Michael Cohen’s Emails Were Sought by Special Counsel in July 2017, Documents Show – The New York Times
Mr. Cohen testified on Feb. 27 in a daylong public hearing before the House Oversight and Reform Committee about what he described as Mr. Trump’s lies about his business interests in Russia and his role in the payment of hush money to an adult film actress who claimed to have had an affair with Mr. Trump. Mr. Cohen called the president a racist, a con man and a cheat.
The search materials were made public at the order of Judge Pauley. Last fall, when The New York Times and other news organizations asked the judge to unseal the materials, the government opposed such action.
Prosecutors cited the “need to protect an ongoing law enforcement investigation” and the privacy of “numerous uncharged third parties.”
Judge Pauley, in a 30-page opinion on Feb. 7 made clear why he thought some materials could be released while others had to remain sealed for now.
“At this stage,” the judge wrote, “wholesale disclosure of the materials would reveal the scope and direction of the government’s ongoing investigation,” the subjects of the inquiry and the potential conduct under scrutiny and other sensitive issues.
But Judge Pauley approved the release of information related to Mr. Cohen’s charges for tax evasion and false statements to financial institutions, as well as conduct by Mr. Cohen that did not result in criminal charges.
Judge Pauley ultimately ordered the government to provide him with a copy of the sealed materials and proposed redactions. On Monday, after saying he had reviewed and approved the redactions, he ordered the government to file the redacted copy on the public court docket.
The judge also said he would revisit the documents’ secrecy in the near future, directing prosecutors to provide him with a confidential update by May 15.