Allegra Kirkland

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.

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An unusual scheduling request was made at a court appearance this week involving the New York attorney general’s lawsuit against the Donald J. Trump Foundation. Foundation lawyer Alan Futerfas asked that a hearing related to the complaint, which accuses Trump of using the charity’s funds as a personal piggy bank, be postponed until “after Nov. 6.”

That date, perhaps not coincidentally, is the day of the midterm elections.

Acknowledging that “people are busy,” Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Saliann Scarpulla denied the request, saying she had cleared her calendar to handle the Trump Foundation case. Scarpulla set the next conference in the case for Oct. 11, ensuring fresh headlines about the alleged violation of state and federal law by the President and his three eldest children in the weeks before voters go to the polls.

This is only one of several serious legal matters hanging over Trump. There are also defamation suits from two women whom the President denied having sexual contact with: former “Apprentice” star Summer Zervos, who says Trump groped her without consent, and former adult film star Stormy Daniels, who claims they carried on a months-long affair. Trump’s longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen is under federal criminal investigation for his business dealings. Then there’s the biggie: special counsel Robert Mueller’s sprawling investigation into whether Trump’s 2016 campaign colluded with Russia to win the White House.

Legal experts tell TPM there’s no practical reason for any of those matters to be resolved before the midterms.

“It would be an extreme reach to suggest that an otherwise proper legal case, civil or criminal, should be delayed simply because a political party associated with one of the named parties has an election coming up,” Pat Cotter, a former federal prosecutor and white-collar defense attorney, said.

[ The Mueller probe’s echoes in history (Prime access) » ]

Major developments in the Mueller probe are expected over the next few months. Criminal trials for Trump’s 2016 campaign chairman Paul Manafort will begin in Virginia in July and in Washington, D.C. in September. Former campaign aide George Papadopoulos will be sentenced for lying to the FBI about his Russia contacts that same month.

A source familiar with the probe told Bloomberg this week that Mueller is also “accelerating” his probe into collusion and obstruction of justice in the hopes of issuing reports on those topics by the fall.

Longstanding Justice Department policy prohibits investigative steps that might influence an upcoming election, as Mueller is well aware. But Trump himself is not up for reelection this year, making the application of that rule murkier in this case. In the civil matters, judges are unlikely to give much credence to arguments that the President will be too busy campaigning for GOP candidates to sit for depositions or produce documents.

“As far as I can tell, [the Mueller probe] is not an investigation of all Republicans or even the Republican Party,” Cotter continued. “It’s an investigation of the president and people around him. Whatever Mr. Mueller wants to do, even under the old DOJ policy, shouldn’t be impacted one way or another.”

Trump has made the opposite case.

“The 13 Angry Democrats (plus people who worked 8 years for Obama) working on the rigged Russia Witch Hunt, will be MEDDLING with the mid-term elections, especially now that Republicans (stay tough!) are taking the lead in the Polls,” Trump tweeted in late May. “There was no Collusion, except by the Democrats!

Trump’s attorney in the Russia probe, Rudy Giuliani, also suggested Mueller would be “clearly doing a Comey” and disrupting the midterm race if he fails to complete and file all reports on his investigation by “Sept. 1 or mid-September.” (A source familiar with the probe called Giuliani’s deadline “entirely made-up.”)

Former FBI Director James Comey radically departed from DOJ precedent during the 2016 race by publicly commenting, in both July and October, on developments in the probe into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. But experts emphasized that while both Clinton and Trump were under federal investigation in that election year, the sprawling Russia probe has little to do with congressional campaigns.

“I don’t think there’s anyone that has legitimate authority—nor would want to exercise such claimed authority—to defer the issuance of the report or affect the issuance of the report for purposes of politics,” Douglas Kmiec, a former senior DOJ lawyer during the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, told TPM.

Cotter said Giuliani’s comments reminded him of remarks he used to hear while working mob prosecution cases in New York City.

“Periodically one of their mouthpieces would go on TV or in the newspapers, and they’d have all sorts of helpful suggestions on how to conduct our investigation,” he said. “The phrase ‘witch hunt’ came up more than once. I can honestly say that I don’t believe that any—any—prosecutor ever spent a second worrying about what those people were saying or their helpful suggestions or their self-created deadlines.”

