The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has recovered encrypted data from messaging apps WhatsApp and Signal stored on one of the BlackBerry smartphones owned by US President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen.
According to a report in arstechnica.com on Saturday, a letter submitted to the presiding judge in the case against Cohen revealed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation recovered over 700 pages of messages and call logs from encrypted messaging apps on a smartphone belonging to Cohen.
“The messages and call logs together constitute 731 pages of potential evidence,” the report added.
WhatsApp and Signal store their messages in encrypted databases on the device.
“A cryptographic key is required to decrypt the contents of such a database, and there are tools readily available to access the WhatsApp database on a PC,” the report said.
Cohen has until June 25 to review the materials and make any claims of attorney-client privilege.
“After that, any messages he claims are protected will be reviewed by the Special Master, retired federal judge Barbara Jones,” the report added.
Cohen has filed for a restraining order against porn star Stormy Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti is representing her in the case. to prevent him from speaking to the press about the adult film star’s lawsuit.
“Avenatti’s actions are mainly driven by his seemingly unquenchable thirst for publicity,” the filing said on Thursday night, alleging that the adult film star’s lawyer “routinely denigrates” Cohen, CNN reported.
Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 days before the 2016 election as part of a non-disclosure agreement to prevent the porn star from publicly discussing her alleged sexual encounter with Trump.
Trump has also acknowledged that he personally reimbursed Cohen for that payment.
Daniels is suing the two men as well as Essential Consultants, Cohen’s shell company, to try to nullify the 2016 agreement. Avenatti is representing her in the case.