June 15.
“We note also that certain of the devices seized by the government belong to Mr. Cohen’s daughter, son and wife or only contained family videos and other highly personal materials,” the lawyers said.
“There is no just purpose for the government to be rummaging through Mr. Cohen’s family’s devices.”
Lawyers for Trump and the Trump Organization also have participated in the review.
Lawyers for the Trump Organization notified Wood on Saturday that they need two weeks beyond a Wednesday deadline set by the judge to conclude their review.
The government said in a letter Monday that it opposed the request but said no review should be extended beyond July 5, if at all.
By LARRY NEUMEISTER by Associated Press