Federal prosecutors in NY have introduced a new element in the case surrounding the FBI's April raids on the properties of President Donald Trump's long-time personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen - encrypted messages.
Cohen claims Avenatti's public attacks may deprive him of his right to a fair trial in Clifford's suit, which seeks to nullify a hush agreement she signed in 2016 to keep quiet about her alleged tryst with Trump over a decade ago.
Wood has ordered the feds to turn over all the seized material to Cohen and Trump so that they can flag documents they think are protected by attorney-client privilege. "I haven't spoken to Michael in a long time", Trump said to reporters at the White House on Friday.
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Cohen was granted a 90-days delay of the case by a federal judge in April amid his other problems, including the FBI raid of his home and office.
Judge James Otero of the US District Court for the Central District of California set a briefing for later this month, after which he'll make a final decision on the restraining order request. If Cohen was conducting criminal business over his phone, he was nearly certainly using an encrypted messaging app - and the Federal Bureau of Investigation may now have evidence of those crimes.
Barbara Jones, the retired judge who was named special master in the case, cited the "substantial progress and diligent effort" by lawyers for Cohen, Trump and the president's company, the Trump Organization, in reviewing the documents.
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Michael Cohen is telling his friends and family he may cooperate with federal prosecutors investigating him for possible financial crimes, CNN reported Friday. The president has denied having sex with her. Jones asked U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood to give Cohen's legal team until June 25 to complete the review.
Trump said he wasn't anxious at all. The motion claims that Avenatti has "repeatedly denigrated Mr. Cohen, predicted that Mr. Cohen would be indicted for bank fraud, wire fraud, campaign finance violations, and accused Mr. Cohen of hiring a "thug" to allegedly threaten Ms. Clifford".
Avenatti has slammed Cohen's move in a series of tweets, calling it the Trump administration's latest "gag order" in their regular routine to "shut people up and hide the truth through intimidation and threats".
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