On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood told the attorneys for President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, that she was only going to give them until mid-June to review an estimated 2 million documents seized by the FBI in raids on Cohen's home, office, and hotel room last April.
According to reports, the attorneys for the embattled lawyer had asked for a deadline of mid-July, pleading the legal team was "working around the clock" and "as fast as we can" to decide what fell under privileged communications and would be excluded from further legal proceedings.
Wood viewed the situation differently, and in an interview with Business Insider, a former federal prosecutor explained that the judge had good reason to deny the appeal for time which could lead to any remaining documents being turned over to a separate group government lawyers — known as a "taint team."
According to Mitchell Epner, an attorney at Rottenberg Lipman Rich and a former assistant US attorney, Judge Woods knows that Cohen's legal team has more resources at their disposal and are playing for time.
"The statement by Michael Cohen's attorneys that they have a team of 15 attorneys and two data specialists working around the clock on this is not likely to have impressed Judge Wood as a big effort," Epner explained.
"It is not unusual for large law firms like McDermott Will and Emery (which has about 1,000 attorneys) to create teams of more than 50 attorneys to meet tight discovery deadlines," he continued. "A team of 15 attorneys to review over 3 million documents would likely strike Judge Wood as designed to guarantee that the process would stretch on for months."
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