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"Fairness and justice - as well as the appearance of fairness and justice - require that, before they are turned over to the Investigative Team, the seized materials relating to the President must be reviewed by the only person who is truly motivated to ensure that the privilege is properly invoked and applied: the privilege-holder himself, the President", Hendon wrote.

Cohen's hearing is set for 2 p.m. Monday in Manhattan.

Attorney-client privilege is a long-standing doctrine of US law that allows the subject of a lawsuit or criminal case to keep their communications with legal counsel private. A USA judge will hear more arguments about Trump's extraordinary request that he be allowed to review records seized from Cohen's office as part of a criminal investigation before they are examined by prosecutors. Both motions sought to prevent prosecutors from reviewing documents and records that had been seized in the raids of Cohen's home, office, and hotel room.

Although communications between lawyers and their clients generally are shielded, the privilege has exemptions, including for criminal activity and fraud.

"It would permit subjects or targets of an investigation, who have not yet been indicted, to delay government investigations into their criminal conduct, by giving them, and not the government, the authority to make unilateral determination not only of what is privileged, but also of what is "responsive" to the warrant". He also listed in broad terms his legal work in the dozen years before he began working for the Trump Organization in 2007.

Judge Kimba Wood postponed making a decision until Monday's hearing. They said that prosecutors had already intercepted emails from Cohen and executed the search warrants only after discovering that there were no emails between Trump and Cohen.

Searches of any attorney's office by the federal government are highly unusual and typically trigger the appointment of a so-called "taint team" of prosecutors, who are walled off from colleagues on the main investigation, to root out privileged files. "I have faith in the Southern District prosecutors, that their integrity is unimpeachable", Wood said. However, she appeared to lean in the direction of appointing a special master.

Corrections and clarifications: An earlier version has been corrected to reflect that Joanna Hendon represents Donald Trump.

Wood dismissed Hendon's argument, saying it fell outside the scope of what was being debated in the case.

On Friday, lawyers for Cohen appeared in federal court in NY asking that they, not the Department of Justice, be given a first crack at reviewing the seized evidence to see if it was relevant to the investigation or could be forwarded to criminal investigators without jeopardizing attorney-client privilege. "You know right now Sean Hannity's probably on the phone with his wife, like, 'Hey honey, it's so weird how I used the guy who pays off mistresses to get me out of that parking ticket'".

There was no dearth of noteworthy exchanges during Monday's hearing.

Cohen is "radioactive", said Michael Avenatti, Clifford's lawyer. We'll have more details up shortly.

That possibility was overshadowed though by the disclosure that Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity was the third of the three clients whose communications Mr. Cohen wanted to shield by asserting attorney-client privilege.

When Wood questioned Cohen's attorneys as to the legal ground for withholding the individual's name, they said he had asked Cohen to do so over the weekend, and that Cohen had a responsibility toward his client. In other words, the court would have known his identity, but the public would not have.

Wood, though, demanded the name. They declined to say publicly what laws they believed Cohen had broken, but said the probe had to do with her personal business dealings.

That is despite the Justice Department's creation of an independent team - a "clean team" or a "filter team" separate from the prosecutors and investigators looking into Cohen - to review the material.

Prosecutors with the USA attorney's office in Manhattan said they have a "filter team" of lawyers separate from those involved in the investigation in place to review the documents for any communications between Cohen and his clients.

"It is very unusual to take such an action", said Griffin. "It's that you've miscited the law at times".