Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen likely to cooperate as his attorneys leave case, sources say


As attorneys for Michael Cohen rush to meet Judge Kimba Wood’s Friday deadline to complete a privilege review of over 3.7 million documents seized in the April 9 raids of Cohen’s New York properties and law office, a source representing this matter has disclosed to ABC News that the law firm handling the case for Cohen is not expected to represent him going forward.

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To date, Cohen has been represented by Stephen Ryan and Todd Harrison of the Washington and New York firm, McDermott, Will & Emery LLP.

No replacement counsel has been identified as of this time.

Cohen, now with no legal representation, is likely to cooperate with federal prosecutors in New York, sources said. This development, which is believed to be imminent, will likely hit the White House, family members, staffers and counsels hard.

After the federal raids on Cohen’s properties, President Trump lashed out in a tweet, writing, “Attorney-client privilege is dead!”

He told reporters at the White House that the move against his longtime personal attorney, which he likened to a break-in, was a “disgraceful situation.”

“It’s an attack on our country in a true sense. It’s an attack on all we stand for,” the president said during a meeting with senior military leadership at the White House. “That is really now on a whole new level of unfairness.”

Cohen then went to federal court in Manhattan arguing that his attorneys should be given a first look at the materials seized in the raids for items potentially covered by attorney-client privilege before federal prosecutors could examine the haul.

Richard Drew/AP
President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen, right, leaves Federal Court, in New York, May 30, 2018, followed by members of his legal team.

Judge Wood subsequently appointed former federal judge Barbara Jones to act as a “special master” to conduct an impartial review of the materials and to referee any disputes between Cohen and the government. Trump and the Trump Organization intervened in the case and were also granted access to review the materials for potentially privileged items.

Jones reported last week that of the first 300,000 items reviewed, she had determined that just 162 of them were covered by attorney-client privilege. She rejected three items that Cohen, Trump or the Trump organization had designated as privileged.

Judge Wood has given Cohen’s attorneys until Friday to complete the review of the remaining documents. Any remaining items to be reviewed would be turned over to a team of federal prosecutors unconnected to the case to complete the examination of the documents.

ABC News’ James Hill contributed to this report.



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