Judge Kimba Wood has scheduled a conference in U.S. District Court Thursday to decide how files seized during the FBI raid of Michael Cohen’s office and home should be reviewed in order to protect attorney-client privilege. ABC News:
Cohen has requested a “special master” review the files to weed out any privileged material, but President Trump has opposed it, arguing that he should be able to decide what constitutes privileged communications between him and his personal attorney.
She will also hear arguments from attorneys for the president, Cohen and the Trump Organization explaining the resources they can devote to reviewing the material and how they would flag potentially privileged files to an independent third party, if the judge decides to appoint one.
Meanwhile, Michael Cohen is allegedly “defiant and beaten down over endless speculation that he might flip on Trump and bring down the presidency.” Vanity Fair:
His days undoubtedly look different than they did several weeks ago. He no longer wakes up and goes into the office early, since the law firm where he had an office terminated their arrangement. He sometimes sits with an espresso at his usual table in Sant Ambroeus, with his phone buzzing and beeping. Sometimes they’re messages of support from old friends, telling him they’re behind him and that he is going to be some sort of phoenix rising from the ashes—that there will be book deals, movie deals, all sorts of offers down the road. More often, however, it’s reporters seeking comments he can’t give. For someone who relishes defending himself, staying quiet is not easy, the people familiar with Cohen’s thinking said.
Things have been different since the raid. With no office to occupy, Cohen goes to the gym and restaurants. He watches television and meets with his lawyers. His e-mail signature still reads Michael D. Cohen, Esq., Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump. His moods oscillate along with the news cycle and the time of day. “He wants to fight this,” one person familiar with Cohen’s thinking told me over the weekend. “There’s nothing in him that wants to hide or back down.” There are moments when he is convinced that he is collateral damage in the Mueller probe and that he will beat this. There are times when he is overwhelmed by the mounting legal bills he already faces, and how they could balloon if he is indicted. “He is really confused. He doesn’t know what they could charge him with, but he’s on the edge of his seat,” another person familiar with his thinking told me. “I hope it’s sooner rather than later, so that he can stop this wondering. It’s a depressing state.”
Meanwhile, Cohen takes comfort from Trump tweeting about what a great guy he is while Maggie Haberman is a “third rate reporter.” Cohen is also buttressed by the fact that he was not named as a Defendant in the DNC suit alleging Russian hacking into its servers and Trump associates’ contacts with Russia rising to the level of conspiracy. Cohen is not named but many of the other stars on the Trump World cast list are, including Donald Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, Julian Assange, and Roger Stone.
Another tile in the mosaic of Trump Russia will be set at tomorrow’s conference.