Prosecutors will get their hands on over 4 million files seized from the former personal lawyer for President Donald Trump after a judge on Tuesday ordered most of the materials released to investigators probing the lawyer's business dealings.
U.S. District Judge Kimba M. Wood said lawyers for attorney Michael Cohen, Trump and the Trump Organization can make final designations on items subject to attorney- privilege or deemed highly personal by Wednesday night. After that, criminal prosecutors can begin analyzing undesignated files, the judge said.
Wood did carve out an exception for 22,000 documents after the Trump Organization said it needed more time to study those materials. The judge set a new deadline of July 5 for those documents.
Her order came a day after lawyers for Cohen said they'd finished their analysis after designating 12,000 files as being subject to privilege out of over 4 million electronic and paper files reviewed since April 9 raids on Cohen's home and office in Manhattan. A court-appointed former judge will review the privilege claims, NBC News reported.
Cohen has not been charged with any crimes. Trump has praised Cohen but also distanced himself from him as well, telling reporters last week that Cohen no longer represents him.
The investigation could reveal plenty about the inner workings of Trump's longtime fixer and image protector. In part, people familiar with the probe have said investigators conducted raids on Cohen to get bank records, records on Cohen's dealings in the taxi industry, his communications with the Trump presidential campaign and information on payments made in 2016 to two women who say they had affairs with Trump: former Playboy model Karen McDougal and the porn actress Stormy Daniels.
On Monday, prosecutors canceled a planned interview with Daniels in preparation for a possible grand jury appearance after several news organizations, including The Associated Press, reported on the meeting.