Ooo, Somebody’s Scared

Yesterday three lawyers working for Trump sent a letter to Judge Kimba Wood,  Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, asking that Trump be allowed to review all the documents seized from Michael Cohen before criminal investigators see it.

(If the name “Kimba Wood” sounds familiar, she was nominated to be U.S. Attorney General by Bill Clinton in 1993. Her name was withdrawn because of the nannygate thing, even thought she hadn’t done anything illegal, or anything that a lot of the Republicans in Congress hadn’t done, I’m sure. If she ever wanted to get revenge on the Right for that mess, now’s her chance. She is the judge who sentenced Michael Milken to ten years in prison. I also see in her bio that she originally was nominated to the SDNY court by Ronald Reagan on the recommendation of  Senator Al D’Amato, however. Make of that what you will. )

Judge Wood is scheduled to have a hearing this afternoon for the purpose of ascertaining that Cohen actually works as a lawyer. There’s some question whether he has had anything resembling a “law practice” for several years, in which case any pretense at privilege would go up in smoke.

The stuff seized in the raid last week is supposed to next go to a “taint team,” prosecutors who are not part of the investigation into Cohen, review all the material and eliminate anything that might be covered by lawyer privilege. Trump’s lawyers are trying to stop that, however.

“The president objects to the government’s proposal to use a ‘taint team’ of prosecutors from the very office that is investigating this matter to conduct the initial privilege review of documents seized from the President’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen,’’ Hendon’s letter said.

She added that “the president respectfully requests” that the judge issue an order barring the taint team from conducting an initial review of the seized material and require the government to turn over a copy of that material to Cohen’s lawyers.

Then, the president wants the court to direct Cohen “to identify to the president all seized materials that relate to him in any way and to provide a copy of those materials to him and his counsel,” according to the letter. Any disputes about what material was or wasn’t covered by the attorney-client privilege would then be decided by a judge, under the president’s proposal.

Considering that the FBI apparently seized a truckload of stuff, this kind of review could drag on for years. I hope Judge Wood just says no.

19 thoughts on “Ooo, Somebody’s Scared

  1. OT, was driving to meditation last night (on the freeway), and was passed by a car that had a bumpersticker: "#FREEMELANIA"

  2. "Fairness and justice — as well as the appearance of fairness and justice — require that, before they are turned over to the Investigative Team, the seized materials relating to the President must be reviewed by the only person who is truly motivated to ensure that the privilege is properly invoked and applied: the privilege-holder himself, the President," Hendon wrote.

    Gee, my logic would tell me that it would be the privilege grantor who would decide whether that privilege is properly invoked and applied.

  3. I hope that truck carrying the load of documents that were seized has some extra heavy duty leaf springs.

  4. I'm not sure the strategy is for DOJ in NY to go after ANY of the Trump-related material. Cohen is likely guilty of other offenses where there is NO privilege. The DOJ in NY knows that Trump and Cohen are sacrificing virgins on the altar of the god of prosecutorial flock-ups. A minor procedural mistake and Cohen could walk, even if they have him cold. 

    The warrant might be very narrow – related exclusively to those activities where the DOJ had prior evidence of a possible crime. I'm still trying to figure out what Taxi Medalians are but if they turn out to be related to tax evasion, wire and/or bank fraud, Cohen might be looking at 15 years in jail. I'm only guessing but bear with me.

    Cohen has got a get-out-of-jail-free card. If Trump committed crimes and colluded with the Russians prior to the election, none of that is covered by privilege. Trump is already planning on saying Flynn's testimony is a lie the DOJ forced him to tell. That same defense could be applied to Cohen's testimony UNLESS there is corroborating evidence, tapes of conversations, etc. 

    This may be an additional reason Trump wants to know EVERYTHING Cohen has about him. Trump wants to know what physical evidence along with testimony Cohen might have to sell. If Cohen has an audio tape of Trump instructing Cohen where to place the horse's head….

  5. “Kimba Wood"

    Sounds like a left wing deep state swamp thing for sure! What happened to all those "conservative" voices who use to tell us to trust the prosecutors and that if had nothing to hide you'll be just fine, what happened to those people?

  6. So client number 3 is……wait for it…Sean Hannity!

    Wonder what Kimmel will open with tonite?

    Oh snap, does this mean he's paying off someone also?  I mean this does seem to be the main job of Cohen, right?


    Did Sean Hannity forget to wrap his rascal à la Broidy? Maybe it's become the new trend of the rich and famous to ride bareback. It adds not only to the pleasure, but it increases the doing life on the edge factor.

     I don't know what this latest revelation involves but seeing how two other named gentlemen are the recipients of Cohen's NDA's involving hush money to keep a sexual impropriety out of the public eye, I'm guessing that Sean has got some splainin' to do.

  8. Tom_b …. It'll probably involve Lou Dobbs. I'm sure he's been running with the big boys.

  9. So client number 3 is……wait for it…Sean Hannity!

    I'm really beginning to question my life-long belief that there is no god!

  10. Hannity?

    Of course it would be!

    tRUMP is "Unibrow's" hero.

    He 's loud, obnoxious, stupid, ignorant, bigoted, mendacious, sure of himself, narcissistic, and everything else that separates humans from 'tRUMP-conservatives. "

    Maybe these two "butt-buddies" can share the same cell!!!

  11. Hmmm. Maybe the judge could order a taint team from elsewhere in New York, on similar reasoning to a change in venue for a trial.

    Despite what I have heard from lawyers on TV, I am not sure that if Cohen is found not to have been practicing law, Trump's privilege would go up in smoke. The privilege is Trump's not Cohen's. Suppose that it is discovered that your therapist never got a degree and has never been practicing legally, Does that mean that your confidentiality evaporates? Now, in this case it seems like Cohen may not have been practicing law because he has been following Trump's wishes, and that is another story. 

    • “Despite what I have heard from lawyers on TV, I am not sure that if Cohen is found not to have been practicing law, Trump’s privilege would go up in smoke. The privilege is Trump’s not Cohen’s.” Whatever communication goes on between a lawyer and his client is privileged and can’t be used in a prosecution. However, if the lawyer is in on the criminal activity, the privilege doesn’t apply. And if some guy who happens to be a lawyer but who is not doing legal work for the client, but other work, the privilege doesn’t apply. That’s why Cohen was put on the spot today to prove he’s actually working for people as a lawyer. Here’s an article that explains this stuff. If Cohen is not actually practicing law, communication between him and Trump can be used in a prosecution.

      Trump wants to claim some kind of presidential privilege, no doubt, but that’s a separate thing.

  12. All of this nonsense of trying to figure out a legal escape plan on the fly kinda makes one see the wisdom of Michael Flynn taking it on the chin and throwing himself at the mercy of the prosecutor by fessing up early.

     Hannity has already denied any connection to Cohen in regard to legal services other that just friendly advice. He claims he never paid him a dime, other than maybe 10 bucks just to secure a lawyer/client privilege.

     According to the link that Maha provided above, it seems Hannity just blew any protections that the was hoping to secure with his 10 bucks.

    • uncledad — I’d probably make more money collecting glass bottles on the highway for the deposits. Assuming people still do that.

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