Federal prosecutors asked a U.S. District Court judge on Friday to deny a request from President Donald Trump's longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen, that would give his attorneys veto power over what materials seized from Cohen by the FBI could be used by prosecutors.
The prosecutorial filing called Cohen's proposal "extraordinary" and "unprecedented," and contended that Cohen's request for a temporary restraining order was intended "to delay the case" and deprive the prosecutors in the case from viewing the evidence.
The prosecutors also hinted that "the crimes being investigated involve acts of concealment by Cohen" which prompted the U.S. attorney's office to seek and obtain the search warrants.
Lawyers for Cohen did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment on the filing.
The filing also offered new information about the "months-long investigation into Cohen" that led to the aggressive searches Monday morning.
The prosecutors said in the filing that Cohen's residence, hotel room, office, safety deposit box and electronic devices were all searched by FBI agents on Monday.
Each of the searches were approved in separate affidavits and "seek evidence of crimes, many of which have nothing to do with his work as an attorney, but rather relate to Cohen's own business dealings." Since the "overwhelming majority" of the evidence seized in the raids relates to Cohen's business work, the prosecutors argued that most of it would not be covered by attorney-client privilege.
Trump had earlier sounded off on the raids in a Twitter message Monday, saying "Attorney-client privilege is dead!"
But the prosecutors say they have already conducted searches of Cohen's email accounts, "covert until this point," which they say "indicate that Cohen is in fact performing little to no legal work, and that zero emails were exchanged with President Trump."
This line of attack extends to a law firm from which Cohen received a $500,000 "strategic alliance fee" each year.
"Based upon conversations with a representative of the law firm," the attorneys said they found that:
"(1) Cohen did not have an email address associated with the firm; (2) Cohen did not have access to the firm's shared drives or document systems—and vice versa; (3) Cohen's documents were to be kept in a locked filing cabinet; and (4) Cohen did not have access to any of the firm's client files."
Counsel for the Trump Organization told the prosecutors that it considers "each and every communication by, between or amongst" Cohen, the organization and its employees to be protected by attorney-client privilege. The U.S. attorneys called that claim "inaccurate and/or overbroad."
They also asked the judge, Kimba Wood, to deny Cohen's request to appoint a so-called special master, instead of a "taint team" of separate federal lawyers, to review whether the seized material is protected by attorney-client privilege.
"Appointment of a special master," the U.S. attorneys say, would "run the risk of creating significant delay in an ongoing criminal investigation."
The prosecutors concluded by attacking the precedent Cohen's argument would set if enacted:
"Cohen's novel proposal would set a dangerous precedent," the filing says. "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 a unilateral determination not only of what is privileged, but also of what is "responsive" to the warrant."