Former Judge Finishes Review of Documents Seized From Michael Cohen

(Bloomberg) -- A retired judge has completed her review of materials seized by the FBI from Michael Cohen, the former personal attorney and fixer to President Donald Trump.

Barbara Jones was named as a "special master" by the judge overseeing the case to help the parties determine which materials are protected attorney-client communications and which ones constitute "highly personal items," such as family photographs, that aren’t relevant to the government’s investigation of Cohen.

She found about 7,600 items to be privileged or highly personal out of about 13,800 privilege claims made by lawyers for Cohen, Trump and The Trump Organization, a small fraction of the 4 million items seized by the FBI from Cohen’s home, office and hotel room April 9.

New York prosecutors are investigating Cohen’s business and finances. Among the evidence they’re reviewing is an audio recording of a conversation between Trump and Cohen about payments to a former Playboy model who claimed she’d had an affair with Trump. Also included are 16 pages of documents recovered from Cohen’s shredder and 731 pages of messages sent on encrypted platforms, including WhatsApp and Signal.

The case is In the Matter of Search Warrants Executed on April 9, 2018, 18-mj-3161, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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