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Cohen's Lawyer Changes Stance on Review of Records Seized by FBI

Christian Berthelsen
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 13: Michael Cohen, U.S. President Donald Trump's personal attorney, walks to the Loews Regency hotel on Park Ave on April 13, 2018 in New York City. Following FBI raids on his home, office and hotel room, the Department of Justice announced that they are placing him under criminal investigation. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)

Attorneys forMichael Cohen, PresidentDonald Trump’s personal lawyer whose records were seized in an FBI raid last week, have subtly altered their stance on who should review the evidence now in the hands of authorities.

When Cohen’s lawyers filed a request for a restraining order last week to stop prosecutors from reviewing the seized material, they said his lawyers should be allowed to go through the records first and turn over to prosecutors whatever seemed relevant to their investigation. In the alternative, they asked that an independent special master be appointed to conduct the review.

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But in court papers filed Monday morning, Cohen’s lawyers seemingly abandoned that first request, now saying a court-appointed official would be the best way to conduct the review. "We believe that the most proper and practical solution to this unprecedented question and attendant circumstances is for this court to appoint a special master," they said.

Prosecutors from the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office intended to use a separate "taint team" to review the seized evidence for material that should be protected under attorney-client privilege, while turning over anything relevant to the investigators. They have agreed to delay the start of the review until the issue is resolved. A judge is scheduled to hear arguments over the issue later Monday.

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