By 2003 70-80% of documents shredded could be recreated. Today the technology is even more efficient, and includes the ability to recreate documents from shredders that shred paper into confetti. Recreating documents shredded into stripps is easy by comparison.
When the FBI siezed documents during the raid on Michael Cohen’s private residence, they confiscated 8 boxes of documents, 4 iphones, 1 ipad, severall hard drives, and shredded documents. The judge appointed to review the items seized has reviewed over 292,000 items. The federal government has so far turned over 3.7 million seized documents for Cohen’s attorneys to assess whether anything is privileged information. The FBI continues to pore over the shredded documents and an additional 19 storage devices including hard drives and thumb drives, as well as several Blackberry phones.
Former FBI special agent Asha Rangappa said that the existence of shredded documents in Cohen’s office showed a “reason to believe that evidence was being destroyed” ahead of the FBI raid in April
The problem for Michael Cohen, and his client Donald Trump, is that the FBI is very good at reassembling shredded documents. It’s something they do well. They are looking at a huge volume of evidence,” Matt Miller, who is a MSNBC justice and security analyst, told “Andrea Mitchell Reports.”
In a typical reconstruction process, technicians feed all the available shreds into a scanner. An automated software program then assigns a unique ID to each piece and analyzes a number of characteristics, including size, color, indentation, and font. Using a matching algorithm, the software then identifies potential neighboring shreds, displaying them onscreen for an operator to confirm.
During a hearing in federal district court on Wednesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Rachel Maimin said that prosecutors would provide “the contents of a shredding machine” in coming days. The federal judge assigned to weed through records seized last month from Cohen’s residence billed more than $47,000 for her first week on the job. It’s ironic that the federal government has an unlimited ability to fund the recreation of shredded documents. Cohen’s three clients might consider investing in some state of the art shredders?