June 15 deadline in study of materials in Cohen raids, judge says

Porn Star’s Attorney Avenatti Battles Wall Street Journal Report Of Stonewalling Federal Prosecutors

Wood told Cohen's team to complete its work by 15 June.

During an April hearing, Wood sided with Cohen and appointed a special master to oversee the document review process, rather than have the team of government lawyers make privilege declarations.

Cohen's lawyers said they had completed flagging for the special master privilege claims on 1.3 million out of 3.7 million files, but Wood said their projected mid-July completion was too slow, and said she'd turn over whatever materials are left on June 15 to a prosecution team to review.

Jones also reported having received additional electronic data over the past two weeks, including "electronic data from a video recorder, two computers, and mobile storage devices", which "includes various video, electronic communications and documents as well as data typically associated with computer usage".

Wood said at the hearing Wednesday that she had to balance the needs of lawyers for Cohen and Trump with the needs of criminal prosecutors. The report was submitted a day before Wood was to preside over a hearing in Manhattan federal court.

Judge Wood had warned him about the "publicity tour", since he would be subject to NY laws and procedures if he were allowed on the case - meaning he'd have to pull back on his attacks against Cohen.

In the recent dust-up with the Journal, Avenatti said he was completely cooperating with federal authorities regarding the investigation into Cohen, and that he and Daniels would continue cooperating.

Avenatti's involvement has complicated the Cohen probe.

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Avenatti called on Ryan to release the audio recordings. Earlier this month, Cohen's lawyers wrote that Avenatti had created a "carnival atmosphere" and should not be allowed into the NY court.

Rachel Maimin, an assistant US attorney, said her office was still trying to access files from two Blackberry devices, which Cohen believed belonged to his wife almost a decade ago, and the contents of a shredding machine. The next court date in his case is set for Wednesday morning. Avenatti said that he has not been contacted by the government about an investigation.

Public discussion of the case by participants could "potentially deprive him [Cohen] of a fair trial by potentially tainting a jury pool", Wood said, calling the proceedings a "potential precursor to a criminal proceeding if charges are filed".

The judge said she is anxious that Avenatti's "denigrating Mr. Cohen" could deprive him of a fair trial if he is criminally charged by the feds, who are looking into his business dealings, including a $130,000 "hush money" payment to Avenatti's porn star client, who claims she had a fling with the President.

"The relatively modest amount charged" by Jones, who is a partner at Bracewell, "confirms that there is very little privileged material for her to review and that her review is not a hard one", Riopelle said.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has said she had sex once with Trump, in 2006.

Cohen's attorneys have earlier expressed their desire for Avenatti to not be admitted into the case, which he is seeking to do on Daniels' behalf.

Matching Avenatti's flare for the dramatic, Ryan noted that he's never opposed a motion of this nature in his 37 years of practice, but he did so on Wednesday because of Avenatti's "intentional, malicious, and prejudicial release of information" which amounted to a "drive-by shooting" of his client. Avenatti's firm holds a 75 percent stake in Eagan-Avenatti while Michael Eagan holds a 25 percent stake in said firm, according to documents obtained by Finnegan.

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