But the intense criticism Comey and the FBI for influencing the 2016 race is still raw. With that in mind, former FBI counterintelligence agent Asha Rangappa told TPM, he’s unlikely to broadcast major investigative steps in the immediate lead-up to the midterms.

“It kind of highlights the predicament that the Department of Justice is in,” Rangappa added, noting that Mueller would face criticism for taking major public action either before Nov. 6 or in the weeks after.

“It’s one of those things where I think it has the potential to look political one way or another,” she said. “Given the choice, he’d probably prefer to do it after the election rather than before, if it [involves anyone] close to the President. I think you could still see indictments of people who are a little bit more removed.”

Despite the gravity of the issues Mueller is investigating, legal experts say Trump faces more immediate exposure in the civil cases, where he may be deposed under oath.

The precedent allowing these cases to proceed is Clinton v. Jones, the landmark Supreme Court ruling determining that a current president has no immunity from civil cases related to acts done before taking office.

In the New York suit, Trump is accused of “persistent illegal conduct” for using his charity to support his presidential campaign and using the foundation’s funds as a personal “checkbook.” Though Judge Scarpulla reportedly urged a lawyer for the Trump’s three eldest children, who are also defendants in the suit, to settle out of court at this week’s proceeding, the President has insisted via tweet that he “won’t settle this case!”

At the Oct. 11 status conference, Scarpulla will announce whether she’ll decide the case based on the filings submitted by each party, or order a hearing—which could be held as early as mid- to late October.

Trump may also be called to testify in the ongoing Zervos or Daniels defamation suits about his relationships with the two women—a potentially embarrassing and perilous situation for a sitting president. Lying under oath about his sexual conduct was one of the articles of impeachment against Bill Clinton.

Looking to November, Trump and his legal woes are not on the ballot. But new details in all of these cases will be spilling out in the coming months, providing fodder for Democrats eager to paint the entire GOP as hopelessly in thrall to a corrupt leader with no regard for the rule of law.

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Special Counsel Robert Mueller is looking into the remarkable level of access granted to a handful of Russian billionaires during President Trump’s glitzy January 2017 inauguration events, ABC News reported Thursday.

The Russian businessmen attended invitation-only festivities usually reserved for top political donors, where they hobnobbed with members of the incoming president’s inner circle, according to the report.

Inauguration guests are typically closely vetted and scrutinized for any foreign ties, Stephen Kerrigan, the organizer of Obama’s 2009 and 2013 inauguration events, told ABC.

Attendees at one formal dinner included billionaire Viktor Vekselberg, who was seated next to Trump fixer Michael Cohen and his family, according to ABC. A U.S. investment firm run by Vekselberg’s cousin Andrew Intrater shelled out $500,000 in payments to Cohen a leaked report from Cohen’s bank revealed earlier this year.

Both Vekselberg and Intrater were reportedly stopped at a New York airport and interviewed by members of Mueller’s team in late 2017.

Another unnamed Russian oligarch was invited to the U.S. Capitol for an inaugural luncheon hosted by senior members of Congress, according to ABC.

The FBI’s concern about the attendance of these Russian elites at Trump’s inauguration was previously reported by the Washington Post.

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The man accused of ramming his car into a group of counter-protesters at last year’s white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing a woman and injuring dozens of others was indicted Wednesday on federal hate crime charges

The indictment, filed in Virginia, accuses James Alex Fields, Jr. of 30 hate-crime-related counts in the incident that resulted in the death of young paralegal Heather Heyer. A Justice Department spokesman confirmed to TPM that Fields now faces penalties of up to life imprisonment or the death penalty.

“The Department has not yet decided whether to seek the death penalty,” the spokesman said.

Fields faces 28 counts of “bias-motivated” attempt to willfully cause bodily injury by plowing through the crowd with his Dodge Challenger, and one count of “bias-motivated interference with a federally protected activity” for injuring victims who were peacefully protesting the white nationalists’ message of hate.

“Last summer’s violence in Charlottesville cut short a promising young life and shocked the nation,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. “Today’s indictment should send a clear message to every would-be criminal in America that we aggressively prosecute violent crimes of hate that threaten the core principles of our nation.”

As the indictment lays out, Fields was open about his violent, white nationalist views, allegedly using his social media account to promote “his belief that white people are superior to other races” and his support for Adolf Hitler.

