Cohen attorneys say feds seized devices that have ‘nothing to do’ with warrant, rip ‘unprecedented’ search

Attorneys for Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, ahead of a court hearing Monday afternoon, blasted the FBI for its “unprecedented” raid on his properties last week and claimed the feds seized items that “have nothing to do with the probable cause” on which the warrant was granted.

Cohen, President Trump’s longtime personal attorney who formerly worked at the Trump Organization, is under criminal investigation as part of a grand jury probe into his personal conduct and business dealings.

Cohen’s attorneys – Stephen Ryan and Todd Harrison – penned a letter to federal Judge Kimba Wood of the Southern District of New York early Monday ahead of the high-profile hearing that is currently underway.

During that hearing, Cohen’s attorneys also were instructed by Judge Wood to disclose the name of another Cohen client – which attorneys confirmed was Fox News host Sean Hannity.

“We have been friends a long time. I have sought legal advice from Michael,” Hannity said on his radio show in response.

It’s unclear whether communications with him were seized in the raid. But Cohen’s attorneys are urging the court to appoint an official to review what materials are protected by attorney-client privilege.

“[T]here is a growing public debate about whether criminal and congressional investigations by the government are being undertaken impartially, free of any political bias or partisan motivation. It is in this climate that the Government executed an unprecedented search warrant—instead of using its less onerous subpoena power—upon the personal attorney of the President of the United States,” Cohen’s attorneys wrote.

FILE - In this Oct. 28, 2013, file photo, former FBI Director Robert Mueller is seated before President Barack Obama and FBI Director James Comey arrive at an installation ceremony at FBI Headquarters in Washington. A veteran FBI counterintelligence agent was removed from special counsel Robert Mueller's team investigating Russian election meddling after the discovery of an exchange of text messages seen as potentially anti-President Donald Trump, a person familiar with the matter said Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

Special Counsel Robert Mueller referred an investigation of Michael Cohen to the U.S. Attorneys Office in the Southern District of New York.  (AP)

“In the process, the Government seized more than a dozen electronic devices and other items that include documents and data regarding topics and issues that have nothing to do with the probable cause upon which the search warrant was granted in the first place.”

Cohen’s apartment, office, hotel room and safety deposit box were raided on April 9—a move that, according to U.S. Attorney Robert S. Khuzami of USAO-SDNY, was approved by a federal magistrate judge.

 

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