NY court rejects Trump plea to deny prosecutors' review of FBI-seized docs

    16 de abril de 2018

    New York, Apr 16 (efe-epa).- A New York court on Monday rejected a motion to prevent prosecutors from reviewing a series of documents recently seized by the FBI from the offices of President Donald Trump's personal attorney.

    The documents were taken by the FBI from the offices of attorney Michael Cohen and from his New York hotel room, where he is living, on April 9 as part of a series of investigations examining some of his actions.

    At first, the documents had been linked to the payment of $130,000 by Cohen to porn actress Stormy Daniels - real name Stephanie Clifford - in exchange for her keeping silent about the affair she allegedly had with Trump in 2006.

    But Cohen's attorneys went to court to try and prevent prosecutors from examining the documents, something that was temporarily rejected by Judge Kimba Wood at a hearing on Monday.

    However, Wood left the door open to naming a special mediator to assist prosecutors and to reviewing the possibility that the documents could harm the attorney-client privilege existing between Cohen and Trump.

    "I have faith in the Southern District prosecutors, that their integrity is unimpeachable," Wood said, as reported by local media.

    Among the materials seized by FBI agents are assorted documents on a number of legal matters and the harddrives from computers in Cohen's office.

    During the hearing, at which Cohen and the porn actress were both present, the identity of a third person the attorney also represented - or did work for - was revealed, although Cohen's lawyers wanted to keep that person's name secret.

    That third client is well-known Fox News political commentator Sean Hannity, although it is not known what type of work Cohen did for him.

    Besides representing Trump in the case involving Daniels, Cohen also carried out similar activities for Republican Party fundraiser Elliott Broidy.

    According to local media, Cohen paid $1.6 million to a former - albeit unnamed - Playboy Playmate who had a secret affair with Broidy and became pregnant as a result.

    Hannity is considered to be one of Trump's closest advisers outside the administration and one of his main defenders in the communications media. The president, meanwhile, frequently espouses the viewpoints expressed by the commentator on his radio and television shows.

    In a communique released late on Monday, Hannity denied that Cohen had represented him and said that he had never paid him any legal fees, although he admitted having been friends with him for some time and consulting him informally on various legal questions.

    Cohen has been under investigation for months for possibly committing election finance infractions and bank fraud.