On Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Cohen late past year helped arrange a $1.6 million payment by Elliott Broidy, a top Trump fundraiser and defense contractor, to a former Playboy model who claimed that Broidy impregnated her.
It comes as United States attorneys confirmed on Friday that Cohen had been under criminal investigation for months. Officials redacted a section in the document explaining why they thought they could not trust Cohen to turn over records willingly.
In them, they found that Cohen had done "little to no legal work, and that zero emails were exchanged with President Trump". Former FBI Director James Comey is releasing a book next week detailing his relationship with Trump, and said Trump appeared to be obsessed with disproving the claim.
The court hearing Friday didn't provide new insight into why agents seized the items, but the judge, prosecutors and the attorneys all spoke openly about an investigation that previously has been shrouded in secrecy. McDougal said her lawyer at the time secretly negotiated with Cohen on a deal with American Media Inc, publisher of the National Enquirer, which paid her $150,000 in 2016 to keep quiet. But Mr McKay said "the attorney-client privilege can't at the same time be used as a sword and as a shield". Her client, the president, "as the privilege-holder, has an acute interest in this issue", she said.
Hendon said Trump was entitled to have a say in order to ensure the "appearance of fairness". Information deemed to be germane to the criminal investigation would not be protected by attorney-client privilege.
Michael Cohen, an attorney long known as President Donald Trump's fixer, has become Trump's biggest headache.
Prosecutors said it would be "unprecedented" to allow Mr Cohen's lawyers to decide what is privileged, and that the government should be allowed to use its own "taint team" or "filter team" to do the job. "If they in fact do exist, Attorney Davidson will pursue all his legal rights under the law".