President Donald Trump's advisers now believe a criminal investigation into longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen "poses a greater and more imminent threat" than the Russian Federation probe, The New York Times reported Friday. Cohen, it seems, spent this glorious spring afternoon on a Manhattan sidewalk puffing a cigar with a bunch of his bros.
Prosecutors revealed the new details about the Cohen investigation after his lawyer appeared in court seeking to temporarily bar prosecutors from reviewing materials that FBI agents seized in a search this week of Cohen's office, home and hotel room.
The recordings could prove valuable to the government's criminal investigation of Michael Cohen.
Citing "several" people close to President Trump, the Times reports his "advisers have concluded that a wide-ranging corruption investigation in NY poses a greater and more imminent threat to the president than even the special counsel's investigation".
"It's kind of like when you're boyfriend breaks up with you and then you put pictures on Instagram looking really happy, having champagne", Kirsten Powers joked.
The unusual, high-stakes court hearing Friday also featured an appearance by an attorney representing Trump, Joanna Hendon.
The court documents on Friday say that investigators have been focused on Cohen's "personal business dealings", not his work as an attorney on behalf of Trump.
Cohen has been under the spotlight over a US$130,000 (RM540,000) payment he made shortly before the 2016 election to adult film actress Stephanie Clifford - who goes by the name Stormy Daniels - aimed at preventing her from publicly discussing an affair she claims to have had with Trump.
Michael Cohen seeks restraining order on items seized by feds
His lawyers are asking that their team be able to review evidence in the case for documents that could fall under attorney-client privilege.
Trump reportedly called Cohen on Friday to "check in" with his longtime lawyer and fixer, the Times reported.
In fact, the criminal investigation into Cohen isn't about his work as a lawyer, "but rather relate [s] to Cohen's own business dealings", the feds argued.
Cohen'therefore attorneys requested U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood at the hearing to let them examine the seized supplies to be certain that there wasn't any breach of attorney-client privilege, allowing clients to safeguard communications with their own lawyers.
Michael Avenatti, a lawyer for Daniels, suggested at one of the hearings that his client might be the subject of some of the seized materials, and her interests needed protection as well.
"Mr. Cohen reached out to me after being contacted by this woman's attorney, Keith Davidson, " Broidy said in his statement. The president's lawyers have said they want to review the documents that were confiscated.
If they find material that does not involve legal advice between a lawyer and a client, or is exempted from the attorney-client privilege because it contains evidence of a crime, that material can be turned over to investigators.More news: Los Angeles Kings Drew Doughty Suspended One Game for Illegal Hit