Sunday, April 15, 2018

TRUMP ATTORNEY TO COURT: No Prosecutors Can Safeguard President's Interests In His Communications With Michael Cohen

(4/16, 9:55am UPDATE: We have added the U.S.Attorney's Offices response to Hendon's letter.)

In a bit of lawyerly hyperbole consistent with her client, an attorney for President Donald Trump tonight argued that no prosecutors - even an independent "taint team" - could fairly safeguard Trump's interests in his communications with personal attorney Michael Cohen.

The letter-motion was filed Sunday evening in advance of a hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Kimba Wood. Attorney Joanna Hendon makes the (reasonable) case that Cohen's attorneys should now be able to review the documents seized last week and assert the attorney-client privilege as to specific communications. If the Justice Department attorneys objected to the assertions, the court would make the determination.

Among Hendon's (less persuasive) arguments is the doozy that any federal prosecutors could be fair to the President. She states:
"In the highly politicized, even fevered, atmosphere that envelops this matter, it is simply unreasonable to expect that a team of prosecutors, even if not directly involved in the investigation of Mr. Cohen, could perform a privilege review in the manner necessary to safeguard the important interests of the President, as the holder of the privilege."
Also tomorrow, Judge Wood has ordered Michael Cohen to submit a list of his legal clients. The government's filings on Friday divulged that Cohen had a Strategic Alliance with mega-law firm Squire Patton Boggs and that Cohen had delivered five clients to SPB as part of the arrangement that paid Cohen at least $500,000. Arizona's Politics is asking for readers' help in figuring out which SPB clients Cohen may have referred.

The entire letter/motion is below, followed by a screenshot of the quoted portion.

(h/t to Talking Points Memo, for also monitoring the docket on a Sunday evening.)

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