Michael Cohen to lose legal team in criminal inquiry

Trump’s personal lawyer to change counsel in investigation into his business dealings

 Michael Cohen, US president Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, leaves federal court in New York, in April  2018. File photograph: Jeenah Moon/The New York Times

Michael Cohen, US president Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, leaves federal court in New York, in April 2018. File photograph: Jeenah Moon/The New York Times

 

The legal team for Michael Cohen, US president Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, is expected to stop representing him in the criminal investigation into his business dealings, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Mr Cohen’s lawyers Stephen Ryan and Todd Harrison, of McDermott, Will and Emery LLP, a Washington and New York firm, have been representing Mr Cohen and were facing a Friday deadline to complete a review of documents seized by federal prosecutors in an April raid on Mr Cohen’s home and office.

Mr Cohen will hire other counsel once the review is complete, the person familiar with the matter told Reuters on condition of anonymity. Mr Cohen wants to hire a lawyer who has a relationship with the US prosecutor’s office in Manhattan, the source added.

ABC News and the Wall Street Journal first reported the expected legal change.

The criminal inquiry into Mr Cohen’s business dealings stems in part from a referral by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating whether Trump’s election campaign colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential vote.

Mr Trump has repeatedly said there was no collusion, and Russia has denied interference. Mr Cohen has not been criminally charged.

Roughly 3.7 million files were seized in the Cohen raid and are being reviewed to determine which ones may be subject to attorney-client privilege.

Judge Kimba Wood set a June 15th deadline for Mr Cohen’s and Mr Trump’s lawyers to finish their review and appointed a special master to vet their claims of privilege. – Reuters