On August 11, 2017, according to the indictment, he shared a photograph of Hitler with an family member before setting out from his home in Maumee, Ohio en route to Charlottesville, where hundreds of racist activists planned to convene to protest the removal of a Confederate statue.

At the rally the following day, Fields was photographed marching and chanting white supremacist slogans alongside members of white nationalist group Vanguard America, the indictment documents. That afternoon, alone in his car, he accelerated his car into a group of counter-protesters marching along a one-way street in downtown Charlottesville. He struck and injured dozens of people before reversing and driving away.

Fields’ indictment represents the first action taken by the federal government against the white nationalists who carried out a well-coordinated campaign of brutality at the “Unite the Right” rally. Fields and several other participants face state charges stemming from their actions at that event.

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For now, at least, one of the country’s best known white nationalists is withdrawing from politics.

Matthew Heimbach, former head of the neo-Nazi Traditionalist Workers Party (TWP), recently completed a 38-day prison term for violating his probation after harassing a black protester at a 2016 Trump campaign rally.

The violation that landed him in jail was a messy four-way domestic abuse situation involving the former chief spokesman of the TWP and their two wives.

When TPM reached Heimbach by phone on Tuesday, a little over a week after his release, a subdued-sounding Heimbach said he was busy catching up on season two of the “Handmaid’s Tale.” (He told the Southern Poverty Law Center the same thing, by text, last week.)

TWP was essentially defunct, he said, and he had no appetite to resuscitate it. “I’m not involved in any politics right now,” Heimbach said.

“I’m just focusing on my responsibilities and duties. To my family — and God,” he added, chuckling.

This is a pretty low-energy downfall for an activist who has been referred to as “the next David Duke” and the “affable, youthful face of hate in America.” Just last year, Heimbach was a guest speaker at Charlottesville’s “Unite the Right” rally and a brawling fixture at other white nationalist events.

Despite their tendency towards violence, TWP’s leaders sought to frame themselves merely as the champions of the white working class — the voice of frustrated white rural Americans devastated by the opioid crisis, deindustrialization and big-money politics. A number of in-depth journalistic investigations poked holes in the legitimacy of this purported political campaign.

But TWP’s disarray truly broke into public view in March, when Heimbach was arrested at his home in the Paoli, Indiana trailer park that doubled as TWP’s headquarters. The embarrassing details were laid out in the police report for all to see.

The white nationalist leader is married to Brooke Heimbach, step-daughter of TWP’s chief spokesman Matthew Parrott. But he was carrying out an affair with Parrott’s wife, Jessica Parrott, and was caught out when his wife and then-spokesman watched them canoodling through the Parrott’s trailer window.

The scene devolved into chaos, with Matt Parrott and Matthew Heimbach brawling. After police arrived, Heimbach went after his wife, kicking the wall, grabbing her face, and throwing her violently onto a bed — all in full view of their two young sons, as Brooke Heimbach told the arresting officer.

Matthew Heimbach was taken into custody and charged with felony domestic battery in the presence of a child under 16 and one misdemeanor count of battery.

On the police report, all four listed their professions as “white nationalists.”

These sordid details prompted plenty of mockery in both the white nationalist community and press. Parrott denounced the movement, saying the “SPLC has won” and TWP was no longer.

More pressingly for Heimbach, the incident violated the terms of his probation for a 2016 incident where he shoved a young black college student at a Trump campaign rally in Kentucky. In May, he pleaded guilty to the violation of his suspended sentence, and was taken to jail.

According to Heimbach, his retreat from politics was not prompted by any great revelation he had while incarcerated, nor a desire to keep out of trouble ahead of his September trial in Indiana on the assault charges. He is just focused on his “responsibilities,” he said.

“Jail was terribly boring,” he told TPM. “Was basically just reading and praying and sitting there.”

Heimbach declined to offer any specifics on the current situation with his wife and sons, nor on the “work” he claimed to be doing.

Parrott told TPM in a separate phone interview that his new full-time job involved being “a single dad.”

“I decisively failed at my original mission which was to be a voice for working class white folks, and ended up in the middle of the most humiliating white trash spectacle of the year,” he said.

“I could not have possibly done a worse job with my original plan and I give up,” he added.

