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President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen was reluctant to name one of his other clients during a Monday hearing — but, after pressure from a New York federal judge, it was revealed that mystery client is Fox News host Sean Hannity.
After his office was raided by the FBI on April 9, Cohen was ordered to appear in court before U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood to rule on his request that his own attorneys be allowed to review seized documents and records — before government investigators do — to assess whether his attorney-client privilege would be implicated.
Hannity said Monday on his radio show that he’s occasionally had “brief discussions” with Cohen about legal issues that he wanted “his input and perspective on.” But, he added, “Michael never represented me in any matter. I never retained him in the traditional sense of retaining a lawyer. I never received an invoice from Michael.”
Hannity clarified that Cohen never represented him in a matter involving a third party, and wondered why the media is blowing up the story. “I don’t think that is that complicated,” he said. “How did this blow up to be such a big deal?”
Hannity also tweeted later on Monday, “I assumed those conversations were confidential.”
In a filing opposing Cohen’s request to review the evidence, the government argued that there’s no precedent and that Cohen has “exceedingly few clients and a low volume of potentially privileged communications” — and went as far as to question whether the attorney actually has any clients other than Trump.
Cohen, of course, is at the center of the media and legal blitz surrounding Trump’s alleged affair with porn star Stormy Daniels. She’s suing, under her legal name Stephanie Clifford, in an effort to have a “hush agreement” she signed declared invalid because it doesn’t contain Trump’s signature. The president has denied any knowledge of the contract, and Cohen has publicly stated that he personally paid Clifford $130,000 as part of the deal — shortly before the 2016 election.
Cohen’s other known client was GOP financier Elliott Broidy — for whom he reportedly negotiated a $1.6 million payment to an ex-Playboy model — but the lawyer was hesitant to name Hannity, acknowledging that that the revelation would be embarrassing.
The Hollywood Reporter has also reached out to Fox News for comment.
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