Federal prosecutors on Friday said President Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen is the target of a "months-long" criminal investigation that centers on Cohen's own business dealings rather than his legal work on Trump's behalf.
"If that happens - or if the USA attorney's office in NY takes a similar interest - then the media might have to reassess its take on Cohen and the role he's playing in the broader drama surrounding the White House", O'Brien said.
Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's longtime personal attorney, on Saturday shot down a McClatchy report alleging that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has evidence Cohen went to Prague during the 2016 election.
Lawyers for Michael Cohen argued in court on Monday that they could not identify Hannity because he asked that his name not be disclosed in connection with an Federal Bureau of Investigation seizure of Cohen's files. Also expected to be on hand is adult-film star Stormy Daniels, whom Cohen secretly paid $130,000 in 2016 to keep quiet the details of an alleged sexual liaison she had with Trump.
Daniels's attorney, Michael Avenatti, said that she plans to be in the courtroom.
The next phase is a battle over the procedures involving who may review the materials seized by FBI investigators last week.
The request underscores the high stakes in an ongoing legal fight in federal court in NY, where Michael Cohen, Trump's lawyer, is also fighting to get a chance to review material seized as part of a criminal investigation of his business dealings.
That procedure involves having a "taint team" of prosecutors outside the investigation review all the material and separate what is covered by the privilege. "Attorney client privilege is dead", he exclaimed. Prosecutors depend on the "clean team" to segregate evidence and divide that which might become part of a court case from that shielded by attorney-client privilege. Materials related to the furtherance of criminal activity are not protected by the privilege.
Lawyers for Cohen and Trump want to be allowed to decide which items seized from his home and office are protected by attorney-client privilege before criminal prosecutors see them. "It nearly goes without saying, unfortunately, that none of Mr. Cohen's clients want to be associated with the government raid on his home and law office, or want to be affiliated in any way with the proceedings here and the attendant media coverage".
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Prosecutors argued that allowing the subject of a search warrant the ability to review what was seized before investigators can defeat its objective.
Sean Hannity's name was revealed on Monday by Cohen's lawyer.
Once they've reviewed the records, the filter team can give to the investigators communications "between Cohen and persons with whom Cohen undisputedly does not have an attorney-client relationship", likely meaning the records wouldn't be between Cohen and Trump, prosecutors said. The third legal client directed Mr. Cohen to not to reveal the identity publicly.
All the same, this legal back and forth over the potential review, she added, is "highly, highly unusual".
Lawyers for Cohen appeared without their client at a hearing Friday before U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood in Manhattan federal court.
Lawyers for Cohen argued one of his three clients absolutely did not want his name divulged.
"The appointment of a Special Master will protect the integrity of the Government's investigation from the toxic partisan politics of the day and attacks on the impartiality of the Justice Department and the (U.S. Attorney's Office)".
Court papers filed by Robert Khuzami, the deputy U.S. attorney in Manhattan, are redacted making it unclear the alleged criminal conduct for which the 51-year-old Cohen is being investigated.