Trump’s lawyers in their letter Sunday to Judge Kimba Wood said they object to prosecutors’ plan to use a “taint team” to review the files seized from Cohen.
A taint team is made up of prosecutors not connected to the case.
They would be responsible for segregating privileged information, which should not be shown to prosecutors in the case, and give them the rest as potential evidence against Cohen and other people.
“To our knowledge, no court in this Circuit has ever forced a privilege-holder, over his objection, to rely on government lawyers to protect his attorney-client privilege as to materials that were seized from his own lawyer’s office,” wrote Trump’s lawyer, Joanna Hendon.
She also wrote: “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.”
“For the reasons detailed below, the Court should enter an order enjoining the government from proceeding with any review of the seized materials, and directing the government to provide a copy of the seized materials to Mr. Cohen so that our firm and the President may review for privilege those seized documents that relate to him.”
Hendon asked Wood to enjoin prosecutors from using a taint team to conduct an initial review of the files, order prosecutors to give Cohen a copy of all the materials they seized, and then direct Cohen’s legal team to identify all Trump-related files and give a copy to the president’s legal team.
Hendon further asked that Wood direct Trump’s legal squad to identify for the taint team all material over which the president claims privilege, and allow the taint team to raise any objects to those claims with the judge.
Hendon then wants the taint team to be barred from giving prosecutors in the case any material that ends up being deemed privileged.