Chief Judge Beryl Howell of the US District Court for the District of Columbia on Tuesday ordered the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s search warrants relating to Michael Cohen, the former personal attorney for President Donald Trump.
The order comes in response to a motion filed by a group of media conglomerates seeking to compel the disclosure of legal documents relating to the Stored Communications Act (SCA). The government did not oppose the motion, provided that redactions were allowed:
The government “does not oppose the [Media Coalition’s] request for unsealing of the warrants, subject to those redactions necessary to protect ongoing law enforcement matters and respect privacy concerns.”
The court ordered the release of the search warrants in accordance with the government’s wishes.
Upon consideration of the government’s in camera submission, release of the Warrant Materials with the government’s proposed redactions is justified under the common law right of access to judicial records. Indeed, a “common law presumption of access” attaches to “SCA orders and related materials.”
The search warrants detail agents’ attempts to access email addresses associated with Michael Cohen regarding potential false statements to a financial institution as well as funds received from foreign governments potentially in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act.