Three ex-magistrates on U.S. list for possible special master
Cohen team had previously proposed former prosecutors
Prosecutors and lawyers for Donald Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, proposed a total of seven people who could fill the job of a “special master” to help review documents, hard drives and cell phone data seized from him by the FBI. U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood will decide whether to appoint a special master.
In a letter to the judge on Wednesday, U.S. prosecutors said that they continue to oppose the appointment of a special master, saying that a separate team of government lawyers, unrelated to the investigation, would move faster to weed out privileged materials before passing evidence to prosecutors.
After Cohen’s legal team proposed a list that included former U.S. prosecutors, the government floated the names of three ex-magistrate judges in the federal court in Manhattan — Frank Maas, James Francis and Theodore Katz.
Here are the candidates suggested by Cohen’s side:
- Bart Schwartz, the chairman of Guidepost Solutions LLC, has served as an independent monitor overseeing compliance by General Motors with an agreement to recall defective ignition switches and as consultant to Point72 Asset Management on insider-trading compliance procedures. Schwartz was head of the criminal division of the U.S. Attorney’s office under Rudolph Giuliani and formed a joint venture in 2013 with the former New York mayor and Trump confidante to provide security services.
- Joan McPhee, a former federal prosecutor in Manhattan, has represented companies and individuals in white-collar criminal investigations and enforcement matters for two decades. McPhee was tapped by the U.S. Olympic Committee in February as co-leader of an investigation into the decades-long abuse of young gymnasts by former team doctor Larry Nasser.
- Tai Park, a former federal prosecutor in New York, has spent 17 years representing clients in criminal and regulatory matters, including in the hedge fund, banking and real estate industries. Park represented billionaire Chinese developer Ng Lap Seng, who was convicted on bribery charges last year in the biggest U.N. corruption scandal since the oil-for-food scandal in the early 2000s.
- George Canellos is a former U.S. prosecutor and co-director of enforcement at the Securities and Exchange Commission who represents corporations and people in white-collar investigations. For part of his time at the SEC, Canellos served under Robert Khuzami, now the No. 2 federal prosecutor in Manhattan. Khuzami took charge of the Cohen investigation because Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman recused himself.