Let The Flailing Begin | Michael Cohen Asks Judge to Shield Trump Files From Prosecutors
President Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, asked a federal judge in Manhattan on Friday to block the Justice Department from reading documents related to his decade-long legal representation of Mr. Trump and that were taken in a recent F.B.I. raid.
The hurriedly scheduled court appearance reflected the unease and worry inside Mr. Trump’s inner circle over this week’s raids. The documents could shed light on the president’s relationship with an adviser who has helped steer him through some of his thorniest personal and business dilemmas.
In an extraordinarily rare move, the F.B.I. seized Mr. Cohen’s computer and files, looking for all contacts with Mr. Trump and his campaign about efforts to beat back negative publicity, including arranging payments to women who claimed affairs with Mr. Trump. The breadth of the search warrant shocked Mr. Trump and his advisers, who are still not sure exactly what records Mr. Cohen kept and what they could mean for Mr. Trump.
A lawyer representing Mr. Trump’s interest in the case also appeared, and asked a judge to order the Justice Department to temporarily delay looking at the files until the matter could be litigated.
“Those searches have been executed and the evidence is locked down. I’m not trying to delay,” Joanna C. Hendon, an attorney for Mr. Trump, said during the hearing on Friday. “I’m just trying to ensure that it’s done scrupulously.”
Federal agents seized documents that dated back years, some of which are related to payments to two women who have said they had affairs with Mr. Trump. Other documents seized included information about the role of The National Enquirer in silencing one of the women, people briefed on the investigation have said.