Michael Cohen Evidence Fight Ends While Criminal Probe Continues

(Bloomberg) -- A lawsuit that brought Stormy Daniels, Michael Avenatti and Michael Cohen into the same Manhattan courtroom is over. But a criminal probe into Cohen, the former personal attorney to President Donald Trump, continues.

U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood Tuesday endorsed the findings of a retired judge she named to review items seized from Cohen’s home, hotel, office, electronic devices and safety deposit box by the FBI on April 9 to determine which ones are protected by attorney-client privilege. Out of 4 million items, Wood agreed that just 7,439 should be withheld from federal investigators as privileged or highly personal.

Cohen’s business and finances are under scrutiny by the U.S. Now that the evidence review is complete and almost all the materials are in the hands of prosecutors, Cohen faces the possibility of criminal charges in coming weeks.

Cohen filed the suit in April to block prosecutors from reviewing items he claimed are protected. Lawyers for Trump and Trump’s company quickly joined the case to protect their own interest in the materials. At one hearing early in the case, Stephanie Clifford -- the adult film star known as Stormy Daniels who claims she had sex with Trump in 2006 -- attended with her lawyer, Avenatti. During the hearing, some spectators gasped when Cohen’s lawyers were ordered to disclose the identity of another Cohen client: Fox News star and Trump supporter Sean Hannity.

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