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To My Dearest Son Cohen


Summary of "Cohen Letter 2"


This document is a legal submission addressed to United States District Judge Kimba M. Wood, dated April 16, 2018, concerning the case of Michael D. Cohen v. United States of America (18-MJ-3161 KMW). The letter is written by Todd Harrison, an attorney representing Michael D. Cohen.

Main Points

  1. Context of the Submission: The letter is a response to the court's request for a submission regarding the warrants executed in an early morning raid on Mr. Cohen's law office, home, and temporary hotel residence on April 9, 2018.

  2. Government Actions and Public Debate: The letter highlights the growing public debate about the impartiality of criminal and congressional investigations. It criticizes the government for using a search warrant instead of a subpoena to seize Mr. Cohen’s property, suggesting political bias or partisan motivation.

  3. Request for Special Master: The defense requests the appointment of a Special Master to review the seized materials for both responsiveness and privilege. This request is based on the argument that such an appointment is necessary to avoid even the appearance of impropriety and to ensure that communications covered by attorney-client privilege, particularly those involving the President of the United States, are properly handled.

  4. Concerns About Fourth Amendment Protections: The letter argues that if the government can seize and review all communications in a lawyer's office under a search warrant, the protections of the Fourth Amendment are undermined.

  5. Legal and Ethical Considerations: The defense outlines ethical considerations under the New York Rules of Professional Conduct, emphasizing the duty to keep clients' information confidential. It argues that revealing client identities, particularly in the context of a high-profile case with significant media coverage, would violate attorney-client privilege and could be detrimental to the clients.

  6. Cohen’s Legal Practice and Clients: The letter details Mr. Cohen’s legal career and mentions various clients and law firms he has worked with. It specifically mentions his time at the Trump Organization and his role as legal counsel there.

  7. Proposal for Handling Client Identities: The defense proposes that if a Special Master is appointed, client identities could be disclosed to them. This would protect the confidentiality of clients who have not consented to public disclosure of their identities.

  8. Rationale for Special Master Appointment: The appointment of a Special Master is presented as a solution that would ensure fairness, protect attorney-client privilege, and maintain public confidence in the justice system.


In conclusion, the letter advocates strongly for the appointment of a Special Master to review the materials seized by the government. It emphasizes the need to protect attorney-client privilege and maintain the integrity of the legal process in a politically sensitive and high-profile case.