In what has turned into a huge if typically wild day in Donald Trump-era American politics, a federal judge has rejected a request from President Donald Trump and his personal lawyer Michael Cohen for a temporary restraining order to keep federal prosecutors from reading files seized in FBI raids last week. The two men want to review the evidence
Attorneys for Cohen wanted first look at their client’s seized docs and devices, before they’re handed over to prosecutors; Trump’s lawyers wanted same.
But Judge Kimba Wood said a government taint team will cull privileged documents, saying, “I have faith in the Southern District prosecutors, that their integrity is unimpeachable.”
The hearing in a Manhattan courtroom also included the bombshell reveal that Cohen’s mystery third client is none other that Sean Hannity, the Fox News host and Trump champion who has railed on-air against the FBI, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his investigation.
The April 9 raid was carried out to collect information on various matters, including that $130,000 payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels, who alleges she had consensual sex with a married Trump more than a decade ago. Cohen has acknowledged paying Daniels $130,000 just days before the 2016 election, in order to secure her silence about the affair Trump has denied ever happened.
After the hearing, Daneils briefly addressed a throng of reporters outside the courthouse. “For years, Mr. Cohen has acted like he was above the law,” she said. “He’s played by a different set of rules, or should we say no rules at all. He has never thought that the little man, and especially women — even more, women like me — mattered. That ends now. My attorney and I are committed to making sure that everyone finds out the truth and the facts of what happened.”
Watch Daniels’ comments, followed by a brief presser from her attorney Michael Avenatti, here:
Lisa de Moraes contributed to this report.
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