Trump Lawyer Demands Special Treatment. Federal Prosecutors’ Response Is Perfect
Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, is trying to get special treatment from the court — like really, really special treatment.
In an unprecedented move, Cohen requested that federal prosecutors allow his counsel to review the materials the FBI seized from his home, office, and hotel room earlier this week as part of a criminal investigation into his business dealings. The absurd request is something that legal experts believe to be entirely unheard-of.
Cohen claims the prosecutors’ search was overbroad and that the government seized “thousands and thousands of privileged documents” his team should be able to review.
However, federal prosecutors for the Office of the Southern District of New York who are overseeing the investigation forcefully rejected that theory, calling the request “extraordinary” in court documents on Friday, Vice News reports.
They argue Cohen would need to create a new law that converts a search warrant, which allows law enforcement to take what they want, into a subpoena, which places the burden to turn over documents on the recipient.
A federal magistrate judge, however, granted the FBI a search warrant because she believed they would probably find evidence of a crime.
“Cohen advances the novel proposition, without any precedent or legal basis, that Cohen’s own counsel should undertake the initial review of the returns of lawfully executed search warrants,” the federal prosecutors wrote. “The USAO [U.S. Attorney’s Office] is aware of no precedent for such an unconventional practice.”
“This Court should not accept Cohen’s invitation to make new law and convert a duly authorized search warrant into a subpoena,” they continued.
For Cohen to pick and choose what materials his team sees as “responsive” to the search warrant “would allow him to essentially dictate the investigation,” said former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti, according to Vice.
“You could imagine there are a lot of drug dealers in the south side of Chicago who would love to have that right,” Mariotti said. “But that’s not how it works.” He added there was virtually no chance a judge would accept Cohen’s request.
In short, Michael Cohen’s request is dumb.