While Heimbach would only speak about the present, Parrott told TPM that he, personally, was “not just done for now, I’m done with politics forever.”

As for the TWP, it “exists so far as its been named in lawsuits and there are still legal matters to contend with, but that’s the extent of it,” Parrott said.

The TWP is among the white nationalist groups named in a federal civil lawsuit filed by a group of individuals hurt or attacked during the 2017 Charlottesville rally.

That is where most of the white nationalist movement stands almost a year after that fateful event: bogged down by lawsuits, unable to raise funds, facing jail time, fractured, de-platformed. In some ways, they still have political traction: the Trump administration is promoting policies they champion, like forced separation of immigrant families, and elected officials like Rep. Steve King (R-IA) continue to regularly tweet out racist posts condemning diversity.

“Unite the Right” organizer Jason Kessler has confirmed he is holding an anniversary rally this August, this time in Washington, D.C., just outside the White House.

But this year, Heimbach said, he won’t be attending.

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Rep. Carolyn Maloney handily won the Democratic primary Tuesday in the New York City congressional district she’s represented for 25 years, fending off a challenge from unconventional progressive opponent Suraj Patel.

The New York Times and Associated Press called it for Maloney at around 10: 20 PM ET. She earned 58 percent of the vote with 87 percent of the votes counted.

NY-12, which covers much the East Side of Manhattan plus upscale neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens, is the wealthiest congressional district by per capita income, known for its dismal primary turnout.

Those circumstances gave an advantage to incumbent Maloney, who campaigned on her years of experience on Capitol Hill and focused on New York-specific issues like securing funds for the 9/11 Health Compensation Act and Second Avenue Subway.

Patel—a hotel executive, former Obama campaign staffer, and NYU business ethics professor—argued that it was time for a change of leadership and for New York City’s leaders to move left to meet their voters. One notable policy position was a call for Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to be defunded.

But despite raising over $1 million, Patel’s quirky campaign never got much traction. It was hampered by questions over his voter registration, which he has switched multiple times over the past few years, and his self-consciously hip get-out-the vote methods. Those included handing out campaign-branded condoms and courting voters through bogus profiles created on dating apps like Bumble and Grindr.

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In a stunning defeat, New York Rep. Joe Crowley, the fourth-most powerful Democrat in the House of Representatives, lost a Tuesday primary to Democratic Socialists of America-backed challenger Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The Washington Post and Associated Press called the race for Ocasio-Cortez at 10:00 PM. The 28-year-old Bronx-born community organizer earned 57 percent of the vote compared to 42 for her veteran lawmaker opponent, with 91 percent of the vote counted.

“I want nothing but the best for Ms. Ocasio-Cortez. I want her to be victorious,” Crowley said in conceding the race, according to the AP.

Ocasio-Cortez was the first primary challenger in 14 years for Crowley, who until Tuesday was seen as a possible successor to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Her victory marks a dramatic end to to a feisty primary campaign that drew national attention thanks to Ocasio-Cortez’s boldly progressive platform. She campaigned on abolishing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and on Medicare for All.

The NY-14 congressional seat covers the east Bronx and several neighborhoods in north-central Queens. It is seen as safely Democratic, and Crowley was viewed as the clear favorite. He pulled in $3 million this year, has served in Congress since 1999, and was backed by New York’s Democratic establishment.

Ocasio-Cortez made a convincing case that this didn’t—and shouldn’t—matter, proclaiming, in a campaign ad that went viral, “This race is about people versus money. We’ve got people. They’ve got money.”

The young former organizer for the Bernie Sanders campaign won acclaim on the left for her unflinching advocacy for a new vision for the Democratic Party. Ocasio-Cortez rejected corporate donations and was one of the first to call for doing away with ICE—a position that has since gained popularity among a small but growing number of other Democratic candidates, as well as some lawmakers already in Congress.

Another Democratic New York incumbent facing a more progressive challenger on Tuesday was also in a tight race. Rep. Yvette Clarke had pulled in 51 percent of the vote with 93 percent of votes counted in her central Brooklyn district as of 10: 43 PM, compared to 48.8 for opponent Adem Bunkeddeko.

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The Republican Party avoided disaster on Staten Island Tuesday when convicted tax cheat Michael Grimm (R-NY) lost his bid to return to the seat he resigned in 2015 in the midst of his legal troubles.

