Fox News host Sean Hannity revealed as Michael Cohen’s mystery third client
President Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen has also been acting as an attorney to one of the commander-in-chief’s favorite talking heads and staunchest supporters — Fox News host Sean Hannity.
Cohen’s lawyers revealed during a hearing in Manhattan Federal Court about the April 9 FBI raid on his office that he has been the attorney to the conservative commentator for the past two years.
The disclosure only came after some serious teeth pulling by Judge Kimba Wood, who eventually ordered Cohen’s lawyers to cough up the name on the spot.
Before ‘fessing up, Cohen’s lawyers tried desperately to keep Hannity’s identity a secret, saying that the client didn’t want his name made public.
“I’m trying to protect the privacy of that individual, your honor,” Ryan told Wood.
The disclosure drew gasps and some cackles from the galley.
Just last week, Hannity blasted the raid on Cohen, saying special counsel Robert Mueller was “out to get the president.”
Trump’s longtime loudmouth consigliere stayed silent throughout the nearly three-hour proceeding, which turned into an all-out spectacle both inside and outside the courtroom.
Dressed in a pink suit, porn star Stormy Daniels turned heads when she arrived in the galley and took seat on a foldable chair.
Throughout the proceeding, she kept a steady gaze on Cohen, who agreed to pay her $130,000 less than two weeks before the 2016 election in exchange for not talking about an alleged affair with Trump. Cohen “has acted like he is above the law. My attorney and I are committed to making sure everyone finds out the truth,” she said afterward.
The cameos kept coming.
Former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who was brought down by his own scandal involving prostitutes, stopped by the courthouse, giving his two cents on Trump’s White House. “Trump is a stain in the presidency,” he said.
And onetime Trump campaign adviser Carter Page also passed through the halls of justice.
Hannity, seeming surprised that his name surfaced, addressed his legal ties to Cohen on his radio show Monday afternoon, calling it much ado about nothing.
Cohen was a longtime pal who gave him confidential legal advice, but never hit him with an invoice, he said.
The Fox News host said the media pounced on his name because Cohen has been associated with hush money settlements.
“They think he must have done a big settlement case for Hannity,” he told his listeners.
“They’re always hoping for the worst when it relates to any conservative.”
Hannity said Cohen has never represented him in a case involving a third party.
“I don’t think that that is that complicated. How did this blow up to be such a big deal?” he said. He later tweeted their dealings were “almost exclusively about real estate.”
Fox News would not comment on Hannity’s ties to Cohen, or his failure to disclose their relationship to his millions of viewers.
Steven Vladeck, a law professor at the University of Texas, tweeted at Hannity that he “had a massive conflict of interest in bashing the Cohen searches and trying to discredit the warrants that gave rise to them.”
In a filing before Monday’s hearing, Cohen disclosed that he’s given legal advice to three clients in 2017 and this year: Trump, Elliott Broidy and the third party who didn’t want to be identified — Hannity.
Cohen’s lawyers resisted revealing Hannity’s name, saying it would be embarrassing and unnecessary. They also said he’d asked for privacy and unsuccessfully requested that they be able to appeal any demand to divulge his name.
Broidy, a major GOP donor, resigned as the Republican National Committee’s deputy finance chair last week after it emerged he had paid $1.6 million to a Playboy model who became pregnant during an affair. Cohen arranged the deal.
Cohen disclosed his legal clients to make the case that many of the communications seized in the raid were privileged.
Prosecutors said in filings related to the search warrant that Cohen has been under investigation for months over his business dealings. They hauled away 10 boxes worth of records in the raids on his office, home and hotel room.
On his way into court, Cohen kept mum as reporters hounded him for a comment.
During the hearing, his lawyers and attorneys for Trump sought to block investigators from Trump’s Justice Department from looking at the seized records before they had a chance to review them.
Cohen and Trump’s legal teams also called on Wood to appoint an independent party known as a “special master” who could review the communications and excise ones that fell under attorney-client privilege.
But Wood denied their request for a first look at the records.
Instead she allowed prosecutors to move forward with the initial stages of the review.
Prosecutors said that there was no need for a special master, stating that they have “a taint team” dedicated to determining which of Cohen’s communications are privileged. Ones deemed not privileged can be used by the public corruption unit in its investigation.
“I have faith in the Southern District U.S. Attorney’s office that their integrity is unimpeachable,” Wood said during the hearing. “I think that a taint team is a viable option.”
However, trying to find compromise with the three parties, Wood indicated that she may appoint a special master at a later date.