Michael Cohen, the personal attorney for President Trump, has said he will plead the Fifth in a lawsuit with adult-film star Stormy Daniels due to an ongoing criminal investigation in NY, according to court documents.
The filing is in a case against Stormy Daniels, the adult film star who allegedly breached a contract when she spoke about having an affair with Trump.
"Based upon the advice of counsel, I will assert my Fifth Amendment rights in connection with all proceedings in this case due to the ongoing criminal investigation by the FBI and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York", Cohen said in a declaration executed on Wednesday. She later amended the lawsuit to include the defamation charges against Cohen, and has threatened through her representation to sue Trump for defamation as well.
Cohen's home and office were raided April 9 in what prosecutors later revealed was a fraud investigation.
"This is a stunning development", Michael Avenatti, a lawyer for Daniels, said in a tweet.
Judge Kimba Wood scheduled a conference in Manhattan federal court as she decides how the files taken in a court-authorized search of Cohen's properties should be reviewed to protect the attorney-client privilege.
Cohen has requested a "particular grasp" evaluation the information to weed out any privileged materials, however President Trump has opposed it, arguing that he ought to be capable of determine what constitutes privileged communications between him and his private legal professional.
In New York, meanwhile, lawyers for Cohen and Trump continue to fight for the ability to review material seized in he raids before prosecutors have access to it. A person testifying can invoke the Fifth Amendment to protect against self-incrimination.
In letters to the court filed Wednesday, lawyers for Cohen, Trump, and the Trump Organization said they were prepared to put significant resources into quickly reviewing the documents.