Grimm’s successor, Rep. Dan Donovan (R-NY), handily won the GOP primary, according to projections from the Associated Press and New York Times. Donovan  had 64 percent of the vote with 95 percent of the votes counted, as of 9 45 ET.

Donovan is widely expected to hold on to his seat in the November general election. Had Grimm won the GOP nomination, given his troubled past, the seat would have been in jeopardy, Republicans admitted.

Grimm was forced to give up the seat when he was imprisoned for felony tax fraud and who once threatened to throw a reporter off a Capitol Hill balcony.

The vicious, personal race between the two Republicans ended up turning on their purported allegiance to President Trump.

Grimm was banking on his enduring popularity with voters in the NY-11 District, which covers Staten Island and a swath of south Brooklyn, trying to convince voters that he was most aligned with the President in both personality and ideology. But Grimm’s bluster and skill at retail politicking were ultimately not enough to defeat Donovan’s endorsement from the bulk of the New York GOP establishment, and, most critically, Trump himself.

Grimm held a consistent lead in the few polls conducted on the race. Only one Remington Research Group poll released Friday had Donovan in the lead. The group has a “C” in FiveThirtyEight’s pollster rankings and is owned by a consulting firm that worked with the Donovan campaign.

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Disgraced former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens may no longer be in office, but he’s not out of hot water.

The GOP-led Missouri House committee tasked with investigating allegations against Greitens found evidence that he engaged in “multiple acts constituting crimes, misconduct, and acts of moral turpitude,” according to a scathing Monday letter from committee chairman. A “super-majority” of the panel’s members would have recommended the governor’s impeachment on those grounds, Republican Rep. Jay Barnes wrote.

Barnes also announced that he intends to file a complaint with the Missouri Ethics Commission alleging that Greitens’ 2016 campaign and a Greitens-linked nonprofit, A New Missouri, Inc., improperly worked together to dodge campaign finance disclosure laws.

Barnes wrote that he now believes A New Missouri “was a criminal enterprise from its inception – designed to illegally skirt donation limits and conceal the identities of major donors to Eric Greitens and ballot initiatives relating to right-to-work that were supported by the former governor.”

Greitens stepped down from office on May 29, finally caving to immense bipartisan pressure to give up his seat.

In exchange for his resignation, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner agreed to drop a felony computer tampering charge against him for allegedly obtaining a donor list from The Mission Continues, a veterans’ charity he founded, and using it to raise money for his gubernatorial bid.

Gardner previously dropped a felony invasion of privacy charge against Greitens after misconduct by one of her investigators led to her becoming a witness in the case. A special prosecutor was assigned to take up the case, which involved Greitens allegedly attempting to blackmail his former lover with a non-consensual nude photograph. The special prosecutor ultimately decided not to pursue further charges, citing the woman’s desire to put the matter to rest.

Greitens insisted to the end that he had “not broken any laws, nor committed any offense worthy of this treatment.” He admitted only to carrying out an extramarital affair with the woman, his former hairdresser.

Barnes’ letter—and two reports issued by his bipartisan committee—says otherwise.

According to Barnes, Greitens made “slanderous” and “wholly untrue” comments about the woman involved in the blackmail case, and his team gathered “evidence of sexual assault and domestic violence” against her. The woman testified before the committee and to prosecutors that Greitens hit her on multiple occasions, as TPM first reported back in January.

Then there is the computer tampering matter involving the Mission Continues donor list. After Greitens denied any wrongdoing during the 2016 campaign, an ethics commission probe forced him to admit after taking office that he illegally received the list and used it to raise funds for his campaign.

Barnes said the documents obtained by the committee, including one that proves he obtained the list “under false pretenses,” led him to believe that Greitens “faced a near certain criminal conviction” in the case.

The litany of alleged abuses uncovered by the committee go on. Greitens “may have engaged in criminal fraud in a grant application” and may have engaged in “literary fraud” with his work on “Resilience,” a 2015 book about his military service.

Most troublingly, Barnes said the committee found “direct evidence of illegal activity” related to fundraising coordination between Greitens’ campaign and A New Missouri, a 501(c)(4) non-profit that backed his agenda.

