Trump lawyer forced to reveal another client: Hannity
A legal fight over what should happen to records the FBI seized from President Donald Trump’s attorney took a surprise twist Monday when the lawyer, Michael Cohen, was forced to reveal a secret — that he had also done legal work for Fox News host Sean Hannity.
The disclosure came as a New York judge disappointed a lawyer for Trump by letting prosecutors proceed with the cataloguing of evidence including multiple electronic devices that were seized in raids while a system is set up to ensure that records protected by attorney-client privilege aren’t disclosed to investigators.
Lawyers for Cohen and prosecutors both had reason to claim success after three hours of arguments before U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood, who said she may appoint a special master, a neutral lawyer, to help decide which materials should stay confidential.
Hannity’s name emerged after the judge pressed Cohen to divulge the names of the clients he’s worked with since the 2016 election, whose privileged communications might be contained within his files. Cohen’s legal team said he had just three clients in ’17 and ’18.
One was Trump. Another was Elliott Broidy, a Trump fundraiser who resigned from the RNC Friday after it was revealed he paid $1.6 million to a Playboy Playmate with whom he had an extramarital affair. Cohen’s lawyers resisted revealing the name of the third client, saying it would be embarrassing and unnecessary. Plus, the client had asked for privacy.
But Wood pressed on.
“I understand he doesn’t want his name out there, but that’s not enough under the law,” she said.
When the name was announced, there were gasps and some laughter in the courtroom. Cohen’s lawyers did not detail the type of legal work he did for Hannity.
On his radio show, Hannity said Cohen was never involved in any matter between him and any third party.
“Michael never represented me in any matter,” Hannity said. “I never retained him in any traditional sense. I never received an invoice. I never paid a legal fee. I had brief discussions with him about legal questions where I wanted his input and perspective.”
Later he added on Twitter the legal advice he got from Cohen was “almost exclusively about real estate.”
Monday’s hearing began with an appearance by porn actress Stormy Daniels, who was swarmed by photographers and nearly fell as she was hustled into the courthouse, a scene that captured the sensational atmosphere around the case.
Stormy Daniels arrives at federal court in New York yesterday to attend a court hearing where a judge is considering how to review materials that the FBI seized April 9 from President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.
HANNITY fox News host