On Thursday, the federal judge in the case against President Trump’s attorney, Michael Cohen, appointed a former federal judge to review the documents seized in a raid of his office and hotel room, according to multiple reports.
Judge Kimba Wood of the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York appointed Barbara to serve as the “special master” and decide which of Cohen’s materials are protected by attorney-client privilege and what can be reviewed by federal prosecutors.
Jones served a 16-year term on the Manhattan federal court and is now a partner at law firm Bracewell.
The New York Times reported that the quick decision came after Wood received a letter Thursday morning from federal prosecutors in Manhattan withdrawing their objection to Cohen’s request for a special master.
Prosecutors previously urged the court to use a Justice Department “taint team” in order to do the review.
“We propose that the Special Master directly review the seized materials to determine which appear to be privileged and then hear from both sides before making a final determination,” U.S. Attorney Robert Khzami wrote.
Cohen had claimed “thousands, if not millions” of pages of privileged documents were taken from him in the FBI raid on April 9.
However, Khzami also noted that Trump said in a “Fox & Friends” interview on Thursday that Cohen performs “a tiny, tiny little fraction” of his overall legal work.
Hannity on Monday also wrote a tweet saying: “Michael Cohen has never represented me in any matter. I never retained him, received an invoice, or paid legal fees.”
“These statements by two of Cohen’s three identified clients suggest that the seized materials are unlikely to contain voluminous privileged documents, further supporting the importance of efficiency here,” Khzami said.
The government suggested names of three magistrate judges to be special master, while Cohen’s attorney’s suggested four former federal prosecutors who are now defense attorneys. But Wood instead chose Jones.