“Those in charge of the Greitens’ campaign had a scheme to hide donor identities and attempt to funnel donors to a (c)(4) if a potential donor’s identity would either be politically troublesome or they were otherwise prohibited by federal or state law from contributing to the campaign,” Barnes writes.

He concludes that though there should be “further accountability” for Greitens, particularly in the New Missouri matter, his committee no longer has the constitutional authority or mandate to carry it out.

Barnes notes that the state attorney general, Cole County prosecuting attorney, and Missouri Ethics Commission retain that authority, and that he will make a referral to the latter body next week regarding the alleged campaign finance violations.

Read Rep. Barnes’ full letter below.

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Attorneys for imprisoned former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort will try to convince the U.S. Court of Appeals to overturn a pair of rulings issued by a federal judge in Washington, D.C.

In Monday filings, Manafort’s attorneys signaled their intention to appeal U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson’s June 15 ruling revoking their client’s pretrial release because of his alleged witness tampering. They will also appeal her April 27 decision to throw out a civil suit Manafort brought challenging the authority of Special Counsel Robert Mueller to bring charges against him as part of the federal probe into Russia’s election interference.

Mueller has accused Manafort of a host of crimes including money laundering, acting as an unregistered foreign agent for Ukraine, tax evasion and bank fraud. The disgraced former GOP lobbyist, who has pleaded not guilty on all counts, faces one felony trial in D.C. and another in Virginia.

Jackson recently agreed to a special counsel request that Manafort’s bail be revoked and that he be put in jail while awaiting trial after he allegedly tried to shape the testimony of two of his former business partners.

The judge said at the time that despite her lack of “appetite” for jailing Manafort, there were no other conditions that she could impose to ensure he did not have inappropriate contact with witnesses.

Manafort’s lawyers have tried—and mostly failed—to get various pieces of evidence and charges against their client thrown out.

In the civil suit, they argued that Mueller exceeded his authority by bringing charges related to Manafort’s Ukraine lobbying, which predated his work for the Trump campaign.

Jackson ruled that a civil case was “not the appropriate vehicle” to challenge criminal charges brought by a Justice Department-appointed prosecutor. Jackson also ruled against Manafort’s motion to dismiss the indictment that Mueller brought against him in the criminal case.

Manafort’s lawyers have sought for the indictment brought against Manafort in Virginia to be dismissed as well, but the judge in that case has yet to rule on the motion.

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Federal prosecutors asked the judge overseeing Michael Cohen’s criminal case in Manhattan to reject the Trump Organization’s request for more time to review documents seized from Cohen’s premises.

“Further delay will unreasonably impede the Government’s investigation,” U.S. Attorney Robert Khuzami wrote in a Monday letter to Judge Kimba Wood.

The three parties—Cohen’s attorneys, the Trump Organization, and federal prosecutors —have wrangled since April over the attorney-client privilege review process for the millions of documents FBI agents took from Cohen’s office, hotel room, and apartment.

On Friday, the Trump Organization asked for two additional weeks to complete its review, saying a “password issue” kept it from accessing a trove of documents until the middle of last week.

But as Khuzami notes in his response, Judge Wood already granted the parties more time, moving her initial deadline of June 15 back to June 25 for Cohen and June 27 for the Trump Organization.

Khuzami also points out that only a tiny fraction of the documents reviewed by Special Master Barbara Jones, an independent party brought in by request of the Cohen and Trump teams, were determined to be privileged.

On those grounds, Khuzami says, the Trump Organization should not be granted yet another extension. If it is, it should be only one more week, or a deadline of July 5, Khuzami argues, adding that the government will “oppose any future requests for delay in their entirety.”

Wood last week announced that she was adopting the report that Jones filed, which designated 161 items as privileged. As Wood explained in her order, the bulk of them involved text messages exchanged between Cohen and his own outside counsel requesting or receiving legal advice. Wood agreed with Jones’ determination that seven other documents could be withheld from prosecutors because they are highly personal documents concerning Cohen’s “family affairs.”

In addition to the Trump Organization, former adult film star Stormy Daniels is also intervening in the case. Some of the seized materials involve the $130,000 Cohen paid to Daniels just before the 2016 election to keep her from talking about her alleged 2006 affair with Trump.

Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, lashed out at federal prosecutors on Monday, alleging that they canceled a scheduled Monday interview with his client because it leaked to the press.

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